Mia stars as "Jenny" on Showtime's series "The L Word", a lesbian based genre that resembles a setting of the famous series "Sex & The City." 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.
Born in Toronto on January 25, 1976, Mia Kirshner was raised in Canada's largest city by her Bulgarian-born mother, Etti, an English teacher, and her German-born father, Sheldon, a journalist for The Canadian Jewish News. Her initial interest in following in her father's line of work was redirected toward acting after watching Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. Kirshner's first onscreen appearance came as an extra in The Freshman (1990), starring Matthew Broderick and Marlon Brando, an experience that she found quite grueling. Undeterred, she appeared that same year on the small screen for a full season of Dracula: The Series, and racked up several other Canadian and American television credits before segueing into film.
From the beginning, Kirshner's dark beauty led her toward roles ranging from disturbed to diabolically enticing. After portraying a rebellious teenager intent on seducing her mother's boyfriend in Cadillac Girls (1993), two provocative roles under Canadian directors established her reputation: the dominatrix in Denys Arcand's Love & Human Remains (1993), and the youthful stripper with a surprising past in Atom Egoyan's highly-lauded Exotica (1994).
Although her onscreen career was underway, she continued her education by attending Montreal's McGill University to study 19th Century Russian Literature with a minor in film. All the while, the modest actress kept her film career to herself and avoided answering questions about her future. But the ravishing thespian's work in Exotica attracted the attention of American casting agents, who promptly got her supporting roles in Murder in the First and the Southern coming-of-age tale, The Grass Harp (both 1995). She subsequently won a lead role in The Crow: City of Angels (1996), in which she took advantage of her Goth looks to portray a tattoo artist sporting an angel-wing tattoo across her back that drove male viewers loco.
When Kirshner showed up for her Mad City audition in 1996, she was late, underdressed and unprepared to meet the movie's stars, Dustin Hoffman and John Travolta. She became nervous, stretching a hole in her jeans and talking incessantly, but unable to look anyone in the eye. Luckily, her shyness was a blessing: she was reading for the part of a nervous and eager TV reporter, and everyone in the room thought she was talking to them in character.
Since Mad City (1997), Kirshner has had the luxury of taking the time to pick and choose her projects. She continued to appear in both lead and supporting roles in such independent and/or small features as Saturn (1999), a drama that cast her as a hedonistic girlfriend, as well as Out of the Cold (1999), Cowboys and Angels (2000) and Century Hotel (2001). Keeping busy well into the new millennium, Kirshner appeared as a bomb-toting hijacker in the first season of 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 and also starring Lacey Chabert and Jaime Pressly.
In The Sky Is Green, set for release in 2004, Kirshner plays Mara alongside an all-star cast including Vince Vaughn, Steve Buscemi and Saffron Burrows. And numerous episodes of a Showtime drama to debut in the January 2004 season, The L Word, have already been shot. In the cable series, Kirshner stars as a woman of dubious sexuality, a trait she has titillated her loyal fans with many times before.
Currently living in Los Angeles, Mia still likes to keep her private life private. She's a lover of dance, and keeps in shape by taking classes in ballroom dancing, salsa and jazz.
More fun facts about Mia Kirshner
Height 5' 3½" (1.61 m)
Played Sarah Logan in the pilot for the TV show "D.C." (2000) but the role was later re-cast.
The "Stuff" magazine cover she did with Chyler Leigh was the first time that magazine ever featured multiple people on the cover.
Ranked #38 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World" (2002).
Kirshner was studying Russian literature at McGill University when she was cast in the 1997 feature Anna Karenina.
Is known in her native country and beyond for her portrayals of moderately to deeply troubled young women who often harbor dark secrets.
Spent her allowances on pictures at Sears so she could send them out and try to get an agent.
Keeps a low social profile. Her classmates didn't even know she had made a movie until the trailer for EXOTICA was shown during the television series BEVERLY HILLS , 90210.
Is one of thoses actors whom chooses not to watch their movies when Starred in the Golden Globe nominated series '24.'
Was inspired by Steven Spielberg's JAWS at a tender young age.
Directed a short film, VICTOR, about a drag queen and his search for love in a very hard, cold, sexualized world.
Grew up as a tomboy.
Nominated for Best Kiss at MTV Movie Awards for NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE (2002) – shared wirth Beverly Polcyn
Mia Kirshner's Quotation:
On her sex preferences: "It’s not me to sleep with loads of men, but I do believe in having different experiences. At the end of the day, the nicest thing is the old-fashioned one-on-one."
"My first job was a bike-safety video. I was wearing jeans basically up to my breasts and sweaters tucked into my pants, which I thought was supercool. I cycled around Toronto showing how to signal from your bike."
