Mira Sorvino swears she's not playing Gwyneth Paltrow on 'Modern Family' (exclusive clip)

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

As Modern Family guest star Mira Sorvino returns to the ABC show tonight, playing the mogul of a lifestyle brand called NERP, you might suspect, as some did when the character was introduced in January, that she has based on Gwyneth Paltrow and her Goop.

However, Sorvino tells Yahoo Entertainment that’s not the way she sees the fictional Nicole Rosemary Page, for whom Sarah Hyland’s Haley Dunphy works. When asked if she and Paltrow have talked about the character, Sorvino says no, noting that Page is spaced out and lonely.

“The similarities are there in terms of the lifestyle brand and the actress-celebrity turned lifestyle guru, but I think the similarities kind of end after a point,” Sorvino says. “It’s not a portrayal of Gwyneth. It’s just a similar situation.”

Mira Sorvino, right, plays Sarah Hyland’s character’s boss on Modern Family. (Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)

The role is over the top at times, with Nicole living by her circadian rhythms rather than time and offering socks to rev up the vitamin D levels of Gloria (Sofia Vergara), whose magical-Colombian-pepper salsa Nerp is interested in acquiring for its alleged healing powers. Sorvino notes that playing it is just as much fun as watching.

“First of all, everyone on the show, the crew, the cast, the creators, all the writers, they’re all so good at what they do,” Sorvino says. “They’re all so top-notch, but they’re also really, really positive, warm, embracing people, so you walk up to this totally friendly, great creative environment and then you just get to play.”

Sorvino has been busy working on other projects too. At the Television Critics Association press tour in January, she noted that she was getting roles again in Hollywood, after she was one of the first women to say that she’d been sexually harassed by disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. She also said she was blacklisted by him when she wouldn’t cooperate. He denied it, although director Peter Jackson confirmed that Weinstein had steered him away from casting Sorvino.

“It’s very noble of them, and I appreciate that,” Sorvino said at the time. “I have to say, the general atmosphere since those allegations came out, those revelations, there seems to be a lot of goodwill toward me in the entertainment business.”

She portrays strong women as a guest star on Crackle’s StartUp and as part of the cast of the new series Condor, which premieres June 6 on the Audience Network. She stars as a Marine Corps colonel in the pilot for a CBS show, The Code.

Sorvino is open to adding more episodes of Modern Family to her calendar. For her, comedy is “the most fun form of acting” anyway.

“There’s just no comparison really [to] when you’re working on a good piece of comedy,” the Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion star says. “You just have a great time doing it, because the whole point is to make people laugh, and you sort of surprise yourself, weird little moments will come up. I’m very improvisational and weird things will hit me, and then I’ll follow them and that’s just so … happiness-making for me, so I just have the best days when I work on that show.”

Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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