Every Sunday growing up my father would turn on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off before promptly falling asleep in his armchair, and that’s how I discovered Mia Sara. So, with everything going for her as a young spark with a quickly growing flame, why did she seemingly burn out?
Back to the Start
Mia Sarapochiello was born on June 19, 1967. While her childhood was relatively uneventful, Sara would begin her acting career immediately after graduating, finding immediate success with a legendary director.
Ridley Scott’s fantasy epic is a cult classic now, with Tim Curry’s Darkness being not just one of the actor’s many iconic roles, but all of cinema as well. Of course, massive credit goes to the designers and costume department. That took some long hours to get done.
Mia Sara was originally cast by Scott during a regular audition, with Scott noting that he liked her “theatrical instincts” which were impressive and a good fit for the film. Alongside a young Tom Cruise, future adrenaline addict and filming insurance nightmare, Sara made the film a touching fantasy with a neatly entwined love story.
Just when audiences thought “Damn, this girl is a pretty good dramatic actor” Mia Sara would pull a wildcard a few months later with her part in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Growing older is realizing that Ferris Bueller was kind of a massive asshole to everyone around him. Poor Cameron just wanted to sleep. Compared to the principal though Ferris was a damn angel. Meanwhile, Sloane was there to balance out the sociopath and anxiety-ridden shut-in (representation matters) with a joyful tone and willingness to go along with whatever wild scheme Ferris had, but being more conscious of others.
The John Hughes classic was memorable for the acting and chemistry between the three leads, and each got continuing roles but to varying success, with Matthew Broderick being the major breakout of the three.
If you ever want to imagine strange alternate timelines, look at Broderick’s IMDB trivia and see all the roles he was almost cast in. Imagine goofy-ass Matthew Broderick as Bruce Wayne or Walter White. Hey, everyone said the same thing about Bryan Cranston though so you never know.
If I had a nickel for every time Mia Sara starred in a time travel story in the 90’s I’d have two nickels. Which as we all know isn’t a lot but it’s weird that it happened twice. Until Marvel came around at least.
First showing up in the short-lived cult series Time Trax for a two-episode arc, she went on to play the wife and main plot motivator in Jean Claude Van Damm’s Timecop. In the story of a cop that hunts down fugitives that try to change the past, the agent comes up against his future self while trying to prevent his wife’s death.
Timecop has one of the single most badass opening scenes in film, and it’s a perfect encapsulation of the 90’s action-sci-fi genre. A group of confederate soldiers transporting something get gunned down by soldiers holding laser-sighted machine guns. Where did true cinema like this go? Mia Sara would put in a great performance for the campy film.
Marriage and Misses
While she would go on to a string of smaller movies and television mini-series with a concerning number starring Michael Caine, Mia Sara’s star seemed to be burning out, though her personal life at the time was going great, marrying Jason Connery, son of James Bond himself Sean Connery, and welcoming their son into the world.
Mia Sara would notably play the first iteration of Harley Quinn in live action, portraying the psychologist turned badass villain/sometimes antihero on the WB series Birds of Prey. Unfortunately, the series was Birds of Prey and was canceled after one season due to being not-quite-Smallville level.
Even worse, Mia Sara’s first marriage would end in 2002, the same year she began filming the doomed show.
Slowing Down and Finding New Loves
Mia would slow down in the mid to late 2000s. Not long after her divorce the actress would meet Brian Henson and the two would welcome a daughter in 2005. Brian is notably the son of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson and follows in his father’s footsteps to this day, working closely with brother Kermit the Frog in his early career.
While Kermit continues to live the on-and-off bachelor life with Miss Piggy, Brian and Sara would marry in 2010 and remain married to this day.
While her career was slowing down as she took the time to be a mother, she had a revelation that acting just wasn’t her drive and passion anymore. Instead she would discover a passion for poetry and writing, saying it’s like something she just needs to get out. Any writer will probably agree.
She has an extensive publishing history and her work has appeared in Pank Magazine, Summerset Review, Helix, and The Write Room.
In 2020 during the height of the pandemic, she reunited with the cast from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to reminisce about the classic movie.
Mia Sara hasn’t ruled out any possible comeback, though she has been semi-retired since her final role in 2013 which was a brief short film. These days she’s still writing poetry and living with her husband Brian, who continues producing children’s shows and puppeteering in the spirit of his father. The two mainly champion spreading kindness and learning everywhere they go.
Honestly, pretty good mindset to aspire to. Put on Rainbow Connection and do some soul-searching.