Mia Kirshner

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Mia Kirshner
Mia Kirshner Comic-Con 2012.jpg
Kirshner at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International.
Born(1975-01-25) January 25, 1975 (age 40)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
OccupationActress, activist, writer
Years active1989–present
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Mia Kirshner
Mia Kirshner Comic-Con 2012.jpg
Kirshner at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International.
Born(1975-01-25) January 25, 1975 (age 40)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
OccupationActress, activist, writer
Years active1989–present

Mia Kirshner (born January 25, 1975) is a Canadian actress, writer and social activist who works in movies and television series. She is known for her role as Jenny Schecter on the cable TV series The L Word (2004–2009), and for her recurring guest role as the terrorist Mandy on the TV series 24 (2001–2005).

Early life[edit]

Kirshner was born in Toronto, Ontario, the daughter of Etti, a teacher, and Sheldon Kirshner, a journalist who wrote for The Canadian Jewish News.[1][2] Kirshner is a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors;[3] her father was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany in 1946, and met Kirshner's mother, a Bulgarian Jewish refugee, in Israel.[3] Kirshner's paternal grandparents were Jews from Poland.[4][5] Kirshner had a middle class upbringing[6] and attended Forest Hill Collegiate Institute but later graduated from the Jarvis Collegiate Institute. Kirshner studied Russian literature and 20th-century movie industry at McGill University in Montreal. Her younger sister, Lauren Kirshner, a writer, was involved in the I Live Here project.[7]


Kirshner found a talent agent at the age of 12, and was acting professionally by the age of 15.[citation needed] She made her film debut in 1993 in Denys Arcand's Love and Human Remains. She convinced her father to sign a "nudity waiver" to play a dominatrix.[8] Kirshner won a Genie nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.[citation needed] The following year, she starred in Atom Egoyan's Exotica. In 1996, she appeared in The Crow: City of Angels.

Kirshner also appeared in the first three episodes of 24 as the 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.[citation needed] 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 was partially based on Mackenzie Siler (played by Anna Paquin) from She's All That. In Marilyn Manson's music video for "Tainted Love", which was featured on the movie's soundtrack, she made a cameo appearance as her character Catherine Wyler.

In 2004, Kirshner was cast as author Jenny Schecter, a main character in the drama series The L Word. She remained with the show for all of the show's six seasons through 2009.[9]

In 2006, she starred in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia in which she plays the young aspiring actress, Elizabeth Short, who was mysteriously mutilated and murdered in 1947. While the film itself was critically panned, many reviews singled out her performance for acclaim.[10][11][12][13] Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com, in a largely negative review, notes that the eponymous character was "played wonderfully by Mia Kirshner..."[14] Mick LaSalle wrote that Kirshner "makes a real impression of the Dahlia as a sad, lonely dreamer, a pathetic figure."[15] J. R. Jones described her performance as "haunting" and that the film's fictional screen tests "deliver the emotional darkness so lacking in the rest of the movie."[16] In 2010, Kirshner co-starred in the film 30 Days of Night: Dark Days which began filming in the fall of 2009.[17] In 2010, she was cast as Isobel Flemming, a guest role on The Vampire Diaries.[9]

In 2011, she voiced the title character in Bear 71, a National Film Board of Canada web documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.[18][19]

On April 20, 2012, it was announced that Kirshner would join the new Syfy series Defiance.[20]

On October 9, 2013, it was mentioned on the Showcase blog that Kirshner would be one of several guest stars in season four of the television series Lost Girl.[21]


In October 2008, after seven years in production,[22] Kirshner published the book I Live Here,[23] which she co-produced with ex-Adbusters staffers Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons,[24] as well as writer James MacKinnon. In the book, four different groups of women and children refugees from places such as Chechnya, Juárez, Burma 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. After the release of the book, the Center for International Studies at MIT invited Kirshner to run a 4-week course on I Live Here in January 2009.[25]

In popular culture[edit]

Kirshner was ranked #43 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2002.[26] She and Beverly Polcyn were nominated for Best Kiss at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards for Not Another Teen Movie.[27] In 2011 it was announced that Kirshner would be the face of Monica Rich Kosann's jewelry collection.


Kirshner in September 2009, during interview


1993Love and Human RemainsBenita
Cadillac GirlsPage
1995Murder in the FirstAdult Rosetta Young
Grass Harp, TheThe Grass HarpMaude Riordan
1996Crow: City of Angels, TheThe Crow: City of AngelsSarah
1997Anna KareninaPrincess Yekaterina Alexandrovna Shcherbatsky, "Kitty"
Mad CityLaurie Callahan
Out of the ColdDeborah Berkowitz
2000James DraminskiJames DraminskiShort film
InnocentsDominique Denright
Cowboys and AngelsCandice
2001Century HotelDominique
According to SpencerMelora
Not Another Teen MovieCatherine Wyler
2002New Best FriendAlicia Campbell
Now & ForeverAngela Wilson
2003Party MonsterNatasha
2005Iris Effect, TheThe Iris EffectRebecca
2006The Black DahliaElizabeth Short
2008Miss ConceptionClem
201030 Days of Night: Dark DaysLilithVideo
2011388 Arletta AvenueAmy
2012Barrens, TheThe BarrensCynthia Vineyard
2013I Think I DoJulia


