Mia Kirshner

Active - 1993 - 2020  |   Born - Jan 25, 1975 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy Drama, Thriller, Comedy

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Biography by Rebecca Flint Marx

Canadian actress Mia Kirshner is known in her native country and beyond for her portrayals of moderately to deeply troubled young women who often harbor dark secrets. Born in Toronto in 1975, where she was raised by a journalist father and a teacher mother, Kirshner broke into films in 1993. That year, she starred as a bad seed teenager intent on seducing her mother's boyfriend in Cadillac Girls and played a dominatrix in Denys Arcand's Love and Human Remains.

Kirshner had another career breakthrough the following year playing a young stripper with a surprising past identity in Atom Egoyan's widely acclaimed Exotica. The actress' work in the celebrated film attracted the notice of American casting agents, who promptly cast her in supporting roles in Murder in the First (1995) and the Southern gothic coming-of-age tale The Grass Harp (also 1995). Although she subsequently won lead roles in The Crow: City of Angels (1996) -- in which she played up her dark Goth looks as the tattoo artist who befriends Vincent Perez -- and Mad City (1997), which cast her as journalist Dustin Hoffman's intern, Kirshner has had difficulty making a name for herself in Hollywood. She continues to appear in both lead and supporting roles in such independent and/or small features as Saturn (1999), a drama that cast her as the hedonistic girlfriend of a young man (Scott Caan) caring for his Alzheimer's-stricken father. Keeping busy well into the new millennium, Kirshner would later appear in the real-time television series 24, as well as Not Another Teen Movie (both 2001), a parody of the recent wave of high school themed films. A featured role in the popular Showtime series The L Word found Kirshner continuing to court success on the small screen, and in 2006 she would head back to the big screen as the ill-fated actress who sparks a legendary Hollywood investigation in director Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia. Kirshner woudl spend the next several years earrning acclaim for her roles on The L Word and The Vamprie Diaries, as well as movies like 30 Days of Night.

Movie Highlights

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  • Was an unbilled extra in 1990's The Freshman.
  • Studied Russian literature in college.
  • First starring film role was 1993's Love and Human Remains, directed by Denys Arcand.
  • Appeared in Marilyn Manson's 2001 music video for "Tainted Love" as her Not Another Teen Movie character Catherine Wyler. 
  • Portrayed the quirky Jenny Schecter on all six seasons of The L Word.
  • Took on the title role of Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia (2006) based on James Ellroy's true crime novel about the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short.
  • Coauthored the book I Live Here in 2008, which depicts the hardships of women and children in four different parts of the world.