"It's so much harder to keep your clothes on than take them off in this business. Even in Exotica, they wanted more nudity, but I didn't feel comfortable." -Mia Kirshner, on nudity
Mia Kirshner's dark characters
As the sun rises, an exotic beauty scrambles up a mountaintop in Morocco. It could be a scene out of Fox's espionage series, 24, but it's actually Mia Kirshner's "what I did last summer" story: "There were four men in the group I was climbing with, and none of them thought I could do it. I think they were shocked to see me up there. It was such a great 'Screw you.' "
But don't you dare compare this actress to the badass babe she plays on TV. The tragedies of September 11 have given Kirshner a whole new perspective on her character, Mandy, an assassin tracked by the show's hero, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). "I had to drive back from Vancouver to Los Angeles--20 hours--so all I was doing in the car was reading the profiles of the hijackers, and it actually made me a little sick to be going back to play this character." (Note to Fox execs: Kirshner still loves the series. She says, "I'm proud to be a part of something that smart.")
Taking the road less traveled is a specialty for Canadian-born Kirshner. Until recently, she was best known for her art-house roles as a dominatrix in Love & Human Remains and an exotic dancer in Atom Egoyan's Exotica. That is, until she was cast in both 24 and the CBS series Wolf Lake. Briefly, she stood on the bizarre cusp as one of a few actors starring in simultaneous series on rival networks--and then Wolf Lake howled its last. But the combo casting did bring her some well-deserved recognition.
Kirshner got a bit of comic relief recently with her role as Catherine, the cruelest girl in school, in Not Another Teen Movie. This year, she stars as the object of Jesse Bradford's (Bring It On) affection in the romantic comedy According to Spencer. But these roles were a detour rather than a new direction for the intense actress.
Kirshner gets her dark groove back with the murderous Mary Jane's Last Dance, a sort of collegiate Single White Female. "There must be something I like about these darker characters, because I keep going back to them."
There's also something about Kirshner. And we're betting audiences will keep going back for more.
Actress Mia Kirshner Wants To Have Lesbian Sex - On Film
Sexy Canadian actress Mia Kirshner has revealed that her fantasy is to act in "a sensual scene" with another woman. Kirshner is very definite when it comes to who she wants to be her onscreen lover. She says, "I think Jennifer Lopez is very sexy, but she gives off no bi-experimental jibe. What makes a woman sensual to me is that she seems willing to explore. There's something naughty in that - that she's not afraid to do bad things."
Mia Kirshner: Dark Angel
Looking beyond her incredibly appealing face and physique, Mia lights up the screen, big or small, in whatever role she inhabits. Although the projects she's chosen may not be household titles, she always displays ample... talent. It all started a decade ago when she landed two provocative roles, both under Canadian directors: a dominatrix in Denys Arcand's Love & Human Remains and a young stripper in Atom Egoyan's Exotica. She also appeared on several episodes of 24, and on a lighter note, starred in Not Another Teen Movie.
A quick look at Mia Kirshner's angelic face and body raises a question: why haven't you seen more of her? One glance at her resume soon reveals the answer; she has taken the route of the actress, not the movie star, choosing projects such as Exotica, The Crow: City of Angels and Saturn for their artistic opportunities, not their blockbuster potential.
If you haven't seen her in film, you might have caught her in some men's magazines, as Mia has received loads of attention for her near perfect looks. And rightly so -- this gal's a total babe, in the classic sense. If you haven't seen her in film, you might have caught her in some men's magazines, as Mia has received loads of attention for her near perfect looks. And rightly so -- this gal's a total babe, in the classic sense.
But Kirshner's more than a pretty face. Her acting talent has been highly respected in the biz by filmmakers and actors alike, since her breakout role as a young stripper with an unlikely past in Atom Egoyan's well-received Exotica in 1994. Almost ten years later and she's still at it, with turns as women of dubious morals and/or sexuality that have garnered her almost universal praise. These performances have also given her the opportunity to work with some of the industry's movers and shakers -- John Travolta, Marlon Brando and Dustin Hoffman among them -- and with experience like that, she's well positioned to see her stock rise.
This winter's new TV series, The L Word, in which she'll play a sexy lesbian, probably won't hurt her image with applauding peers and salivating fans either. When everybody likes you, it's only a matter of time until everyone knows you. Mia Kirshner downplayed her film career while in university, and she still gets nervous in front of crowds. She doesn't enjoy watching herself onscreen (she's probably alone there), preferring to move on to her next project. Instead of shy, some have mistakenly called her aloof, but we certainly don't find her that way in interviews.
Despite moving from Canada to Los Angeles, Kirshner seems determined to stay grounded, remaining close to her parents and friends in Toronto. "People are the most important thing," she has said. "The rest is just confetti." Mia has received nothing but praise for her performances, and has been choosing her roles judiciously, taking the actor's high road over the more predictable movie star route.
It has been her physical assets -- her gorgeous face, soulfully sweet blue eyes, and tight body -- that have, so far, brought Mia the most renown. Photo spreads and interviews in Razor, Maxim, Gear, FHM, and Stuff in the past five years have put her on (or at least close to) the tips of guys' tongues. And the fact that many of her roles have been sexual in nature -- even if they're often unconventional or twisted -- helps get our minds moving in the right direction.
If it can be considered an accomplishment, Kirshner might soon become the next "Most Downloaded Woman on the Internet" -- well, at least she deserves to be. Despite all her exposure though, she's still not exactly a household name. But her magazine spreads have revealed Mia as every bit the vision she has incarnated time and again since her breakout role nearly 10 years ago as a teen stripper in Exotica. And men across the continent picked their jaws up off the cinema floor during her red-hot appearance in 2001's Not Another Teen Movie, in which she played a schoolgirl with bisexual tendencies (spoofing Sarah Michelle Gellar's role in Cruel Intentions).
