Mia Kirshner: Exclusive Interview

Mia Kirshner just spent five years traveling the world, and we aren’t talking sandy beaches here. The L Word's resident philanthropist tells us all about it.


Published:

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So, what will you do after The L Word ends? Is this going to be your life now?
No, it can’t be because unfortunately this doesn’t pay.…So, I love to act and it’s, it’s a pleasure for me to work on something I’m passionate about it. These books will continue. I mean, this is the first in a series.
 

What kind of impact do you hope this book has on people who read it?
To inspire, perhaps—I don’t like the word “inspire” because it sounds like I’m the one inspiring. [Laughs] If anything, I hope that people read it, first of all. [Laughs] And, I hope that they go to our website and they read what’s happening…And I think as well, the fact that if I can do something like this, anyone can. It was really hard doing the book, and it was an extraordinary amount of work, and a real gift to be able to do something like this. And it just points toward the fact that anybody can do anything they want, if they try hard.
 

I recently heard that some activists are calling for investigations into what they call “gendercide,” instead of genocide.
Yeah, I mean, certainly that’s why it’s women and children, because they are the most vulnerable group. And, I don’t want to say a humanitarian disaster strikes, but when something like this happens, because they are usually the ones looking after the home, the family, they are the ones who are usually—who are going to be at risk for sexual exploitation and abuse.…Women absolutely bear the brunt of, the burden of war and of genocide—and all of it.
 

This seems like a book that everybody should read.
I think so. I mean, that was kind of why I put it together like this—or, we put it together— because I felt like I was, I don’t want it to be marginalized. Like I don’t want words, like “activists,” or “inspire” to be used because those words shut me down, because I’m a pretty cynical person—and it feels like you’re being talked down to…so I really tried to use a language which I felt like would appeal [to people] who are as cynical as I am.…I mean, I feel like…I’m up on a box or whatever, but these aren’t women’s issues…and it shouldn’t be in gender studies classes. That’s actually the last thing it should be in.
 

You mentioned your family were refugees. Can you elaborate more on that?
There’s the Holocaust background on my father’s side, they’re survivors of that war and on my mother’s side too. So, we sort of grew up with not knowing what happened to the family…really haunting all of us, and I’m sure that’s why my father became a journalist…and my mother teaches refugees. She was an ESL teacher for many years. And my mother herself had immigrated from Israel to Canada…and always felt like a foreigner in Canada, and not quite sure where her home was—whether it was with her family or in Israel. So, all of this stuff was thematic growing up.
 

Did that help you sympathize?
I haven’t been through that so…it’s heartbreaking…but…it was familiar, those stories. Does that make any sense?
 

Yeah it does actually.
Yeah, I’m being careful with the words I use, you know, because I know how lucky I am.
 

How does it feel to be playing a character like Jenny?
Well, I agree with what’s said about the character for the most part. But again…it’s my job. So, I mean, it’s a fun character.
 

What’s something that gets you and the other cast members giggling?
We’re always playing pranks on each other. For example, last year, Kate [Moennig] and Leisha [Hailey] stuck fake silicone breasts on the headlights of my SmartCar, which I drove around a couple weeks because I didn’t notice. And Kate is actually driving around with same thing on her car right now. [Laughs]
 

Does she know it?
She has no idea.

Was that your revenge?
Yes. But I know she’ll get me back. I don’t know, you know, the girls, they’re really funny, they’re really wonderful, funny people.
 

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