AE: What was it like working with Jennifer Beals?
KL: We didn’t really have that much to do together one-on-one, so you know, she was fine. She was fine.
AE: Did you have a chance to work with Pam Grier?
KL: Yeah, Pam was great. Pam has a great energy; she’s really fun, really out there, doesn’t take herself too seriously, very light. She’s very likable.
AE: And how do you feel about the character of Jenny [played by Mia Kirshner], the one that everyone loves to hate?
KL: [Laughs.] Mia. Well, actually, Mia â€” I’ve known Mia for a long time on a personal level, so it was nice to see a familiar face on set. And I think what she’s done with the character is really kind of interestingly conniving.
AE: If you were a character on The L Word other than Paige, who would you be?
KL: I really like Leisha [Hailey] and what she’s done with her character [Alice Pieszecki]. I think she’s really a talented actress, and she just kind of embodies â€¦ a woman who’s confident of herself and her sexuality and doesn’t need to wear it on her arm to prove it.
My sister’s a lesbian and extremely feminine, and I really respect her choice of who to love and be confident within that. So I think Leisha’s character is really a character that more women should see and know about. And young girls too, to know that it’s OK if you want to wear â€¦ what you want to and be feminine and be confident of who you are and who you choose to love â€” that that’s all right.
AE: Leisha Hailey and you are some of the actors on The L Word who have chosen to be open about your sexuality. [Daniela Sea, who plays Max, and Jane Lynch, who plays Joyce Wischnia, are also openly queer.] Have you ever worried that might be detrimental to your career?
KL: I don’t really care, you know what I mean? Like â€¦ you go to a bakery and they say, "This is the best apple pie you’ve ever had." Well, not everybody’s gonna think that. So people are gonna either choose to like and endorse me for my work, or they’re not, and that’s up to them.
But I’m confident with who I am and being openly bisexual, and I think â€¦ it’s up to my generation to be open about that and to let people know that it’s OK to be confident with who they are so that prejudice and judgment can become less through the years and for future generations.
AE: Some of the cast members simply refuse to talk about their sexual orientation â€” a lot of actresses are like that, actually. Do you think that’s just a personal choice?
KL: I think it’s fear. I think it’s fear of "Oh, I’m not gonna get the job," or "Oh, they’re not gonna want to hire me for this," or "Oh, they’re not gonna want to do that." Well, I can’t live in fear of my life. If you hold yourself back personally, I think you hold yourself back professionally; that’s just how I feel. And I think people can see it in the work. If you’re not honest with yourself, how can you be honest in your performance? That’s kind of how I feel.
AE: Well, if you could date any character on The L Word, who would you date?
KL: Hmm â€¦ I would say Daniela. [She's] definitely got a hot thing going on, and she’s just really a sweet, interesting person, too.
AE: Daniela as the character Max?
AE: All right. Are you dating anyone now?
KL: I’m in a committed relationship right now.
AE: What is the status of your relationship with Michelle Rodriguez now?
KL: We’re great friends. She’ll always remain a great, close friend of mine. I’ll always love Michelle.
AE: Is there anybody that you’d particularly like to work with in the future?
KL: I’ve always loved Kate Winslet. She’s one of my all-time favorite actresses. Ever since Heavenly Creatures, I just fell in love with her and think she’s so gifted and gives so much and is so free in her choices and with who she is, and I would just love to work with her someday.
AE: Is there anything you’d like to say to your lesbian and bisexual fans? I know you have a lot of them.
KL: That’s good! Hmm, I don’t know, let me think about that. â€¦ I guess just growing up in the community with my sister, it’s always been a really important part of my life, and I can’t imagine not being open with my sexuality or with who I am.
For many, many years I struggled with even just choosing a gender. I’d be in a relationship with one, and I’d want to be in a relationship with another one â€” I mean as far as gender went, and it was really confusing for me until I accepted the fact that I’m simply attracted to a person and loving them on that level, and gender really becomes secondary.
I think the bisexual community is really a difficult niche, because you’re not really taken seriously by either the straight community or the gay community, so it’s hard to find that acceptance. But I guess I would just say: Be confident with just being able to love who you choose, whether it’s a man or a woman, and know that that’s OK.
Painkiller Jane debuts on Sci Fi on Friday, April 13, at 10 p.m. EST.