The episode of House M.D. that will follow The Super Bowl guest stars Mira Sorvino as a woman in the South Pole who must perform surgery on herself with only a web cam link between herself and Dr. House. Several years ago there was an incident in which a woman had to treat herself for cancer when she was trapped in the South Pole, and Sorvino says the concept is similar. "It certainly doesn't directly follow her story line, but I think the concept of a person trapped in the South Pole with some medical experience, but no hospital to treat herself with, that's pretty similar." She admits, "Before I did the episode, I didn't know that there had been such a tale, so it's even more remarkable knowing it's partially true."
Mira is excited that her episode is in the coveted post-game spot, however she says she is neither a sports fan nor very sports savvy. "But I definitely am excited that it's the Super Bowl episode. That's thrilling."
She is enthusiastic not only about the actions her character has to take to save her life, but also the interaction with Dr. House, even though the two characters are thousands of miles apart. "In this episode there's actually a little bit of chemistry between the two of us, so it's not just a patient-doctor relationship. It's more like a meeting of the minds between two somewhat similar people." And, she says, there could be a reoccurrence of her character in future episodes. " I would love to come back for an extended story arc, it was fun."
About Hugh Laurie, Sorvino says, "I think that House is quite funny. I think he has amazing timing; his delivery is just so spot on and he always knows the best way to hit one of those over-the-top lines that he has, where he's just saying something kind of shocking or rude. But he knows he can get away with it, kind of like a naughty boy. In person he's funny too, but he's also very smart, just like the character. I've never really seen his British farcical work, so I'm more exposed to this character than any other work."
Sorvino admits that she is a big fan of the show. "Well, I'm a crazy House fan. It's my favorite show on T.V. and it's funny because once I got pregnant with my first child, I ended up watching a lot more T.V. than I had for years and I just became absolutely addicted to House and just thought it was so intelligent and thought Hugh is so fantastic and the writing and the other characters. Everything about it just drew me in every week and continues to do so. So when I met Hugh at the Golden Globe three years ago, and I was five months pregnant and nominated for Human Trafficking and he was nominated for House and we were all seated at the same table, I just started gushing about how much I loved the show. And I think I might have frightened him. But then a few years later they called and said, 'We know Mira loves the show. We think we have one of the best female characters we've ever written on it. Would she like to come and do an episode?' I was really excited to do it, entering the world of my favorite show. It's the equivalent of me as a child getting to go and ... in the Six Million Dollar Man."
Actors are people just like the rest of us. They just happen to be on the other side of the camera. "When I watch movies, I'm a lot more critical about the stunts, the edits, the performances," she says. "But on T.V. that's my little place where, 'Okay, I'm just watching.' I'm like everybody else; I'm just a spectator enjoying this." She elaborates a little more about her love of watching television. "I just myself have not done any episodic T.V. besides Will and Grace. So I still allow myself the guilty pleasure of watching it and completely sinking into it and believing it and not being at all professional about it when I watch. When I got to the set and I was inside House's office to do off-camera for him and the other cast members I was like, 'Oh, I'm inside his office' and then they started moving the walls. And I was like, 'Oh, it's not real.' And it was literally like I was a stupid kid. That's how much I was tickled to be a part of the show," she says with childlike enthusiasm. But now that she has seen the inner workings of the series, will she still be a fan of the show? Sometimes knowing too much about something can spoil the fun. "I know how they make things; it's not like it was the secret peek into the toy shop and now it's all gone. I've seen a couple of episodes since then and enjoyed them. I don't think it's going to ruin anything."
Besides House, Mira Sorvino admits that she loves So You Think You Can Dance. " I love that show. It's so silly, but I love dancing, and it's one of the only shows on T.V. that I feel like I can watch with my three year old and my one-and-a-half year old because there's nothing violent about it, nothing scary, even the criticism is not really mean. Sometimes I feel like American Idol, they're so vicious, that it almost sets up a bad message for kids that they have to be perfect otherwise people are going to mock them painfully. And I think Dance has such a spirit of fun to it and my daughter calls them princesses, because of the sparkling dresses they wear, and she gets very excited when one of them is wearing pink. So that's a totally different kind of show then House, but that's something that I can watch while they're awake."
She also says she would enjoy doing Dancing with the Stars, 'but my management would not let me do it. I think the problem is that the way that they have sort of categorized the contestants, you know the way that people can sometimes be sort of mean about them. I did Jimmy Kimmel when I was promoting Reservation Road and they always do the kick off that night and Mark Cuban came on and I met him and he was very nice. I was talking about how I was a fan of the show and Jimmy Kimmel was like, 'Oh you mean, Dancing with the D list Celebrities?' and that was so mean and not fair. But at the same time, unfortunately, that's the way people look at the actors who do it, which isn't right or fair, but it's just sort of the way that it is. You can be like the biggest sports figure in the world, the best boxer and do it and no harm, no foul. But something about doing it as an actor right now seems to send out a message that there are problems in your career, which shouldn't be the case, but that's just the way people regard it. As soon as that goes away, I'm there. As soon as other people do it and there's like a kind of a 'Hey it's for everybody now', I'm on it that second. I love that show that much."
With her love of television, would Sorvino ever take on the challenge of her own series? "You know, one never says never. But I know that I recently turned down some really nice opportunities, just because I want to spend all my time with my family as much as possible. And films allow me that project-oriented lifestyle where I can work or a month or three months on something and then not work for five months and spend all my time with my kids. So my kids are the most important thing to me now and I have put them ahead of my career. Maybe when they're older, I could see taking on a more full time responsibility. But at this moment I'm just trying to minimize my commitment, so that I am available for them because they amaze me and delight me and I want to raise them; I don't want nannies to raise them."