1989War of the WorldsJoEpisode: "Loving the Alien"
1990Danger BayCatherine WalkerEpisode: "Live Wires"
1990–1991Dracula: The SeriesSophie Metternich21 episodes
1991My Secret IdentityAlana PorterEpisode: "My Other Secret Identity"
1991Tropical HeatCathy PaigeEpisode: "Runaway"
1992Tropical HeatSandyEpisode: "Stranger in Paradise"
1992Road to AvonleaEmily Everett-SmytheEpisode: "High Society"
1992Are You Afraid of the Dark?Pam Pease / Dora PeaseEpisode: "The Tale of the Hungry Hounds"
1995Johnny's GirlAmy RossTV film
2001–200524Mandy3 episodes
2001–2002Wolf LakeRuby Cates9 episodes
2004–2009L Word, TheThe L WordJenny SchecterMain role (70 episodes)
200624: The GameMandy (voice)Video game
2007They Come BackFaith HardyTV film
2009Cleaner, TheThe CleanerApril MayEpisode: "Does Everybody Have a Drink?"
2009CSI: NYDeborah CarterEpisode: "Dead Reckoning"
2010–presentVampire Diaries, TheThe Vampire DiariesIsobel Flemming6 episodes
2012Kiss at Pine LakeZoe McDowellTV film
2013Surrogacy Trap, TheThe Surrogacy TrapChristy BennettTV film
2013GracelandAshika PearlEpisode: "Pizza Box"
2013–presentDefianceKenya Rosewater15 episodes
2013Lost GirlClio3 episodes
2014Reluctant WitnessErin VillenueveTV film, pre-production

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mia Kirshner surprised by character in 'Mad City' film". News Tribune. 1997-11-15. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  2. ^ http://www.cjnews.com/index.php?q=node/108220
  3. ^ a b "Mia Kirshner basks in an erotic mystery". Thelwordonline.com. 2004-04-05. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  4. ^ "Film Rap: Mia Kirshner – I Live Here". The Warren Report. 2008-11-26. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  5. ^ Kirshner, Sheldon (2009-08-19). "Buildings in the former Lodz Ghetto still stand". Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  6. ^ Aurthur, Kate (2008-10-19). "Mia Kirshner backs up her commitment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  7. ^ "'Give yourself permission to write'". the Varsity (University of Toronto). 2009-09-24. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  8. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (March 16, 2009). "Mia Kirshner Documents A Different ‘L’ Word: Living". Baltimore Jewish Times. Retrieved June 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Ausiello, Michael (December 21, 2009). "Exclusive: 'Vampire Diaries' lures 'L Word' babe Mia Kirshner". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  10. ^ Stephanie Zacharek (2006-09-15). "The Black Dahlia". Salon.com. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  11. ^ Mick LaSalle (2006-09-15). "'Black Dahlia' may look good, but it's noir lite". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  12. ^ J. R. Jones (2006-08-29). "The Black Dahlia". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  13. ^ Timothy Brayton (2007-09-18). "In This Corner: The Most Notorious Unsolved Murder In California History". Antagony & Ecstasy. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  14. ^ Stephanie Zacharek (2006-09-15). "The Black Dahlia". Salon.com. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  15. ^ Mick LaSalle (2006-09-15). "'Black Dahlia' may look good, but it's noir lite". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  16. ^ J. R. Jones (2006-08-29). "The Black Dahlia". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  17. ^ "BD's Got Your '30 Days of Night: Dark Days' Casting!". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  18. ^ Monk, Katherine (Postmedia News). "Sundance: Interactive film, Bear 71, blurs lines between wild and wired". canada.com. Retrieved 25 January 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. ^ Makarechi, Kia (24 January 2012). "'Bear 71': Interactive Film At Sundance Tells Dark Side Of Human Interaction With Wildlife". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  20. ^ http://www.deadline.com/2012/04/mia-kirshner-and-fionnula-flanagan-join-syfy-series-defiance/
  21. ^ http://www.showcase.ca/blogs/3127/lost-girl-makes-a-fierce-return-with-its-fourth-season-exclusively-on-showcase
  22. ^ "Tavis Smiley Show". Tavis Smiley Show – Mia Kirshner. December 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  23. ^ "I Live Here Foundation". I-live-here.com. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  24. ^ "The Goggles". The Goggles. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  25. ^ "MIT CIS: IAP 2009, I Live Here, Mia Kirshner". IAP COURSE: I Live Here—A Human Rights Multimedia Project. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  26. ^ "FreeJose.com". Maxim Magazine Hot 100 Women of 2002. Retrieved April 19, 2007. 
  27. ^ "About.com". Best Kiss nomination, 2002 MTV Movie Awards. Retrieved June 1, 2007. 

External links[edit]