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Gina Gershon Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (26) | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 10 June 1962Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameGina L. Gershon
Height 5' 6ΒΌ" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Since making her uncredited debut as a dancer in Beatlemania (1981), Gina Gershon has established herself as a character actress and one of the leading icons of American camp. For it was fourteen years after her movie debut that Gina made movie history as the predatory bisexual who was the leading light of a Las Vegas leg-line in director Paul Verhoeven's kitsch classic Showgirls (1995). Exploding out of a plaster-of-Paris volcano clad in nothing but body makeup and a G-string, Gina Gershon obtained cinema immortality. After Showgirls (1995), she solidified her reputation playing a lesbian sexpot in the Wachovski Bros' neo-noir Bound (1996).

Gina Gershon was born in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, the last in a brood of three kids. Her mother, Mickey (Koppel), worked as an interior decorator, and her father, Stanley Gershon, was a salesman and worked in the import/export business. Her paternal grandparents were from Russian Jewish families, and her maternal grandparents were born in Holland and Belgium, respectively, both of them to Jewish families from Poland. Gina was raised in the San Fernando Valley, and got the acting bug early, appearing at the age of seven in a school production of Bye Bye Birdie (1963). Because of her acting ambitions, her parents moved to Beverly Hills so Gina could attend Beverly Hills High, where she indulged her acting jones by appearing in a student production of The Music Man (1962). Her first love, she says, is singing.

After graduating from high school in 1980, she attended Emerson College in Boston, but took a part in the musical "Runaways". She transferred to New York University, where her official biography says she studied philosophy and psychology, but she graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts, taking a bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drama in 1983. In New York City, while perfecting her craft, she co-founded the theater company, Naked Angels, with Helen Slater.

Her big screen breakthrough came with a part in the 1986 "Brat Pack" teenage hit Pretty in Pink (1986). She also had parts in the Tom Cruise vehicle Cocktail (1988) and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Red Heat (1988). Of this period, she says, "One of my first gigs, a movie called Cocktail (1988), I found myself at 8 in the morning, in bed, practically naked, having to make out with Tom Cruise; hmmmm... movie business - so far, so good".

Citing Frank Sinatra's song "My Way" as an inspiration, she says that following Cocktail (1988), "I was fortunate enough to play many diversified roles in film, television and stage. Not always to the liking of my managers and agents, but I always did what I wanted...." She played Nancy Sinatra, Frank's first wife, in the TV miniseries Sinatra (1992).

Gina Gershon became a celebrity in Showgirls (1995). The following year, Gershon solidified her claim on second-tier stardom playing the calculating lesbian "Corky" in the crime movie Bound (1995). She never did capitalize on her mid-1990s breakthrough, but Gershon is established as a character actress and is never out of work, unlike most of her female peers who started out in the industry at the same time. Though no classic beauty, the talented thespian remains gainfully employed while many actresses of her vintage are out of work as she is possessed of a unique look and smoldering sex appeal that comes across on camera.

Gershon is versatile, too, as at home on stage as she is in front of the camera. After appearing in off-Broadway and regional theater productions, she made her Broadway debut as a replacement in Sam Mendes' revival of Cabaret (1972) in January 2001. For six months, she played the key role of "Sally Bowles", returning that October to reprise the role for another month. In 2008, she once again appeared on Broadway in the revival of the farce "Boeing Boeing" on Broadway, which won the Tony Award for Best Revival.

Gina Gershon also is a children's book writer. In 2008, Putmam Juvenile published her "Camp Creepy Time", a tale of a boy who discovers aliens at his summer camp, which she co-wrote with her brother, Dann Gershon. "Camp Creepy Time" recently was optioned by DreamWorks, which plans to turn it into a movie. In 2008, she also released a CD featuring nine songs which she wrote or co-wrote, "In Search Of Cleo".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Trivia (26)