Kirshner has made a career of playing opportunistic temptresses, as in Cadillac Girls, Saturn and Century Hotel. And her sex appeal has only been enhanced by the dubious sexuality of many of her characters. She played bisexual naughty girls in New Best Friend (2002) and several episodes of TV's 24, and will be seduced to the lesbian side in the new Showtime drama, The L Word, debuting in January 2004.
She has worked with many greats of the movie industry, and with her talent and beauty, she could jump to the A-list if she chooses more commercial projects. Mia Kirshner has had many different looks thanks to different makeup artists, but it's a wonder she wears any cosmetics at all with her classic bone structure and perfectly shaped eyes. Her trim and delicate yet unwaifish body seems just the right shape to get men's fingers twitching -- on their mouse buttons, of course. Mia gravitates toward strappy or strapless little black dresses to show off (and why not?) her shoulders and sculpturesque collarbone. For a woman who typically plays offbeat characters, she favors a tasteful, classic look rather than anything too daring. In most photo shoots, thankfully, she wears very little.
Mia Kirshner: The New Face of Bisexuals on TV?
For most people, the name "Mia Kirshner" doesn't ring a bell. But in the last two years, Kirshner has played more bisexual characters on film and television than just about any other Hollywood actress.
The Canadian actress first broke into Hollywood through a part in 1993's Love and Human Remains, in a memorable turn as a dominatrix. Kirshner's real breakout role, however, came at seventeen as the star of 1994's Exotica--the first of her bisexual roles--as teen stripper Christina. Smaller parts in larger movies began to beckon shortly thereafter, including The Crow: City of Angels, Anna Karenina, and Murder in the First with Christian Slater and Kevin Bacon.
Along the way, however, Kirshner majored in Russian Literature at McGill University - and by the late 90's began her professional major in dysfunctional, oversexed characters by taking on a series of "bad girl" roles in movies that flopped or were barely noticed (like Dark Summer, Saturn, and Century Hotel).
In most of these films, her characters were overly sexual teenagers who could politely be called "opportunistic." Since that is pretty much the definition of bisexuality in Hollywood, it was inevitable that Kirshner would end up playing bisexual roles.
The first of Kirshner's bisexual roles was in 2001's gross-out, satirical comedy Not Another Teen Movie, in which Kirshner's virgin-whore Catholic school girl character attempts to seduce both her brother and an elderly woman (in a spoof on Sarah Michelle Gellar's character in Cruel Intentions.)
Then in 2002's critically reviled teen thriller New Best Friend, Kirshner starred as Alicia, an evil bisexual girl who uses sex to manipulate everyone around her - including Dominique Swain's bisexual character. In true Hollywood fashion, Kirshner's character does not come to a very good end.
Finally, in the 2001-2002 television season, Kirshner appeared in the first season of the Fox television series 24 as secret assassin Mandy, who is yet another manipulative bisexual woman (but at least this time she's not a teenager).
Although she has also played several heterosexual characters, as well, Kirshner obviously has the manipulative-bisexual role down to a science - and if she just continued along this vein she would not garner much praise from lesbian and bisexual viewers.
But now Kirshner is set to star in the upcoming Showtime series The L Word, about a group of lesbian friends in LA, and although it is unclear whether her character is bisexual or a lesbian, we can at least be assured that no one will end up dead or in jail this time (at least not right away).
The pilot premise follows Kirshner's character Jenny, who moves to L. A. with her boyfriend, goes to a dinner party hosted by her new lesbian neighbors, and is inducted in "the life" by Karina Lombard's character, Marina.
How Kirshner adjusts to playing a lesbian/bisexual character who isn't evil remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: if The L Word enjoys even a fraction of the success Queer as Folk has achieved, by this time next year Mia Kirshner will be a household name. Well, in gay households, at least. And Kirshner's days of playing deviant, murderous bisexuals may finally be behind her.
Mia Kirshner: The L World
This is not a centerfold. Mia Kirshner, the shy, cerebral star of Showtime's new lesbian drama, The L Word, does not want to be the object of your desire.
Forget the sultry photos you see alongside these words. Never mind Mia Kirshner's raven-haired, almost Gothic beauty. Pay no attention to the twenty-nine- year-old actress's long string of sexually charged roles, which have included a stripper in the acclaimed Exotica , a bisexual schoolgirl in Not Another Teen Movie , a dominatrix in Love and Human Remains , and a seductive assassin on TV's 24 . Kirshner—emphatically—does not want to be the object of your lust. Ask her a question about sex and she turns subzero frosty. "I'm really uncomfortable talking about sex and centerfold questions," she says. So skip the photos and get to know the actress, who's intelligent, well-read, and strangely shy. She's currently starring in Showtime's The L Word , an ensemble drama about a group of gay women in L. A.
ESQ: Why is gay so big in TV these days?
MK: I guess it's about time. It's sort of insane that it's become fashionable, though. But I'm so sick of the term "a gay show." At the end of the day, you're still dealing with issues that heterosexuals deal with: love and relationships.
