Canadian actress Mia Kirshner initially made a name for herself in the Canadian film industry with her confrontational starring role in Love and Human Remains (1993), for which she received a nomination at the Genie Awards. She even scored more attention for her provocative portrayal of youthful stripper Christina in Atom Egoyan's Exotica (1994). Kirshner's spectacular performance in the film handed her a Cannes Critics Choice Award. Also attracting attention in Hollywood, Kirshner added American films to her list of credits and was seen in Murder in the First (1995), The Grass Harp (1995), The Crow: City of Angels (1996), Mad City (1997), Anna Karenina (1997), Saturn (1999), Out of the Cold (1999) and Dark Summer (1999). In Not Another Teen Movie (2001), MTV Movie Awards honored her with a nomination for Best Kiss. Kirshner will also be seen in the upcoming drama The Black Dahlia (2006).
On the small screen, named number 38 of the 102 Sexiest Women in the World by Stuff magazine (2002), Kirshner received recognition for her recurring roles in FOX's 24 (2001, as a bomb-toting captor) and CBS' Wolf Lake (2001, as Ruby Wilder/Ruby Cates).
Childhood and Family:
Daughter of a journalist for The Canadian Jewish News and an English teacher, Mia Kirshner was born on January 25, 1976, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Under the guidance of her German-born father and Bulgarian-born mother, Mia and her younger sister spent their youth in Canada's largest city, Toronto, and grew up as tomboys. Mia found she had an interest in acting while watching actress Vivien Leigh portray Scarlett O'Hara in the epic film Gone with the Wind. At the age of 13, she was signed by her first agent and soon appeared on Canadian TV. Though Mia's attention was in acting, she attended McGill University, Montreal, where she studied Russian Literature.
Being a popular actress, Mia likes to protect her private life from the public and keeps a low social profile. She now resides in Los Angeles and is a dance lover. She is reportedly taking classes in ballroom dancing, salsa and jazz.
The Black Dahlia
Known in her native country for her portrayals of moderately to deeply troubled young women who often harbor dark secrets, young Mia Kirshner first discovered her interest for acting after watching Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. Shortly after, a Canadian agent gave 13-year-old Kirshner a contract.
The Toronto actress guest starred in War of the Worlds (1989) and was an extra in The Freshman (1990, starring Matthew Broderick and Marlon Brando). She then was cast in the role of Sophie Metternich in the Canadian-produced TV Dracula: The Series (1990). Additionally, Kirshner appeared in My Secret Identity (1991), Sweating Bullets (1991), Road to Avonlea (1992), Are You Afraid of the Dark (1992) and Sweating Bullets (1992).
In 1993, Kirshner played the role of dominatrix Benita in Denys Arcand's Love & Human Remains. Her challenging role in the film brought her a nomination at the Genie Awards. Afterward, she starred in Cadillac Girls (1993), playing bad youngster Page.
Kirshner's big break came when she was cast as a young stripper with a shocking past in Exotica (1994). Her provocative performance handed her a Cannes Critics Choice Award. Commenting about her nudity in the film, she said, "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."
Kirshner's brave performance in the popular Exotica helped jump-start her career in Hollywood movies and she received a supporting role in Murder in the First (1995) and the Southern gothic coming-of-age tale The Grass Harp (1995). She could also be seen acting in the ABC TV-movie Johnny's Girl (1995). In 1996, Kirshner eventually won a leading part in The Crow: City of Angels, portraying tattoo artist Sarah who makes friends with Vincent Perez. She then was cast as Kitty in Anna Karenina (1997). That same year, Kirshner gained another female lead as journalist Laurie Callahan in Mad City (also starring Dustin Hoffman). Kirshner ended the decade by being seen in Saturn (1999), Dark Summer (1999) and Out of the Cold (1999).
Entering the millennium, she kept busy with film projects like Cowboys and Angels (2000), Century Hotel (2001), According to Spencer (2001) and the paradox of high school-themed films Not Another Teen Movie (2001). Her role in Not Another Teen Movie received a nomination for Best Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards. On the small screen, Kirshner had recurring roles on two TV series, FOX's 24 (2001, as a bomb-toting captor) and CBS' Wolf Lake (2001, as Ruby Wilder/Ruby Cates).
Kirshner appeared in two movies, New Best Friend (2002) and Now & Forever (2002), before playing Natasha in the true story of Michael Alig, played by Macaulay Culkin, in 2003. The next year, she was cast as Rebecca in The Iris Effect (2004) and starred in The L Word (2004), a TV series that centers on the lives and loves of a group of lesbian friends. Recently, Kirshner had an unaccredited part in 24 and is scheduled to play a role in The Black Dahlia (2006).
- Cannes Critics Choice Award, 1994, Exotica