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Mira Sorvino Has Faith in “Like Dandelion Dust”

Her movie explores themes of forgiveness, love and redemption—and having faith that you can become a better human being.

Celebrities: Mira Sorvino in Like Dandelion Dust

Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino tapped into her real-life role of mom for the new movie, Like Dandelion Dust, an independent film based on the book of the same name by The New York Times best-selling inspirational author Karen Kingsbury.

Mira plays Wendy Porter, a woman who finds out she’s pregnant right after her husband, Rip (played by Barry Pepper), is jailed for domestic abuse. Seven years later, when Rip, now rehabilitated, is released, he tells Wendy he wants to start a family. She confesses that she gave birth to their son, but gave him up for adoption.

Rip discovers a loophole in the paperwork and sets out to re-claim his boy, who’s being raised by well-to-do, loving parents. Things get complicated as both couples fight for custody of six-year-old Joey.

Mira says the role of Wendy intrigued her for personal reasons. “I tried to base her on someone I had known, who had a rather similar life and whom I loved very much when I was young. I wanted to make this my homage to her. Even though, as this character, she was unable to really fend for herself, she was full of love for others.”

Mira and her husband, Christopher Backus, have three children—Mattea, Johnny Christopher and Holden—whom she calls her “blessings.”  “You don’t know what joy is until you hold your child in your arms. It is the best thing I’ve ever experienced. ”

Still, Mira can understand her character’s motivation. “Wendy gives up her baby because she feels like she can’t provide him with a safe home and because she doesn’t have any financial means at the time. She’s scared and doesn’t know what to do. But she’s tried to do what’s best for the baby, and that’s admirable. But when she’s given a chance to see the baby again, it’s like a miracle. For her, it’s a redemption, a second chance.”  

She adds: “Both couples love this boy. The birth father loves the boy but he’s unable to control his temper. He has a problem with violence which is largely brought on by terrible crises of self-doubt and alcoholism. But he still loves his boy. They all love the boy. But the point is to love unselfishly.”

Mira hopes viewers take away the message that children need to be treasured. “I think a lot of films don’t give the proper due to the importance of children and their love and care. Movies nowadays show us mostly smart-alecky mother/child relationships.” But Like Dandelion Dust is different, she says.

“The movie is evenhanded. You end up rooting for both couples in an odd sort of way. In a perfect world, there’d be two Joeys and both couples could end up with one of them, and everybody would live happily ever after. But it’s not a perfect world and they’re not perfect people. No one is. They’re all imperfect. They’re all trying to become better human beings and humbling themselves before the Lord.”

Mira sees the film as a modern twist on the biblical story of Solomon. “In the simplest of terms, it’s which mother loves the child more, the one who wants to keep him or the one who’s willing to give him up so that he stays whole? I think that was probably Karen Kingsbury’s starting point. I know she also was inspired by her own experience as an adoptive mother of children from Haiti.”

Mira believes the movie’s universal themes of forgiveness, love and redemption will strike a chord with the audience. “Everybody loves this film. People just ‘get it’ because of the themes of family and children and [the characters] striving to become better under the yoke of our imperfection.”  

Who could not love a movie about “just being a human being and having a heart”?

Like Dandelion Dust is out on DVD January 25, 2011. Check out its website for more information about the movie.

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