ESQ: The L Word is pretty racy. What gives you the confidence to do nude scenes?
MK: I believe in why they should be there. I believed in the scenes, so it became easy. Watching it with my parents was another matter. . . . I turned the sound down and told them not to look. I'm still my daddy's little girl, I guess.
ESQ: Are provocative magazine pictorials like this irrelevant when someone can turn on Showtime and see, uh, a bit more?
MK: I'm not quite sure how to answer that question. I'm very proud of my work, and I don't want to be treated like some sort of centerfold.
ESQ: You were an extra on the set of 1990's The Freshman . Can you give me your best Brando story?
MK: I wasn't allowed near him or Matthew [Broderick], so I watched them from afar. It was made clear to us by the people on the set that we should stay far away in the extras pen.
ESQ: Could you have become more famous if you went after more mainstream roles?
MK: I don't seem to gravitate to that stuff. I gravitate toward projects where I feel the writing is strong and where I respect the director. I've never looked for a career that will enhance my financial status. I've never been a careerist.
ESQ: The roles you play seem to have similarities. Do you feel you're the victim of typecasting?
MK: I feel that I've had the opportunity to play rich characters. I've never played a wife or someone's girlfriend. I've never been just an appendage. I think the only typecasting—to use your word—is that my roles tend to be a bit darker.
ESQ: We hear you enjoy a prank. Any from The L Word ?
MK: Yeah, we were always playing jokes on one another—just extremely immature shenanigans. We'd attach toilet paper [to other cast members] so they would have long tails dragging behind them. Really mature, huh?
ESQ: Speaking of which, would you punk Ashton Kutcher? Please?
MK: I don't think you're the only one who wants him punked. I wholeheartedly agree that someone needs to kick his ass.
Chris Evans and Mia Kirshner: Not Another Teen Movie
Chris Evans plays Jake Wyler, ("The Popular Jock") and Mia Kirshner plays Catherine ("The Cruelest Girl") in Columbia Pictures' 'Not Another Teen Movie'. This film pokes fun at some of the best and worst movies made in the teen angst/romantic/comedy genre. Mia got her start in the Canadian indie films, 'Love & Human Remains' and 'Exotica'. This is Chris' first feature film.
Question: Did you watch all of the films that are included in this before you started making it?
Mia: Ironically, I came close on many of the teen films that are spoofed in the film - I was very close on 'She's All That' and 'Clueless'. For myself, I watched 'Cruel Intentions' a lot and I actually read the original script and I really wanted to play that character very badly, but I just didn't get the part.
Chris: I had probably seen most of the ones from the 90's in the theater, to be honest. I was much younger when they came out, so I was probably right in that demographic. I haven't seen a lot of the ones from the 80's. I've seen 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' and things like that, but I haven't seen too many of the John Hughes' films.
Question: 'The Breakfast Club' - you never saw that?
Chris: I've seen bit and pieces - never the whole thing straight through.
Question: But you've seen all the Freddie Prinze Jr. movies and that's what matters.
Question: Did you guys ever run into any of the characters you're spoofing or do you know any of them?
Chris: I have a couple of buddies who've worked with Freddie and Sarah and they say they're all right people.
Mia: We realize that Freddie Prinze and Sarah Michelle Gellar are married now which is funny because our characters...
Chris: ...our characters spoof Freddie Prinze and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Question: Do you know what they think of the movie?
Question: How about 'Grease'?
Mia: I loved 'Grease'! Oh my god, I wanted to be Stockard Channing. Nobody wants to be Sandra Dee.
Question: Was it fun doing the singing and dancing?
Mia: Chris is amazing.
Chris: Oh, stop it.
Mia: In the first rehearsal, this guy comes in looking like Mr. Boston homeboy. The first thing he tells me is that he knows how to tap-dance, and I think he's pulling my leg. But Chris (I'm sorry to talk about you while you're here) is a phenomenal dancer. I couldn't learn the routine - it was so easy, the routine that we were supposed to learn. But I am dumb when it comes to learning dance steps.
Chris: No, it wasn't an easy routine - everyone had trouble with it.
Mia: It was a pretty easy routine. You and Jaime learned it like that and Chris would have to show me the steps and he's a gentleman and would practice with me. And his voice is incredible - he just knocked it right off when we went into the studio.
Chris: Thanks, Mia. You'd be amazed what they can do with that much equipment. I actually went in there sounding like crap and they did do wonders. And Mia came right along with the dancing. It was not easy - and it was so long. They only put like 10 seconds of it in the movie, but it was a long dance.
Mia: None of us come from (except for Chris) a background of musical theater. So on the day when we had to shoot the musical number, I guess a lot of us forgot that we had to sing and dance at the same time. I was so focused on getting these dance steps right, I was like "Oh my god, I actually have to sing at the same time." Which everything goes to hell now because I definitely can't do that. The combination of the whole cast came across as Special Olympics dancing.
Question: Do you have trouble watching yourselves on film?
Mia: I think I'm just dull - I would rather watch other people.
