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:: M I A  K I R S H N E R ::
Reed Tucker


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.


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.