Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.
Mia Kirshner was born in Toronto, Ontario on January 25th, 1975> She is a Canadian actress, writer and social activist who has appeared in movies and television series.
Her mother Etti is a teacher and her father, Sheldon Kirshner, is a journalist. He is of Polish Jewish descent and her mother is a Bulgarian Jewish immigrant.
She is the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors - her father was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany in 1946, and met his wife, a Bulgarian Jewish refugee, in Israel.
Kirshner graduated from McGill University with a degree in English Literature. She always had a love for acting ever since her school days at the Jarvis Institute, so her parents helped her find a talent agent when she was only 12 years of age.
By the age of 15, Kirshner was acting professionally and made her film debut in 1993 in Denys Arcand's Love and Human Remains. Kirshner won a Genie nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a supporting role for her part in the film.
Mia's performance also brought her to the attention of Atom Egoyan, who cast her as the female lead in the 1996 film Exotica. Mia's depiction of a sexy stripper in the film, won her critical acclaim, and by 1996 she established herself with an equally inspiring performance in The Crow: City of Angels.
Having established herself in Hollywood as a leading and versatile performer, Mia also appeared in the first three episodes of 24 as the assassin Mandy in 2001.
She would later reprise the role for the second season's finale and in the latter half of the show's fourth season.
Also in 2001, Kirshner played Catherine Wyler, The Cruelest Girl in School, in Not Another Teen Movie.
The character is primarily a spoof of Kathryn Merteuil (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) in Cruel Intentions, and was partially based on Mackenzie Siler (played by Anna Paquin) from She's All That.
In Marilyn Manson's music video for "Tainted Love", which was featured on the movie's soundtrack, she made a cameo appearance as her character Catherine Wyler.
In 2004, Kirshner was cast as author Jenny Schecter, a main character in the drama series The L Word. She remained with the show for all of the show's six seasons through 2009.
She won several awards for her role as Jenny Schecter, and a world-wide fan base which followed her character throughout all of the seasons of the L Word.
In 2006, Mia starred in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia in which she plays the young aspiring actress, Elizabeth Short, who was mysteriously mutilated and murdered in 1947.
The Black Dahlia is a crime thriller film directed by Brian De Palma. It is drawn from a novel of the same name by James Ellroy, the author of L.A. Confidential, and starred Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank. The widely sensationalized murder of Elizabeth Short inspired both the novel and the film. Mia Kirshner's performance as the tragic Elizabeth Short was widely praised, while the film itself was critically panned, many reviews singled out her performance for recognition.
Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com, in a largely negative review, notes that the eponymous character was "played wonderfully by Mia Kirshner..."
Mick LaSalle wrote that Kirshner "makes a real impression of the Dahlia as a sad, lonely dreamer, a pathetic figure."
J. R. Jones described her performance as "haunting" and that the film's fictional screen tests "deliver the emotional darkness so lacking in the rest of the movie."
In 2010, Kirshner co-starred in the film 30 Days of Night: Dark Days which began filming in the fall of 2009. In 2010, she was cast as Isobel Fleming, a guest role on The Vampire Diaries.
In 2011, she voiced the title character in Bear 71, a National Film Board of Canada web documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
On April 20, 2012, it was announced that Kirshner would join the new Syfy series Defiance.
She is known for being a prankster. She would often play practical jokes on the set of The L Word (2004) and during the filming of Defiance (2013).
Already established as one of Canada's most successful female performers, Mia is also an accomplished writer, winning acclaim for her 2007 book I Live Here.
In October 2008, after seven years in production, Kirshner published the book I Live Here, which she co-produced with Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons, as well as writer James MacKinnon.
In the book, four different groups of women and child 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.
It was published in the U.S. by Random House/Pantheon. It was supported logistically by Amnesty International, which will receive proceeds from the book.
The I Live Here Foundation, also commonly referred to as the I Live Here Projects, is a United States 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2005 by Kirshner along with J.B. Mackinnon, Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons. Kirshner is currently the director of the organization.
The book is composed of four different volumes, each belonging to that part of the world.