Chris: I agree - not that I agree you're dull. You are your own worst critic, though. No one's going to critique it like you are. So, it's awkward to watch, but I think in this movie they break it up nicely - it's not like there's a long chunk of time with anyone. There are a lot of subplots going on, so they mix it up real well.
Question: How did you each get involved in this project? Mia you've got film experience, but you [Chris] don't have quite as much.
Chris: I don't have any.
Mia: He slept with the director.
Chris: I do what I've gotta do.
Mia: He's young, he'll learn. He doesn't need to do that any more.
Question: Did you both audition?
Mia: Yes, I auditioned. Right after I auditioned, the casting director mouthed, "You got it." That never happens. Then it was like one of these Lana Turner moments where a couple of days later I saw the same casting director, who said, "You got the part." I said, "What are you talking about? I haven't heard anything about this." Then the director said yes right away and it was really nice cause I hadn't done a studio film in a while. And I was really excited to be working with everybody and doing a comedy because certainly, in terms of my own film experience, I'm definitely use to morose and very heavy, heavy dramas.
Question: With what some people call gross-out humor, were there times when you looked at the script and went, "Oh, my goodness"?
Mia: Everybody had a really gross scene to do, so I guess we were all in it together and at the end of the day - I think we all have scenes where we watched and go, "Oh my god. How could I do this?" But you can't do that when you're filming it. With my scene in particular, it was Sadie's (Beverly, the woman who I have to French kiss) that was her very first French kiss. So, that's actually what made me nervous - was that I wanted to give her a good kiss. Because she was 80-something years old and you want her to feel like she had an awesome first French kiss.
Question: I was going to ask how old she was.
Mia: I'm not sure - we don't really talk about it, but she has more energy than all of us combined. I wish she was here; she's really an amazing woman.
Question: Were there saliva effects in that scene?
Mia: Nope, those are not special effects. We had stuff in our mouth, but there was nothing digital - it was all, what we did on the day is what you see on the screen.
Question: How many takes did you have to do to get that?
Mia: A lot. I swear - I was sitting in a restaurant and somebody came up to me and said, "I loved that kiss and it was so gross." And then I was sitting in the audience and the kiss came on and the audience was [screaming] and I was like, "Oh my god, I went to theater school and this is what I'm going to be known for - kissing this older woman."
Question: If Mia's going to be known for "the kiss", then Chris, you're known for the whipped cream bikini. How do you feel about that?
Chris: You've gotta do it. Mia had the kiss; Chyler had that scene at the beginning with the dildo. Anyway, everyone had their awkward scene, and I knew it was coming. I was lucky - it was just with Chyler. If it was with a lot of the actors, it would have been a bit more awkward, but it was just Chyler and she's pretty easy-going. You've just got to suck it up really.
Question: Lot of people standing around watching the scene?
Chris: They weren't supposed to. I think on days like that, you're supposed to have a stripped set, but there were some guys peeking around the corner. It was a fun day - after the first twenty minutes are past, you get used to it. Well, you don't get used to it, but...
Question: How was it working with director Joel Gallen, because he's not really used to doing features?
Mia: Joel is wonderful. Joel rocks and I wish Joel were here, because a whole movie should be made about Joel. He's charming and fastidious in his attention to detail and he's constantly stressed out. You have to play tricks on him. So Chris and I turned into a bit of pranksters. We actually called the writer this morning, because he can also get stressed out sometimes, but is a great guy. We called him at 6:30 this morning and Chris said, "Dude, we've been telling everybody... What did you say?"
Chris: The movie comes out on the 21st instead of on the 14th. I can't believe that we went to 5 cities and told everybody the wrong date.
Mia: We said that people kept on saying it's the 14th.
Chris: So we kept correcting them, saying it was the 21st.
Mia: He was so pissed off.
Chris: He bought it though. Seriously, it was a great set. Joel's a great guy, so great to work with from an actor's point of view. He's open to any suggestions. To him, the actors come first. It was such a pleasure.
Question: Was there a lot of improvisation?
Chris: No. Joel likes sticking to the script - that's what rehearsal was for basically. To iron it out, so when it comes time to shoot we know what we're doing - we just do it. Maybe if Joel's feeling ridiculously out of sorts, he might let the scene go on for a couple of seconds just to see what we might do, but for the most part, just do what's on the paper.
Question: Chris, with this being your first film, was it everything you imagined?
Chris: Completely. I couldn't have picked a better film - it's funny, it's got a huge ensemble cast, and everyone got along ridiculously well. I keep saying it was like summer camp. I would have done it for free.
Question: How long a shoot was it and where?
Chris: From beginning of rehearsal to end of shooting, about three months. We did most of it in L.A. We shot a lot of the interior stuff on the Sony lot and then a lot of the stuff on location in local high schools.
Question: The soundtrack's also very cool. It's got a lot of good songs from the 80's redone.
Mia: Marilyn Manson just redid "Tainted Love" which they did the video for.
Chris: We all got to the do Marilyn Manson video and Mia actually had a great role in it. It's a good song and a good remix.
Question: Was Randy Quaid a nice guy?
Chris: Great guy - he's so talented, it was amazing. We'd do the same scene fifty different ways. He just knows comedy, inside out. He'll give you over-the-top, he'll give you subtle, he'll give you drunk and sober - he can just do everything. He's really down to earth, given the fact that he has such a resume - most of us are newcomers.
