Posted by: Drew | September 11, 2008

15 Minutes with Actor Paul Sorvino from Greetings From the Shore

Paul Sorvino as Catch Turner

Paul Sorvino as Catch Turner

In our final interview for the launch of Greetings From The Shore, we speak with veteran actor Paul Sorvino.  For a through biography please see Moviefone‘s listing. We will be focusing on the man, the actor, his thoughts and views on the film, his costars and the business in general.

Sorvino brings to life a character that you most likely have met before. Possibly right down on the Jersey Shore.  Sorvino’s character, Catch Turner, works in a kitchen at a yacht club, living his meager existence in a ramshackle old houseboat.  But Catch is as deep as the very oceans he sailed upon. And it took an actor of Sorvino’s caliber to find and create the believability and the immediacy to the situations at hand.

So as a Brooklyn native did you go to the Jersey Shore?

“As an adult, my brother has a place in Monmouth county… for many years (we have gone down) and we still go down to it.”

Sorvino was also a resident of Tenafly, New Jersey for fifteen years, where he raised his children.

What made you work on a small independent film like Greetings From the Shore?

“You wouldn’t expect me to be in a small movie, because a lot of people know me from the big screen, Goodfellas and Nixon…  when you find a script like this that is so special, so well written , with so much heart, there’s no way to avoid it.  And believe me all I made was tip money… nobody made money and nobody cared, we all cared about the project because it was so beautifully written, with such honesty, truth and lyricism ”

Where did you find Catch, how did you develop him?

“Catch Turner is me, but not on top of the world, Catch is the closest character to me that I’ve ever seen in a movie, because he’s literate, he’s aware, he’s many things but his problem is he’s at a low point in his life, and of course I am not. He’s a wonderful character and I wanted to play it because it is in my nature to disabuse the notion that I’m some heavy lidded, thug character, Mafioso.  When in fact my legacy should be sculptor, poet, writer, artist, director, singer and all the many things I do. So that’s why I did this roll and I was very lucky to get it and I feel very lucky to be in this wonderful movie.”

That said, many people are not aware that Sorvino runs DogFellas, and HorseFellas organizations that rescue Dogs and Horses, finding them good homes.  Or that he had an episode of Star Trek writer for him.  How about that he was knighted in Italy? Sorvino is a true Renaissance Man in every sense of the word.

I understand you had a good time playing against Jay O. Sanders?

“Jay O. Sanders, I’m his sucker, from the minute I see him and he puts the slightest smile on his face, I start to convulse in gales of laughter, I can’t control myself.”

“He is so funny, such a talented comedian that I have no resistance…”

On the Commodores henchman Flip Dooley;

“I’m very fond of Andy Shaifer and what he does…, he’s nothing like his that (the flip Dooley character) part, he’s shy, kind of a sweet guy, he’s so good in the movie. ”

Was there and instant chemistry between Kim Shaw and you?

“Lets talk about for a moment Kim Shaw, how splendid she is and how she will become Americas sweetheart, She’s such a sweet human being and pretty as a picture…

“I look for her to be America’s next sweetheart… the next Meg Ryan.”

“Immediately, the moment we met… the chemistry was there I don’t remember meeting anybody (on the film) where the chemistry didn’t exist on the spot…”

You have seen Greetings From the Shore countless time now, Is it timeless?

“It’s hallmark is honesty and truth and you must go see this movie, I promise you wont be disappointed.  It will tug at your heart, you will weep here and there, you will laugh, you will go ‘Oh My God this is what movies used to be about!”

“Anything really good, anything that is based on truth and the heart, is going to last.  This is not a trendy story, this is a timeless piece… a young woman reaching adulthood… finding a father figure to replace her father figure who died…”

Unfortunately I will be ending the quote due to it giving away the ending of the film to some extent.

Any advice for those beginning the journey into the craft?

“Find really good training… at 17 or 18 you haven’t found training yet, you really need to go to a good New York school… Or Rutgers in New Jersey… the Sanford Meisner technique is taught there which was instituted by Bill Esper , my teacher.  You should look for the Sanford Meisner technique that will help prepare you. Once you have the mastery of your instrument… that you can produce the emotional conditions with reality that are called for, and you have a moment to moment sense of reality, THEN you start pounding the pavement and get in plays, in New York or LA, try to get seen.”

If you are interested in finding out about the causes Mr. Sorvino rally’s behind…



The Sorvino Asthma Foundation


  1. I would like to get a DVD copy when available. Thanks

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