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What was your process in writing this and how did it all come together?I did about a year of research and I’ve always been a fan of graphic novels in general, and Joe Sacco who did the Ingushetia comic really was the reason why I included the comic portion of the book into each chapter.
The stories, woven throughout the beautiful illustrations and the sometimes-disturbing photos, are a wake-up call to the atrocities that are occurring daily, but Kirshner excels at highlighting the humanity of her subjects.
How did you get involved with Amnesty International?
Showtime gave us a lot of freedom, and I realize how rare that is, and how lucky we were to have those jobs. When I first started the show, I was worried about it because in high school, there were packs of girls that reminded me of packs of wolves. And we were shooting in Vancouver, so we were in a little bubble. Leisha [Hailey] and I lived together the first year.
AE: How was it to work with so many women and so few men? I always felt like a group dynamics [can get] nasty. But now, I can only say it was a really wonderful experience – on the social side of it and the creative freedom that we had. Women talk more about how they’re feeling, what they’d like from each other, and what they don’t like. And we had all had our own experiences in the gay community, with women, whatever. AE: So, being cut off from Hollywood fostered a little esprit de corp?
You know, I’m a very private person so I just sort of made a choice to write about that because I felt kind of like a fraud asking women to write about those things, when I wasn’t writing about why I had a particular interest in it…because of my own experiences…with that subject….
I just had something shitty happen to me when I was 18 and you know it wasn’t great.
Amnesty doesn’t work on the ground so I really wanted the work that we did on the book to benefit the communities themselves.
Which is why we set up a foundation to create creative writing programs in the places where—that we—the regions that we go to. I mean, it’s hard not to when you’re traveling to places where people have really been stripped of basic human rights and needs, through no fault of their own.
Mia Kirshner: It’s hard to talk about an overall experience, because each year was so different.
But looking back now that a few months have passed since it ended, I miss seeing the girls. I miss that dorm atmosphere that happened on the set. I think in retrospect, in spite of some of the weirdness with the storylines, particularly with my character, it was wonderful.