Question: Mia, you were saying earlier that you relish the chance to work in a comedy, because your other stuff is so dark. Was that part of the reason that you wanted to do this film?
Mia: Yes. I don't know anything about comedy and I have no idea what's funny and what's not and it's still one big mystery to me. I'm completely in awe of actors who are funny. So yeah, I was really happy to do something that I hadn't done before. But I still think, at the end of the day, I didn't play that character for laughs. The character takes herself very, very seriously - she's pretty pathetic.
Question: Were you worried about the rating of it?
Mia: They were. We almost actually got slapped with an NC-17 because of all the things my character says - all the anal references. They fixed that now, so it's fine.
Question: Did they cut anything?
Mia: No, they just made my character out of high school. So, it's fine to have anal sex as long as you're not in high school.
Question: Was this your first press junket?
Chris: I did one a couple of years ago for a TV series I did, but it wasn't nearly as busy - you go state-to-state doing a morning show and maybe a radio show, that's it. This is 10-10:15, 10:30, you're doing 30 to 40 interviews a day. It's much different.
Question: How many cities do you guys have?
Chris: Five cities. They split it up. They've got us in pairs - Chyler's with Eric, Jaime is with the other Eric, so we're all covering a bunch of cities.
Question: What do you guys have planned next after this?
Chris: I go back to L.A. and start working on a film called 'The Midsummer Night's Rave'. It's like 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' - it's just modernized. It's funny. Instead of the four lovers in the play going into the woods and falling in love with the wrong people, they go to a rave and take ecstasy and fall in love with the wrong people. They've done a good job of modernizing all the plots, so it all fits.
Mia: I need a break. I've been working for about a year and a half, so I'd like to go away for a while. I think I'd like to go to Pakistan. If I can hook it up, I'd really like to go. I think it's important to have some time off and do my own thing for a while.
Mia Kirshner as Mandy on 24
Toronto-born Mia Kirshner describes herself as "being goofy, with a fondness for pranks, and someone who always has had an interest in movies and acting ever since she could remember." Signs of a future in show business surfaced as early as elementary school when she directed a production of "Annie" for her fellow classmates...and made the cast sign contracts to ensure they wouldn't quit.
24 is one of the most innovative, thrilling and acclaimed dramas on television. In its first three seasons, the series has won Emmy Awards for writing and editing and has been nominated for 28 total Emmys, including three each for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Kiefer Sutherland. 24 also has received eight Golden Globe nominations, including four for Best Television Series - Drama (which it won last season); and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Drama for three years, with Sutherland winning once.
Created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, 24 retains its unique format in the fourth season. Each episode covers one hour of real time and the season's entire story will take place during one day, so that viewers again can follow characters through a single momentous day that none of them will ever forget.
In season three of 24, Jack Bauer (Sutherland), who was in charge of a special field operations unit of the Counter Terrorist Unit, fought to stop a viral terrorism threat before it could kill millions of people.
Season four begins 18 months later. CTU is now headed by Erin Driscoll (Alberta Watson), a steely government agent who made firing Bauer one of her first priorities. After the explosion of a commuter train, Bauer, who is now working for Secretary of Defense James Heller (William Devane) and is romantically involved with Heller's married daughter (Kim Raver), suddenly finds himself heading back to CTU for a meeting with Driscoll.
Mia Kirshner: One on One
Q: If you were offered the opportunity to live your life as another film person (actor, director, etc.) who would it be and why?
Mia Kirshner: Not worth it. It's been far too fun being me.
Q: What is the most bizarre experience you've had making a movie?
Every day is bizarre.
Q: What do you wish you could change about yourself and why?
Depends on the day.
Q: If you could work with any person in the film industry, past or present, actor, director or writer, who would it be and why?
Agnieszka Holland, Ang Lee, Montgomery Cliff.
Q: You've been hired to remake "Casablanca." Who do you cast in the leads and why?
Why remake this? Next question.
Q: Describe something in your career that you regret.
No regrets -- everything in life happens for a reason.
Q: What one person have you enjoyed working with the most?
Dustin Hoffman and Costa-Gavras.
Q: Of all the movies you have seen, which one made you the crankiest?
Q: What question do reporters and interviewers ask you that, when you come right down to it, is just really none of their goddamned business?
Nothing is sacred, right???
Q: Suddenly the film industry vanishes. What are you doing to make ends meet and do you enjoy it?
We both know that will never happen.
Mia Kirshner: Not Another Girl Interview
Yep—because this time we have two girls! Meet Mia Kirshner (right) and Chyler Leigh, stars of Not Another Teen Movie, which heaves a harpoon into hack high school flicks.
Teen movies used to be cool. Remember Sixteen Candles? The Breakfast Club? Howards End? They were laugh riots and taught us so much about life. Today we have Freddie Prinze Jr. in Summer Catch, She’s All That, Boys and Girls…We’d go on, but we’re getting queasy. In fact, experts predict that by the year 2025, teen movies will soon outnumber actual teens. No small feat, when you consider how quickly today’s teens are getting knocked up. That’s why we’re thankful for Not Another Teen Movie. Think of it as a mercifully Wayans-free Scary Movie, poking gentle fun at the whole Prinze Charming genre. Why else are we thankful for this movie? Because it gave us an excuse to interview its two mouthwatering stars, Mia Kirshner and Chyler Leigh. Here, they discuss their bedroom quirks, guys in clogs and how they like to be kissed. (Hint: Don’t wear clogs.)
