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October 05, 1990 - Image 71

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-10-05

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Rabbi's daughter Rena Sofer plans to move from soaps to Hollywood.


Special to The Jewish News


t's a long way from the
grueling daily de-
mands of a titillating
New York-based day-
time soap opera to the
glamorous lifestyle of an 'A'
list Hollywood screen siren.
However, Rena Sofer, the
sultry 21-year-old co-star of
the ABC daytime drama

Steve K. Walz writes from
New York.

"Loving" is convinced she is
headed down the same path
to Tinseltown stardom trav-
eled by such former daytime
femme fatales as Kathleen
Turner ("The Doctors") and
Meg Ryan ("As The World
And that's quite a path
when you consider that Ms.
Sofer is the daughter of a
"Conservadox" rabbi in
North Bergen, New Jersey.
Her soap opera character
is chaste college co-ed Rocky
McKenzie (she wants to be a
doctor), but that's not the

Rena Sofar: A young
actress with ambition.

persona Ms. Sofer wants her
character to project.
"The writers are working
on a new storyline for
Rocky, so I have a bit of an
itch to do more intense stuff
using all my potential," Ms.
Sofer said.
"But for now, Rocky is
mainly looking for love. She
wants someone dangerous,
exciting...to love her pas-
sionately without end. But
this new guy she likes, Rio
Domeq (played by Rick
Telles), scares her because
she is so sexually attracted
to him. Rocky is at a loss as
to how to handle this situa-
"I'm not as naive as
Rocky, but she certainly
isn't a ditz. In fact, we are
both pretty feminist."
So how does her dad feel
about his daughter's career
after sending her to an
assortment of public and
Hebrew day schools?
"Both my dad and my
mom who lives in Boston
(her parents are divorced)
are very supportive and
proud of me — never
discouraging me from what
I wanted to do with myself,"
she said.
"In fact, my dad comes to
some of the cast parties and
is my personal date! -
The actress, who resides on
the Upper West Side of
Manhattan, said she is "not

practically religious" be-
cause "it is not part of my
Still, her link to her
heritage remains strong, she
said. "I pray every day, be-
cause God is important in
my life," she said. "I thank
him every day for what I
Even after 18 months on
the soap, Ms. Sofer realizes
that fame is fleeting.
"I'm thankful and happy
for the 18 months that I've
been here and I have about

"The writers are
working on a new
storyline, so I have
a bit of an itch to
do more intense
stuff using all my

— Rena Sofer

another year or so to go on
my contract," she said.
"It is very hard to get
work in this business. There
are literally thousands of
young actresses who want
my job. Sure, sometimes I
get frustrated when I'm not
working enough on the show
and don't get to use my ver-
satility. But this is one of
the hardest jobs in the busi-
ness, memorizing many
pages of dialogue a day.
That makes this a terrific
stepping-stone to prime-time
TV or the movies.
"I know that I've been
blessed with talent and
commercial looks, so it's up
to me to work hard and max-
imize my abilities."
Given her choice though,
Ms. Sofer wants to play "a
malicious bad girl.
"I know I look innocent,
but I could play bad, real
good," she said.

When asked whom she ad-
mires in the business, she
unabashedly proclaimed Ro-
seanne Barr and Robert
DeNiro. At first glance,
that's a decidedly odd coupl-
ing. The connection is that
both are strongly indepen-
dent personalities.
"I love actors with a
`bleep you' attitude," said
Ms. Sofer. "They are not
afraid to take a chance. Tom
Cruise and Charlie Sheen
just don't do it for me. I
want to play opposite some-
one who is challenging.
"Of course I wouldn't
mind doing one of those old
MGM Technicolor movies
that starred people like
Maureen O'Hara."
Despite all this femme fa-
tale language, Ms. Sofer's
personal life isn't as glamor-
ous as one might think, she
She's had her share of
dazzling parties and publici-
ty, of course, but after work
what she likes best is to
"hang out with my
girlfriends or stay home and
watch movies." She does
not, she said, feel pressured
to partake of the social
Yes, she has a boyfriend.
"A nice Jewish business-
man, which makes my dad
happy," she said.
"For a long time I just
didn't want to date and if I
did, it certainly wasn't going
to be with actors," Ms. Sofer
"But I've changed my
lifestyle since I first joined
`Loving.' I've toned myself
down a bit so that I am now
more socially aware and a
bit more easygoing."
That maturation process
and self-awareness will come
in handy as the raven-
haired, blue-eyed beauty
works her way down the
path she hopes will lead to
Hollywood success in the
years to come. ❑



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