Born in Tenafly, N.J., actress Mira Sorvino has won acclaim for her roles in a wide range of movies, including Barcelona, Quiz Show, Mighty Aphrodite, and Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. She spoke to WebMD the Magazine about her work with the families of people with diabetes, as well as her healthy diet (it really is healthy), her three children, and her role as a woman with bipolar disorder inthe upcoming Union Square. Plus she reveals her favorite guilty-pleasure food.
You graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, won an Oscar at 28, and are now married with three kids. But you're not one to rest on your laurels. In addition to starring roles on stage and screen, you're spokesperson for Diabetes Co-Stars, which educates about the importance of family support in managing the disease. How has diabetes affected your life?
Avoidant personality disorder is characterized by feelings of extreme social inhibition, inadequacy, and sensitivity to negative criticism and rejection. Yet the symptoms involve more than simply being shy or socially awkward. Avoidant personality disorder causes significant problems that affect the ability to interact with others and maintain relationships in day-to-day life. About 1% of the general population has avoidant personality disorder.
My dad [actor Paul Sorvino] has type 2 diabetes. He got diagnosed about five years ago and for the first couple of years didn't tell any of us. And when he finally did we were really alarmed because he wasn't really taking care of himself.
We're living proof that family members and friends can make a huge difference. My dad definitely would not be doing as well as he is if we children did not help him and encourage him and make suggestions about changes to his diet. We exercise together. We've done some ballroom dancing, which brings back memories of him dancing with me at my wedding, and teaching me the box step when I was little and going to a school dance.
You work to combat child sex trafficking. What don't most people know about this dark world?
Basically, slavery is alive and well -- it's just under a different name: human trafficking. Even in America, children are being bought and sold every day by unscrupulous people to unscrupulous people who will sleep with them and keep them in slave-like conditions. The way these kids' lives are being ruined, it just kills me. So I've been on a campaign to change state's laws so that they are seen as victims of crime, not "child prostitutes" who are criminals.