Born in Toronto, Ontario, she is a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. Her father, Sheldon, a journalist for The Canadian Jewish news, was born in a displaced person camp in Germany in 1946. He met her mother, Etti, a Bulgarian Jewish refugee, in Israel. Kirshner has a younger sister.
It is not commonly known if Kirshner has a boyfriend/girlfriend, however, rumors say she was connected with Evan Dando for a period and was spotted getting affectionate with a woman while shooting episode 10 of the second season of The L Word. Latest word is that she has a boyfriend but is bisexual.
In 1993 she played a dominatrix in Denys Arcand's movie Love and Human Remains. She won a Genie nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. The year after she starred in Atom Egoyan's Exotica yet another time showing her talents as an actress. Her performance in Exotica won her a Cannes Critics Choice Award.
After working for a decade in film and television, Kirshner became well known when she starred in the first 3 episodes of 24 as bisexual terrorist Mandy, in 2001. She returned for a cameo appearance in the last episode of the second season, when she attempted to assassinate President David Palmer. Kirshner returned for the last episodes of the show's fourth season, in 2005.
In 2006, Kirshner will star in the third season of The L Word as Jenny Schecter. She will also star in Brian De Palma's upcoming movie The Black Dahlia, alongside Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Swank. Kirshner will be playing the young actress Elizabeth Short, who was horrifically murdered in 1947.
She is also working on the book I Live Here. In the book, woman and children refugees, from dangerous places such as Chechnya, Juarez(Mexico) and Africa will tell their disturbing life stories. It will be published in Canada in 2006.
- Dracula: The Series (1990) ... Sophie Metternich
- Love and Human Remains (1993) ... Benita
- Exotica (1994) ... Christina
- Murder in the First (1995) ... Adult Rosetta Young
- The Crow: City of Angels (1996) ... Sarah
- Anna Karenina (1997) ... Kitty
- Mad City (1997) ... Laurie
- Wolf Lake (2001) ... Ruby Wilder/Ruby Cates
- Not Another Teen Movie (2001) ... Catherine Wyler
- Century Hotel (2001) ... Dominique
- 24 (2001) ... Mandy (7 episodes in 2001, 2003, and 2005)
- Now and Forever (2002) ... Angela Wilson
- Party Monster (2003) ... Natasha Gatien
- The L Word (2004) ... Jennifer Schecter
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- www.mia-kirshner.com - A Dedication to Mia Kirshner
- UA Amnesty International: Mia Kirshner - The site features two audio clips where Mia Kirshner shares her experiences from her trip to a Chechen refugee camp.