Mia Kirshner's younger sister, Lauren Kirshner, a creative writer, was also involved in the writing of the I Live Here Projects.
Lauren Kirshner contributed twenty poems for Claudia, a narrative based on family photos, notes by friends, and missing person posters related to one of the hundreds of murdered women in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.
I Live Here started out as a book documentary about the stories of refugees and displaced women and children in Burma, Juarez, Chechnya, and Malawi and the foundation came into existence following the realization that more needed to be done in addition to the book project.
In addition to the collaboration of Kirshner, MacKinnon, Shoebridge, and Simons, the book also includes a curriculum developed by novelist Chris Abani, as well as contributions by Joe Sacco, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Phoebe Gloeckner, and many others.
Since 2008, the book has been used as study material for rhetorical courses in the Communication Studies Department at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.
The Center for International Studies at MIT has asked Mia Kirshner to teach a course centered on this book and the book is continually being used as a teaching material at Los Angeles Hebrew High.
In 2005, Mia Kirshner and J.B. MacKinnon traveled to the Kachere juvenile prison located in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. The original purpose for travel was to gather materials for the I Live Here book.
Once there, Kirshner and MacKinnon met with the reality of a widespread AIDS epidemic and found the prisoners existing in unbearable conditions. Many of the incarcerated children could not read or write.
The goal of I Live Here was then changed, leading to the establishment of the I Live Here Foundation.
Much of the work that was done at the juvenile prison was based on a system of permaculture.
Kirshner has also been ranked #38 in Stuff Magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World" in 2002.
She was also ranked #43 on the Maxim Hot 100 Women of 2002 and she and Beverly Polcyn were nominated for Best Kiss at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards for Not Another Teen Movie.
In 2011 it was announced that Kirshner would be the face of Monica Rich Kosann's jewelry collection.
She speaks fluent French, lives in Los Angeles, but also owns an apartment in Paris. She also has an "M" tattoo on the back of her neck.
When asked about doing sex scenes with another woman her response was:
"It's nothing to be ashamed of. I genuinely enjoy doing them, and I think that women are lovely and generous. There's an intangible feeling and a comfort level that is beautiful."
"I don't care if people think I'm gay. Gender is of no consequence to me. It's a person's brain that counts."
"What I know is true is that there is no shame in being gay. Love does not understand gender."
On the challenges actresses face in the film and television industry:
"I think, as an actor, the challenge is to choose wisely. And, you know, to say 'no' more than you say 'yes'."
The movie is based on the James Ellroy novel of the same name, a highly fictionalized telling of Hollywood's most notorious unsolved murder case. On January 15, 1947, a young woman named Beth Short was found brutally slain - her body gruesomely dismembered and gutted - in a field in Los Angeles. The case became a cause celebre around the nation, with speculation rife as to the background of the victim and the identity of the perpetrator, but the actual killer was never found.
The story tells of a married couple, Nick and Amy Dunne, on their fifth wedding anniversary. That morning, Amy mysteriously vanishes, leaving behind a rather suspicious trail of evidence.The authorities and the media quickly swoop down on Nick, who seems nice enough, but is oddly evasive and may not be telling the whole truth. As events unfold, you will be left wondering how well you truly know the person you love.
Babel is inarguably one of the best films of 2006. Director Alejandro GonzÃƒÂ¡lez IÃƒÂ±ÃƒÂ¡rritu and his co-writer, Guillermo Arriaga weave together the disparate strands of their story into a finely hewn fabric by focusing on what appear to be several equally incongruent characters: an American (Brad Pitt) touring Morocco with his wife (Cate Blanchett) become the focus of an international incident also involving a hardscrabble Moroccan farmer struggling to keep his two young sons in line and his family together. A San Diego nanny, her employers absent, makes the disastrous decision to take their kids with her to a wedding in Mexico. And a deaf-mute Japanese teen (the extraordinary and beautiful Rinko Kikuchi) deals with a relationship with her father and the world in general that's been upended by the death of her mother. Buy or Rent Film
Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats... take a look