Born in Toronto, Canada, Mia Kirshner studied Russian literature at McGill University in Montreal while pursuing an acting career in the early 1990s.
Kirshner portrayed a young, clairvoyant dominatrix in Deny Arcand's Love and Human Remains before her memorable turn in Atom Egoyan's Exotica. In 1995, Kirshner had supporting roles in the Southern coming-of-age tale, The Grass Harp, starring Sissy Spacek and Walter Matthau. She then played the lead opposite Vincent Perez in The Crow: City of Angels and revealed her lighter side with a featured role in the spoof comedy Not Another Teen Movie. In 2001, she appeared as a professional assassin in the action-filled drama 24 alongside Kiefer Sutherland.
The talented actress was then cast in the critically acclaimed series The L Word, and followed that with a turn in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia.