At its core, acting is really just a grand lie told in the name of entertainment. It’s a bit incongruous, then, that when actors walk off the stage, we expect the opposite from them: the truth. We want to know who they are and what they stand for — and Kristanna Loken is one of the few actors who tells us.
Loken, who publicly came out as bisexual four years ago, has appeared in T3: Rise of the Machines, Painkiller Jane and The L Word. She also starred in Lime Salted Love, an independent film that became available on DVD last month.
In this exclusive interview with AfterEllen.com, Loken opens up for the first time about her separation from husband Noah Danby and about the new love in her life.
Photo credit: Collin Stark
AfterEllen.com: I understand a lot has changed in your personal life in the nearly two years since we last spoke.
Kristanna Loken: Yeah, it’s definitely been a whirlwind. I was in a relationship with a woman for a few years, and then I met Noah and had a relationship with him that lasted about two and a half years. We planned a wedding, and I had this very conventional lifestyle all of a sudden, with the house and the marriage. And then I went from that to ending my relationship with Noah and now being with a woman for the last seven months or so.
AE: The change must have been so dramatic for you, from having all the comforts of a traditional marriage, to now being with a woman again.
KL: Definitely. I told my mother, and I think because my sister’s a lesbian, there was a certain amount of underlying pressure that I have to be the one who has the big wedding and the picket fence and the whole thing. So my mom said, “I want things to be easy for you,” and I thought, “easy for you” — what does that even mean?
But then the more I felt myself breaking up with Noah and being with this woman and looking at something long term, I understood what my mom meant, just with discrimination and the fight for marriage equality. It is the road less traveled, absolutely, and everybody’s not going to be OK with the choices you make in your life, but they’re your choices, and you’re not making them for anybody else. That was one of the important things for me to understand and come to terms with.
AE: Unfortunately, your relationships come under greater scrutiny because you’re one of the few out bisexual actresses.
KL: I think for me, really, everybody is so quick to attach a label. If you’re with a man, now you’re considered straight. If I’m with a woman, I’m a lesbian. I think labels are very confining and restrictive, and I think people should just be able to be happy with the person they choose, regardless of the gender and the title.
AE: And you simply fell in love with a woman.
KL: Yeah, that was pretty much it. It was pretty hard to avoid. I guess you could say it was love at first sight.
AE: Is she willing to be in the public eye?
KL: I don’t think she’s looking for that, but I don’t think she has a problem with it. She’s very comfortable with her sexuality and came out at a very young age and has been with women ever since, so there’s really not a question of her shying away from it — which is really nice for me. I’m very comfortable with who I am and in my own skin, so that helps me a lot, being with someone who is also OK with that. I don’t think I could — actually, I know I couldn’t be with someone who wasn’t OK with that.