Mia Kirshner (born January 25, 1975) is a Canadian actress who works
in movies and television series. She is best known for her portrayal of
Jenny Schecter on Showtime's hit television drama series, The L Word, a show
about the lives of a group of lesbians living in West Hollywood.
Kirshner was born in Toronto, Ontario, the daughter of Etti, an English-literature teacher, and Sheldon Kirshner, a journalist who wrote for The Canadian Jewish News. Kirshner is a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors; her father was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany in 1946 and met Kirshner's mother, a Bulgarian Jewish refugee, in Israel. Kirshner had a middle class upbringing and studied Russian literature and 20th-century movie industry at McGill University in Montreal.
In 1993, Mia played a dominatrix in Denys Arcand's Love and Human Remains and won a Genie nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. The following year, she starred in Atom Egoyan's Exotica. In 1996, she appeared in The Crow: City of Angels.
Mia appeared in the first three episodes of 24 as bisexual assassin Mandy in 2001. She would later reprise the role for the second season's finale and in the latter half of the show's fourth season. Also in 2001, Kirshner played Catherine Wyler, The Cruelest Girl in School, in Not Another Teen Movie. The character is primarily a spoof of Kathryn Merteuil (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) in Cruel Intentions, and partially based on Mackenzie Siler from She's All That. In Marilyn Manson's music video for "Tainted Love", which was featured on the movie's soundtrack, she makes a cameo appearance as her character Catherine Wyler.
In 2004, Kirshner was cast as author Jenny Schecter, a lesbian main character in the drama series The L Word for the show's six seasons through 2009.
In 2006, Mia starred in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia, alongside Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Swank. Kirshner plays a young aspiring actress, Elizabeth Short, who was mysteriously mutilated and murdered in 1947.
In October 2008, Mia published the book I Live Here which she co-produced with ex-Adbusters staffers Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons, as well as writer James MacKinnon. In the book, women and children refugees from places such as Chechnya, Juárez and Malawi tell their life stories. The book features original material from well-known comic and graphic artists including Joe Sacco and Phoebe Gloeckner. It was published in the U.S by Random House/Pantheon. It was supported logistically by Amnesty International, which will receive proceeds from the book.
Mia was ranked #43 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2002.
Mia Kirshner and Beverly Polcyn were nominated for Best Kiss at the 2002 MTV
Movie Awards for Not Another Teen Movie.
This Mia Kirshner Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub