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Who plays Jenny Schecter in The L Word? See career facts and biography of Mia Kirshner

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Mia Kirshner is a Canadian actress, writer and social activist born on 25 January 1975. She is known for television roles as Mandy in “24” (2001–2005), as Jenny Schecter in “The L Word” (2004–2009), and as Amanda Grayson in “Star Trek: Discovery” (2017–present). Mia was born to an educationist mother and a journalist father who wrote for The Canadian Jewish News. She is the first child of her parents and has a younger sister, Lauren Kirshner, who is a writer.

Her big break in the film industry came in 2004 with her author-role in the Canadian series “L Word”. Before that, she starred in a couple of popular films and TV productions, including the critically acclaimed “24”. Mia has also appeared in films like “Love and Human Remains”, “Exotica”, “The Crow: City of Angels”, “Mad City”, “Not Another Teen Movie”, and “The Black Dahlia”.

It isn’t new information that aside from hard work, it usually takes one project to become a star in the film industry. Though Mia had been active since 1989 and had appeared in popular projects, it wasn’t until 2004 that she got her big break. In the “L Word” series, the talented actress perfected her role as a young woman in the lesbian community. Her character was a traumatic diva who suffered from sexual abuse and a disastrous murder. Mia featured in the role in all the seasons of the series and became popular among fans. Her character was so intriguing that fans were saddened when she was murdered in the final season.

We will learn more about the actress, her career, personal life, and some lesser-known facts in the next few paragraphs. For starters, here are ten interesting facts about Mia Kirshner.

10 interesting Mia Kirshner facts

  1. Mia Kirshner grandparents were holocaust survivors. Her father, Sheldon, is the son of Polish Jews who survived the horrors of the Holocaust. Unfortunately, Sheldon’s brother, Izhou, died during the Holocaust when he was just 9-years-old.
  2. Her father signed a nudity waiver for her debut film “Love and Human Rights” in 1993. The actress asked her parents to sign the waiver for her to appear in the film, and only her father signed it, as her mother wasn’t comfortable with the idea.
  3. Kirshner has a few regrets about her career decisions. She once said in an interview, “unfortunately, when you start your career at such a young age, in a way you’re becoming a young adult through your work, and mine represented some of the dark narcissism you can feel at that age.”
  4. Acting isn’t the only thing Mia Kirshner is passionate about, as she is also known for her philanthropy and her dedication to human rights initiatives.
  5. She co-authored the book “I Live Here” in 2008, which depicts the hardships of women and children in four different parts of the world.
  6. In Marilyn Manson’s 2001 music video for “Tainted Love”, Mia appeared as her “Not Another Teen Movie” character Catherine Wyler.
  7. In 2006, she voiced the character of Mandy in the video game “24: The Game” for Playstation 2, which was based on the TV series “24”.
  8. In more shocking news, she had revealed how Harvey Weinstein offered her a movie role when she was 19 if she had sex with him.
  9. Mia Kirshner received the 43rd rank in the Hot 100 Women of 2002 list in an edition of the Maxim Magazine.
  10. Per Celebrity Networth, Mia has a net worth of $2 million in 2020.

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Early life and education

Kirshner was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She’s the daughter of Henrietta, a teacher, and Sheldon Kirshner, a journalist who wrote for The Canadian Jewish News. She is a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors; her father was born in the displaced persons camp at Bad Reichenhall in Germany in 1946 and met Kirshner’s mother, a Bulgarian Jewish refugee, after they escaped to Israel.

Mia grew up alongside her younger sister, Lauren Kirshner. She had a middle-class upbringing and attended Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, but later graduated from Jarvis Collegiate Institute. Kirshner studied Russian literature and the 20th-century movie industry at McGill University in Montreal. She discovered her love of acting at a very young age and decided to pursue it professionally during her teenage years. At just 12-years-old, Kirshner was able to get a talent agent.

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Career – Mia Kirshner movies and TV shows

Kirshner started her career in 1989 in “Loving the Alien”, a second-season episode of War of the Worlds’ as both Jo, a young resistance fighter who is captured and duplicated by the enemy aliens, and her doppelgänger. A few years later, she made her film debut at the age of 18 in Denys Arcand’s “Love and Human Remains”. Mia convinced her father to sign a nudity waiver to play a dominatrix for the project, and she hasn’t looked back ever since.

Jenny Schecter in L Word

The “L Word” is an American-Canadian co-production television drama. The series follows the lives of a group of lesbian and bisexual women who live in West Hollywood, California. It featured American television’s first ensemble cast of queer female characters and was considered groundbreaking for its portrayal of lesbianism.

