The Real Reason Mia Sara Doesn't Go By Her Real Name

Recognized by most as the stunningly cool Sloane Peterson in the John Hughes classic "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," there is much more to Mia Sara than just one particular role. Throughout her decades as an actress, Sara starred opposite the likes of Tom Cruise and Tim Curry in "Legend," as well as Jean-Claude Van Damme in "Timecop," according to her IMDb profile.

However, her career came to an end in 2013 after she decided to retire. "I was a very unhappy actress," she told The Cossack Review three years later. "It was something I felt I could do, and I needed to work, and I got lucky at the get-go, however I was never going to be the kind of actress I admire, because I just didn't have the drive for the process."

Despite that lack of drive, Sara did star in quite a lot of movies. With 45 credits to her name, she made quite the impression on audiences — especially in the 1980s. But something audience may not know about the actress is that Mia Sara isn't actually her real name.

Mia Sara reportedly changed her last name to Americanize it

Like many others in her field, Mia Sara changed her name before becoming an actress. Usually, a name change occurs when a performer takes the plunge and signs up to the Screen Actors Guild — a union for film and television actors across the globe. If you happen to have the same name as someone already on the roster, a stage name has to be used instead.

In Sara's case, it wasn't about someone having the same name as her — it was more about her last name. Born Mia Sarapochiello, the Italian-American actress decided to ditch the latter portion of her surname in order for it "to sound more mainstream American," according to Forbes. She made this decision pretty early on in her life, as she started acting in commercials in her early teens.

While Sara herself hasn't spoken publicly about the name change, it certainly stuck throughout her career as an actress — and even after. Now focusing her time on writing and poetry, she still goes by the shortened version of her surname.