Movie Article

Learning to Act Her Age

Child star Tina Majorino -- The pint-sized ''Corrina, Corrina'' star has a busy film schedule and bright future

She's 49 and still counting — inches, that is. After work she loves sleep-over parties, and the only boys in her life are her dad and her brother. She's Tina Majorino, and she plays cupid for Whoopi Goldberg and Ray Liotta in Corrina, Corrina.

The brown-haired, blue-eyed, sweetly dimpled 9-year-old won wide critical acclaim for her performance as Meg Ryan's oldest and much-wiser-than-her-years daughter in When a Man Loves a Woman. Later this summer she'll rescue an unusual seal with Keith Carradine in Andre. And she's currently in Hawaii shoooting Waterworld with Kevin Costner and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Not a bad résumé for a kid on summer vacation.

''When I was little I used to watch lots of movies and I always wanted to be on the screen, so I asked my mom,'' Majorino says. ''She thought I was joking and she laughed.'' But Mom agreed to enroll her in dance and voice classes. After several commercials (Spam, McDonald's) and a stint on ABC's short-lived 1992 sitcom Camp Wilder, Majorino made her relatively short hop onto the big screen.

''A casting director showed me her screen test from When a Man Loves a Woman,'' says Corrina director Jessie Nelson, who met Majorino after auditioning 300 little girls across the country. ''It was extraordinary. She's such a mixture of childlike innocence and this wise old soul. She's 9 going on 110.''

Ask her what she thought about for her teary moments in When a Man and Corrina, and the older soul emerges. ''It's basically a process. You can't just cry on cue. I think of what's going on in the scene.'' Try and get her to dish about her male costars and she also exhibits the diplomacy of an adult. ''They're all different kinds of actors, and I like them all.''

''I love everything that's happened to me, every single bit,'' she says. Of course, she does admit to missing her dad, Bob, a real estate agent, her Scottish terrier, Angus, and her all-purple room. She says she's not ''getting a boyfriend'' until she's 16, which should leave her plenty of time to prepare for her next goal in show business. What else? She wants to direct.

Originally posted Aug 19, 1994 Published in issue #236 Aug 19, 1994 Order article reprints
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