Mia played the role of Jennifer “Jenny” Diane Schecter, who debuted on-screen during the pilot episode and remained until the series’ final episode. Jenny was a young woman in the lesbian community and a traumatic diva who suffered from sexual abuse and, eventually, a disastrous murder. The majority of critics have been intrigued by her “polarising personality” and branded it as one of the main reasons to watch the series. Kirshner received critical praise for her portrayal of the character. She has stated she loved playing Jenny because she felt like a brand new character during each season.

Mia Kirshner (L) in “The L Word”

Isobel in Vampire Diaries

“The Vampire Diaries” is an American supernatural teen drama television series based on the book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith. The pilot episode attracted the largest audience for The CW of any series premiere since the network began in 2006, and the first season averaged 3.60 million viewers.

The series is set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, a town charged with supernatural history. It follows the life of Elena Gilbert, a teenage girl who has just lost both parents in a car accident, as she falls in love with a 162-year-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore. Their relationship becomes increasingly complicated as Stefan’s mysterious older brother Damon Salvatore returns, planning to bring back their past love Katherine Pierce, a vampire who looks exactly like Elena.

Mia played the recurring role of Isobel Flemming, Elena’s birth mother and a descendant of Katherine Pierce. When Isobel was a teenager, she had a relationship with John Gilbert, by whom she later had a baby, Elena. Isobel became obsessed with vampires, and after being romantically involved with him, she asked Damon to turn her.

Mia Kirshner as Isobel in Vampire Diaries
As Isobel in “Vampire Diaries”

Amanda Grayson in Star Trek: Discovery

“Star Trek: Discovery” is an American television series set in a time roughly ten years before the events of “Star Trek: The Original Series”. The show sees the Klingon houses become united in a war with the United Federation of Planets that heavily involves the crew of the USS Discovery.

Kirshner played the recurring role of Amanda Grayson, a Human teacher from Earth. She was the first wife of Sarek and the mother of Spock and the foster mother of Michael Burnham.

Mia Kirshner (R) as Amanda Grayson in “Star Trek: Discovery”

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Mandy in 24

“24” is an American action drama television series that follows counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer. Each season covers 24 consecutive hours in Bauer’s life using the real-time method of narration. Multiple interrelated plots are featured in each episode, which often includes Bauer’s contacts in difficult crises.

Mia appeared in a recurring role as Mandy, a professional assassin for hire who participated in two separate conspiracies to assassinate David Palmer. She also worked as a mercenary working for Habib Marwan during Day 4. “Mandy” was the alias that she most frequently used. Her operating style seemed to be to spend most of her time entirely under the radar, surfacing only to cause havoc at critical, isolated moments, then vanishing into obscurity once more. She was known to have acted as a mercenary for Ira Gaines, arms broker Max, and terrorist mastermind Habib Marwan.

Mia Kirshner as Mandy in "24"
Mia Kirshner as Mandy in “24”

On Day 4, Mandy was finally apprehended by CTU for her role in helping Marwan kidnap Secretary of Defense James Heller. In exchange for her cooperation in stopping Marwan, she was granted a blanket presidential pardon for her many crimes, including most prominently the attempted assassination of President David Palmer.


In October 2008, after seven years in production, Kirshner published the book “I Live Here”. She also co-produced with ex-Adbusters staffers Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons, as well as writer James MacKinnon. In the book, four different groups of women and children refugees from places such as Chechnya, Juárez, Burma and Malawi tell their life stories. The book features original material from well-known comic and graphic artists, including Joe Sacco and Phoebe Gloeckner. After its release, the Center for International Studies at MIT invited Kirshner to run a 4-week course on “I Live Here” in January 2009.

After Me Too

#AfterMeToo is a national movement, which Mia supported. It was formed within the Canadian film and TV industry to raise awareness of workplace sexual violence and stop it. It all started when the participants at the Globe Mail began to talk about their experiences in the Canadian entertainment industry; all of them were survivors, trauma experts, witnesses and human rights lawyers.

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Personal life

Mia is not one of those famous people who are overly keen on maintaining privacy. Mia first dated Mike Bender in 2001, then Stephen Hopkins in the same year. She has dated Scott Bairstow, Jennifer Beals, Evan Dando, then Grant Bowler in 2013 and Sam Shepard between 2014 and 2015.

Mia Kirshner nude

In the film “The L Word”, where she played Jenny Schecter, Mia Kirshner nude scenes were part of the highlights. It brought her fame and interest from internet users who seek out topless photos of famous actresses.

Mia Kirshner net worth

Mia Kirshner currently has a net worth of $2 million. Her primary source of income is acting. However, she has also made money from book sales and other endeavours.


Mia is an accomplished actor who has made a mark both in film and TV. In addition to this, she has proven herself to be a well-rounded human. She is one of those famous people who care about more than just their career and work. Her efforts in creating awareness and lending support to important causes are worthy of emulation. There is a long road ahead of her yet, and one can expect more from her. We wish her the best in her future endeavours.

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