Declined to recreate the Sharon Stone leg crossing scene for director Paul Verhoeven in the movie Showgirls (1995).
Was a California Valley Girl, moved to New York and tried to change her image.
BFA in Drama - New York University, Tisch School of the Arts (1983)
She is a founding member of the New York based theatre group, Naked Angels.
When she was a little girl, she almost drowned looking for starfish on the beach.
She is the youngest of 3 children.
Attended high school with Lenny Kravitz.
Played Lenny Kravitz's girlfriend in his video for "Again".
Before transferring to NYU, she attended Emerson College in Boston, alma mater of Henry Winkler and Jay Leno.
Appeared in the 1984 video for Hello Again by The Cars.
Recently sang with ex-Guns N' Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum at the Sundance Festival (Jan 21st 2003).
Actress Helen Slater is one of her friends; she helped her found The Naked Angels. Another friend was Jenifer Estess.
Younger sister of Dann Gershon and Tracy Gershon, who is a judge on Nashville Star (2003) on the USA Network.
Recently said that she would love to run Playboy Magazine. She had offered to do a pictoral for them, but was disappointed with how Playboy wanted her to pose and withdrew her offer. When asked what she'd like to see done differently, she said that the magazine should return to a "hip 70s style".
Co-wrote songs with Linda Perry for Prey for Rock & Roll (2003).
She graduated Beverly Hills High School in 1980. While there, she starred in a production of "The Music Man".
Her last name was misspelled as "Gersohn" on her birth certificate.
The look of Electra Ovilo, a character from Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001) is based on her.
Niece of Jack Elliott.
Cousin of Alan Elliott.
Her favorite movies that she's been in are Bound (1996) and The Player (1992).
Went to the same school as All My Children (1970)'s Jamie Luner.
Release of the book, "Camp Creepy Time: The Adventures of Einstein P. Fleet" by Gina and her older brother, Dann Gershon.
Guest-starring on The Practice (1997). [April 2004]
On Broadway in the revival of Boeing Boeing as the Italian bombshell 'air hostess'. [June 2008]

Personal Quotes (10)

[on Showgirls (1995)] "I decided to make my part campy because I initially thought that it was going to be really dark and really intense and then it just turned out to be completely different. So instead of going in that direction, I decided to make it so that drag queens would want to dress as my character on Halloween".
All I wanted to do was play "Conrad Birdie"; I really wanted to be like the Elvis Presley guy, and they ended up giving me the lead, "Rosie".
All my roles are different parts of my personality. Hannah is the caretaker part of me, the psychologist in Prague Duet (1998) ... is the part of me that's always analyzing, Guinevere's Billie is the artistic side.
Being the control freak that I am, I want to know everything beforehand. At this point I'm just going along for the ride.
A lot of my friends are struggling musicians. Being a struggling actor, it's just frustrating because you're not allowed to do what you want to do
Actresses are nightmares. I don't hang out with any of them. That's a problem with my profession. I try not to be like an actress.
I'm just nervous and anxious all the time - I drink too much coffee. But you know, everything can be solved with a bottle; the bottle is a universal cure-all - and not just a booze bottle, any bottle. You break up with your boyfriend, you get a bottle of peroxide. You get sad, you have a drink. Need to sleep? Get a bottle of pills. Baby needs to be calmed down? Give it a bottle. There are genies in bottles.
Showgirls (1995) was a great lesson in power. People would come up to me - like smarmy guys usually saying, 'So, you're doing Showgirls,' and they'd kind of look me over. And I would look them dead in the eye and go, 'Yeah. I run around naked in it and I kiss beautiful girls - it's great.' And they would visibly shrink away because I didn't back down. They were trying to have control over me, but as long as you're proud of what you're doing, and say so, people can't fuck with you, they'll respect you for your choices. If you act embarrassed, then you know you shouldn't be doing whatever it is.
I kinda wish I could be a lesbian. So many girls come up to me all the time, I keep thinking, "God, I should be a lesbian." But unfortunately, I'm straight.
[on studying - and in particular, doing dream work - with Sandra Seacat, from 1998 interview in Cigar Aficionado] Sandra totally changed my acting. Instinctively, I was always in love with psychology and my dream life had always been very important to me. Ever since I was 15 years old I had been writing down my dreams. What's really exciting to me about Sandra's work is that it changes your life, almost on a psychic level. Now I'll get parts and in working on them, she'll say, 'Well, let's see how you're developing, as a human being.' Because the parts you're doing, it's no accident. Those parts affect your life and they kind of illustrate the map that your life is following. When I'm working on a certain project, before I go to bed I actually ask questions. So you dictate what kind of dream you're going to have. You say, 'I need to find out this.' There's a whole ritual about how to go about it. And then Sandra will work on it with you. Then, in classes with her, you'll actually cast them and act them out, which is unbelievable. You almost change the molecules in your body by doing that. It's really powerful. The first couple of times I did that, I actually got physically sick the rest of the week. It was super-powerful... I've worked with Sandra for many years now and she's been a huge influence on my life. She was in the [Actors] Studio with Brando and those guys [sic], and everyone said that as an actress she was incredible. But I think her true calling in life was to become a teacher.

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