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Mia Kirshner Bio
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).
Kirshner was born in Toronto, Ontario, the daughter of Etti, a 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’s paternal grandparents were Jews from Poland. Kirshner had a middle class upbringing 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.
Kirshner found a talent agent at the age of 12, and was acting professionally by the age of 15. 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. Kirshner 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.
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. 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.
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. Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com, in a largely negative review, notes that the eponymous character was “played wonderfully by Mia Kirshner…” Mick LaSalle wrote that Kirshner “makes a real impression of the Dahlia as a sad, lonely dreamer, a pathetic figure.” 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.” In 2010, Kirshner co-starred in the film 30 Days of Night: Dark Days which began filming in The Fall of 2009. In 2010, she was cast as Isobel Flemming, a guest role on The Vampire Diaries.
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.
On April 20, 2012, it was announced that Kirshner would join the new Syfy series Defiance.
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.
Mia Kirshner (age: 44) is a Canadian actress known for Lost Girl, her role as Jenny Schecter on The L Word, as Mandy on the TV series 24.