Stuff: A hospitalized Stuff reader wrote to us from an underfunded children’s hospital that his dying wish was for me to hook up with two searingly hot women like yourselves. How can we make that poor little guy’s dream come true?
CHYLER: Guys should cut the bullsh*t. I don’t want to hear it. That is a real big turnoff. Just be honest. I don’t like lines.
MIA: Be bold, and get to the point. Life is too short, guys. And, yeah, skip those opening lines.
Screw him then. What kind of lame-o lines have you gotten?
C: I was at the Coffee Bean a month ago, and some guy went, “Come here often?” I picked up my drink and just walked out. I can’t even believe a man would really say that.
M: I am so disinterested in lines. I’d rather somebody just be brave and say exactly what they want.
Will you go in on a condo with me? Or would my overt sexiness get in the way of our friendship?
C: It’s extremely difficult for men and women to be friends because of the attraction factor. That really bit me in the ass in high school—just about all my guy friends ended up falling in love with me. I tend to be a pervert, so when guys hear that, they go along with it. It got me in trouble, I’ll say that.
Any parts of a guy’s body that you want to keep in a box under your bed?
C: I’m a big hands person. I like a guy who has nice hands. If I’m gonna see something touching me, I’d rather have it be really attractive than stubby.
M: The face. Wait…I’m not sure that’s true. Can I come back to this question?
Sorry, the moment has passed. What’s the worst part of a guy’s anatomy?
M: I think nonpedicured feet on a guy are not attractive.
I hear that, sister. Nary a day passes that I’m not buffing my cuticles. So, what weird quirks can a pretty-footed overnight guest expect from you?
M: I don’t like sleeping with my closet door open. That’s so weird—I realize that. And I like sleeping on white sheets. The sheets need to be white. It’s weird. What is that? I want to be more laid-back about that, but I’m not.
C: I hate spitting—I can’t handle that. I’m pretty good about burping, though.
That’s great. What can a guy do to incur your wrath?
C: Not listening, jumping to conclusions and not being very sensitive during my period. Be careful when you talk to a girl who’s on her period. We all should have to wear a red ribbon when we have our period so guys will know not to say the wrong thing.
M: I’m not open-minded about men who wear clogs.
Yeah. That’s just weird. You won’t catch me wearing anything on my feet but a conservative pair of slides. Tell us some of your other—how do you say in English?—turn-ons.
M: Old hotels. The architecture from the ’30s is really romantic. And because they’re so decayed, there’s something really raw about them, which I love.
C: Definitely candles. And really big dildos! A guy who knows how to kiss is really sexy. I would, for the most part, rather kiss than make love. It depends on the mood. If a guy can’t kiss, I don’t think he’d be very good in bed.
Hey, did that crush you had on another girl in your dorm during your freshman year ever come to fruition?
M: I’m not answering that. I’m sorry. Do people actually answer that kind of question?
C: I definitely had a good couple of crushes on girls in high school. Nothing really ever happened with them. I was too nervous about it to really go for it, but I was my best girlfriend’s first kiss when I was 14. I thought it was great.
I’m sorry, I must have blacked out for a moment. Tell us about some of your more challenging roles. Chyler, I would assume we should begin with the film Kickboxing Academy.
C: I hate it. It’s horrible. I’m very embarrassed. It was ridiculous. Whenever a friend tells me they saw it on HBO, I think, Oh, f*cking great.
M: My most embarrassing role would be The National Bike Test, which was an industrial video for bike safety. I demonstrated turn signals, and I wore a helmet that made me look like a hornet.
You haven’t mentioned your work as a dominatrix in Century Hotel. You bared your soul—among other things.
M: I was very naive about what a dominatrix was. At the time, I was working at a Christian camp as a volunteer, looking after 12-year-old kids.
That seems only natural. By the way, how do you feel about working nude—either in films or at a camp?
M: If the story calls for it, I think it’s perfectly acceptable. And I think if you’re gonna do it, do it with pride.
C: I won’t do it. I’m not that comfortable with my body in the sense of letting everybody else see it.
That seems selfish. Hey, it’s fun-fact time! Tell me the most interesting thing about you. Now!
C: I have four kids. I started when I was 10 years old and had my fourth when I was 13. And I’m high right now.
M: I like the word moist. And this is gonna sound crazy, but I don’t like the weather in Los Angeles.
Have you ever fibbed to make yourself sound more interesting?
M: A reporter once asked me, “How did you get started in this business?” And I said, “Porn.” Then I went into a long history of the porn that I’d done. Now people think I really started in porn.
C: I should lie to the press to make myself less boring. I’ve always wanted to join Greenpeace, which sounds like an actress-type lie.
