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:: A N  I N T E R V I E W  W I T H  K A R I N A  L O M B A R D ::
Early February, 2004

The queer media invasion, as recently documented by Vanity Fair, has brought gay- and lesbian-themed entertainment straight into the living rooms of Middle America. While this progress is something to be excited about, the genre has found itself dominated by stories of gay men ("Will & Grace," "Six Feet Under") or bordering on parody ("Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"), with just a smattering of lesbian stories ("Queer as Folk") peppered in for taste. But in the wake of all this mainstream success comes a new show that pushes the boundaries by focusing solely on women -- what a concept!

"The L Word" is, in fact, the word on everyone's lips. Focusing on the everyday lives and loves of seven extremely attractive lesbians (and would-be lesbians) living in West Hollywood, the show boasts great writing, realistic storylines and, of course, a great-looking cast. The idea that "The L Word" is a lesbian "Melrose Place" is quickly put to rest by the authenticity the cast and producers bring to the show.

PlanetOut Entertainment editor Jenny Stewart recently spoke with Karina Lombard, who plays seductive cafe owner Marina on the show. Lombard made a name for herself seducing both Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt onscreen; now she turns her attention to the ladies. With her stunning beauty, sexy accent and exotic aggressiveness, Marina has viewers wanting more after only a handful of episodes, and the actress couldn't be happier that people are responding so positively to her character.

A lot of our readers have been asking about your accent -- where are you from?

My first language is Spanish (from Barcelona), then Italian, in Florence, then French because I went to Swiss boarding schools, and the language there is German, but I was on the French side, and then German from Switzerland as well.

How long were you in Switzerland?

I was in and out of Switzerland. We moved around a lot, but I did most of my schooling in Switzerland.

It looks like there's a possibility that you may be replacing Angelina Jolie as America's newest lesbian heartthrob. How does that make you feel, and are people recognizing you on the street?

[Much laughter.] Oh really?! [More laughter.] I didn't know that! Uh, yes, it's very interesting, they are recognizing me on the street and I've ... I've gotten some very interesting e-mail as well. And I love it -- I think it's great! The whole reason I wanted to do the show was because I wanted to make women -- all women -- as glamorous as possible, because it's such a great gift to be able to wear whatever and be whatever you want to be, you know? And I'm happy it's taking off!

You're taking off! OK, so you've done onscreen love scenes with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Are these your first love scenes with a woman, and how did you prepare for the role?

Yes, these are the first onscreen scenes I've ever done with a woman, and personally, I do not have any issues at all about same-sex love scenes or same-sex anything. I grew up in Europe, and you know -- you love who you love, so I didn't have to prepare, you know what I mean? To me, it's the same as doing a scene with a man, but of course it's a different feeling because, in the case of Jenny, I'm much bigger than her, so I'm automatically the more dominant one.

And you just ... move differently with a woman than you do with a man. For instance, I have to be more careful physically with her than I would with a man, because I am bigger and I need to protect her. I had to make sure she didn't hit her head -- oh, you haven't seen those scenes yet, but they're later on!

Can't wait! There's an interesting term that's being attributed to your character: Macho Femme.

[Much laughter.] The what?

The "macho femme"! Because what's interesting about "The L Word" is that the characters are not just "butch or femme." People are talking about this term because in the case of you in particular, you are so beautiful and femme, yet you're also a bit macho and a bit aggressive.

[Laughs.] Oh! I like the term and I'm really glad you picked up on that, that's really cool.

So far we've only seen your character with Jenny. What do you think Marina's dating history is like?

I think Marina is one of those amazing people who, when they see something they like, they go get it, with no guilt or fear. And you know, you may get slapped if you do those things, but you just do it. And I love that about her. I find her to be very honest.

Are there any other characters on the show you would have liked to have played?

Hmmm. You know what? No! I really like Marina. She has a sort of animal thing that I like, very sensual.

OK, on to the personal questions. What is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?

[Giggles.] Whisked me to Paris for ... dinner.

Really? And what is the most romantic thing you have ever done for someone?

[Shyly.] I wrote a song for someone.

You're kidding!

No, I really did. I wrote a song and then I just ... well, I did the whole thing.

Oh my God -- that's so amazing! So, is there one CD in particular that you put on in romantic situations?

Hmmm. God, there's so many things, from Buddha Bar to ...? It all depends on who, how and where. I mean, you can't just say, 'Don't move, darling -- please let me get my CD!" [Laughs.]

Yeah. So you're a little more cool than that, huh?

No, I'm not cool!

What is your least favorite feature of your body?

My feet.

What is your idea of the perfect day off?

Being at the beach. A Tahiti beach. Well, any beach, but Tahiti's not bad. See, I was born in Tahiti and the island is really skinny - - it's almost like a bean. I was born literally between the water.

What part of a woman do you find most attractive?

Her self-confidence. See, it's not about a part of the body, it's about the whole, really -- what it ... radiates. Which goes back to self-confidence. But [pauses] ... There's something about insecurity that's very charming sometimes, you know?

What is your current relationship status?

I am single right now.

Oh really? You poor thing.

Well, it's just that I have so much going on in my life right now, and well. ... I just gave love so much time, and until it happens it's the most beautiful thing. But I have so many amazing friends, and that fulfils me.

Speaking of friends, do you have lesbian friends, and if so, what do they think of the show?

Yes, I do, and all my friends really are responding to the show, and they seem to be responding to my character.

The show was just picked up for a second season. Are you returning for season two?

Well, that depends if Showtime invites me back!

How could they not?


The L Word Online has been designed by Oz and Slicey.  Unique images designed by Oz.  Site maintained by Oz & Slicey.  This website is intended to be fun and informative, and was created with respect to show appreciation for the women and men involved in the creation of TV's first real lesbian drama.  This site is not endorsed, sponsored, or affiliated with Showtime Networks Inc., the television series "The L Word," or any person involved in the making of the show.  No copyright infringement is intended.  Images and other borrowed content are copyright their respective owners.  Credit is given where due.  All original content is the sole property of  the creators of The L Word Online copyright October 2003.