Wow! That Greenpeace stuff would give anyone an outlaw edge. Any advice for our newly paroled readers? C: Men are so naive about women. We’re not really that difficult to figure out. Men move too fast. They should know that most of us are not gonna hook up with somebody on the first night. Oh, and don’t come up to me and say, “I saw you in Stuff magazine…you have really nice tits.” Don’t say anything about my boobs.
Exotic Mia Kirshner
Forget the sultry photos you see alongside these words. Never mind Mia Kirshner's raven-haired, almost Gothic beauty. Pay no attention to the twenty-nine-year-old actress's long string of sexually charged roles, which have included a stripper in the acclaimed Exotica, a bisexual schoolgirl in Not Another Teen Movie, a dominatrix in Love and Human Remains, and a seductive assassin on TV's 24. Kirshner—emphatically—does not want to be the object of your lust. Ask her a question about sex and she turns subzero frosty. "I'm really uncomfortable talking about sex and centerfold questions," she says. She's currently starring in Showtime's The L Word, an ensemble drama about a group of gay women in L. A.
Mia Kirshner : Anna Karenina
Written and directed by Bernard Rose, based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy. Produced by Bruce Davey and Stephen McEveety. Cinematography by Daryn Okada. Production design by John Myhre. Edited by Victor Dubois. Costume design by Maurizio Millenotti. Music by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev conducted by Sir Georg Solti with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Starring: Sophie Marceau (Anna), Sean Bean (Count Vronsky), Alfred Molina (Levin), Mia Kirschner (Kitty), James Fox (Karenin), Danny Huston (Stiva), Saskia Wickham (Dolly) and Fiona Shaw (Lydia Ivanova).
What made Anna Karenina famous? She died for love. Or worse, she killed herself for love. We live in times that view suicide less as a tragedy than as a social problem. From our point of view, the peasants might have got by without a Russian Revolution, had enough aristocrats fallen in love.
When you watch Bernard Rose's movie based on Leon Tolstoy's 800-page masterpiece of philosophical literature, you are so aware of the ending that you begin to pity Anna far too soon. We should be admiring her gorgeous clothes and her fancy footwork performing a quadrille under the sparkling chandeliers of St. Petersburg, but her fate is already larger than she is.
Films about the fate of fallen women have been a staple of cinema, and it's very easy to sink into the soap opera of another scarlet woman, who abandons her perfectly nice little family for the proverbially dashing Count Alexei Vronsky. He's mostly dashing off, because he's a predictable cad, and Anna's husband - who's not even mean by Russian standards - cannot let her back in the house, because social conventions are bigger than them both.
Seriously, folks, the film adheres to Tolstoy's distrust of an adamantine social order, but we may not get it on first viewing, because this "Anna Karenina" puts its money where the Russians did - into extraordinary stuff! It's such a magnificent recreation of Czarist Russia that you wish the actors would move a bit slower through those 20-foot archways among exquisite baroque furnishings. (The production designer never misses an opportunity to remind us of the distressing gap between the Russian aristocracy and the society it fed on.)
Alfred Molina makes a perfect Levin, talking us through the moral crisis of a culture where status alone counted. (Hmmmm, wonder why Bernard Rose thought it was time for another version of Tolstoy's moral masterpiece...?) The ethical goodness of Levin, which distinguishes him far more than his good looks, is quickly apprehended as just embarrassing, because here in the shallow end of the 20th Century, you don't have to be a member of the elite to know that his morality will get him nowhere.
Adaptor/director Bernard Rose attempts to do what no previous adaptation has done: to draw the character of Levin as equally important to Anna. Yet we're almost relieved every time he returns us to the melodrama of her life, because the audience for the film is even more shallow than Tolstoy's readers, whom he tried in vain to rouse from their sterile, gold-plated ignorance.
Fortunately, Sophie Marceau wears the role of Anna like a satin and lace ballgown. It's a perfect fit, and she is as fragile as one of those precious porcelain shepherdesses collected by 19th century women - and little old ladies who read The New Yorker in our time. Fortunately, Marceau's elegance allows her to appeal to us as a tragic heroine. Sean Bean comes nowhere near her. As Vronsky, he fails to convince us of the sensuality that would justify Anna's attraction to him. Is he her destiny or a shameful alternative to boredom?
Tolstoy believed in the power of and, for all its highminded stature as a classic of Western Civ, that's what "Anna Karenina" is all about. Levin and Kitty (Mia Kirshner) bypass the passionate route to arrive at true domestic happiness after the chemistry has died down. Levin's brother has abandoned himself totally to an unworthy woman. And Anna's fate raises the question: what would you sacrifice for a few hours in bed with your great love?
One thing that has not changed is the commonplace social reaction to Anna's need for truth with her passion. Rose portrays the social aristocrats as sufficiently ridiculous and insular to make Anna want to scandalize them, although he depicts Anna's husband Karenin (James Fox) as a fine man, guilty of nothing more than excess stability.
To extract cinematic drama, Rose focuses on Anna's need for a loud, confrontational truth over and above the kind of discretion that has made a little passion on the side "de rigeur" as the French say. Or like a little coleslaw with your marital sandwich. Truth about passion is like truth in advertising: nobody expects it. It only confuses the issue and sows the seeds of scandal. Alors, as the Russians say, quel scandale!