Who is Ksenia Solo?
Ksenia Solo (born 8 October 1987) is a Latvian-Canadian famous actress, especially known for portraying Mackenzie “Kenzi” Malikov on Lost Girl (is a Canadian supernatural drama television series that premiered on Showcase on September 12, 2010, and ran for five seasons. It follows the life of a bisexual succubus named Bo, played by Anna Silk, as she learns to control her superhuman abilities, help those in need, and discover the truth about her origins. The series was created by Michelle Lovretta and produced by Jay Firestone and Prodigy Pictures Inc., with the participation of the Canadian Television Fund (Canada Media Fund), and in association with Shaw Media). She also portrayed Peggy Shippen on Turn: Washington’s Spies. Solo also portrayed the character “Natasha” in the 2010 American television series Life Unexpected and Shay Davydov in Season 3 of Orphan Black (is a Canadian science fiction thriller television series created by screenwriter Graeme Manson and director John Fawcett, starring Tatiana Maslany as several identical people who are clones. The series focuses on Sarah Manning, a woman who assumes the identity of one of her fellow clones, Elizabeth Childs, after witnessing Childs’s suicide. The series raises issues about the moral and ethical implications of human cloning, and its effect on issues of personal identity).
Personal Life of Kenia Solo:
Solo was born in Riga, Latvian SSR, and is of Russian heritage. At the age of only five, she moved with her family to Toronto, and also raise there. She studied ballet until the age of 14 when a back injury forced her to stop; her mother is a former ballerina-turned-actress too.
Ksenia Solo landed her first television role at the age of ten in the popular Canadian kids series I Was A Sixth Grade Alien, alongside with Michael Cera. By the age of eighteen, she became the youngest recipient to ever receive two consecutive Gemini Awards in 2005 and 2006. She later won her third Gemini award for her very Best Performance in a Featured Supporting Role for her portrayal of Kenzi in the fantasy-noir television drama Lost Girl. Solo was also nominated for the first-ever Canadian Screen Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series for her work in the Lost Girl. In the year 2010, after an international search, Solo was handpicked by Darren Aronofsky to play Veronica in the five-time Oscar® nominated film Black Swan. That same year, she was named one of the 55 faces of the Future of Hollywood by Nylon Magazine. In 2011, Solo played Dodge in the highly anticipated FOX/DreamWorks comic book adaptation of Locke & Key, which was directed by Mark Romanek and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. In 2015/2016, she starred opposite Maria Bello in the feature film In Search of Fellini and Dominic Monaghan in the psychological thriller PET.
In a snapshot of Ksenia Solo:
- 1987- Born in the Soviet Union
- 1992- Moved to Toronto with her family
- 2000- Her TV appearance started with I Was a Sixth Grade Alien
- 2001- Her movie debut with A Man of Substance
- 2005- Won Gemini Award for Best Performance on renegadepress.com
- 2006- Won Gemini Award for Best Performance on renegadepress.com
Looking back at the life
“It’s true,” as she says, fixing you with pale blue eyes that look like they have never known a day of doubt. “On the very first day of school, my mother had to drag me in the school and also holding my hand, and when I looked at that sea of strange faces I’d break down in tears and Mom would have to take me to the bathroom where I could have my little panic attack.
“And from that moment forward, they’d all know how shy I was and how sensitive I was, and just how they could destroy me.”
Ksenia Solo has a pretty good idea of why she was such a magnet for bullies back then. “Oh my God, I was tiny, a total shrimp in their eyes and I had this grotesquely kinky, curly hair. They made fun of me for all of that and because I couldn’t speak English that well at first, either.”
She was born in Riga in Latvia in 1987 and has only a few disjointed memories of the country as she only spent the first five years of her life.
“I remember my grandmother’s apartment and I remember this forest by our house where I would search for snails, which I was obsessed by in those days.” She giggles. “Yes, there is photographic evidence of that.”
She says her parents’ moved to Canada “wasn’t politically motivated,” but “it was just around that time when the whole Soviet Union came crashing down.”
She thought Canada “was very beautiful and so incredibly free,” but she didn’t’ speak any English at first “and that was a very hard time to remember. It was such a barrier to overcome you don’t know English and you want to live there. I had been taken out of a world I knew and put into another where I was a perfect stranger. For years after that, I always felt like an outsider to everybody.”
And the bullying only added to that sensation.
“You know what it’s like. It’s that person or those two people who pick on you and then everybody else jumps on the train. Everybody wants to fit in, so if one person is leading the pack then the others all have to join in hating you so they can feel they belong.”
“I switched schools a lot and I had to get my books from the school I was leaving. I was too afraid to meet any of the people who had been bullying me, so I showed up after hours and had the janitor open up the classroom for me.”
These days, she is now a director of the anti-bullying foundation Stand for the Silent and offers her advice on survival.
“You have to find people you have something in common with, whether it’s sports or theatre or ballet. You can’t change the bullies, you can’t change the school system, but you can find a way for those of us being bullied to survive.”
For Ksenia Solo, that way out was initially ballet. When she began to study arts at Earl Haig Secondary School, “things definitely improved.”
There was a line of ballerinas in her family, so it seemed like a logical choice, but that didn’t work out either.
“I have a bad back and my body just wouldn’t allow me to do things a real ballerina needs to do. Ballet was never really my calling, but it taught me a lot about discipline and hard work, and it was a natural transition to acting. But I didn’t have a moment when I said, ‘This is the end of my dancing life.’ I was already going to auditions for acting before I stopped dancing.”
She was later to appear in Black Swan, the infamous movie about the behind the scenes neuroses of the ballet world and she laughs about it now. “When I did Black Swan, I said, ‘Oh that’s what I missed! Dodged that bullet.’”
Her acting career took off rapidly and she got two back-to-back Gemini Awards for her work as Zoey Jones on the series renegadepress.com, but it was when she stepped into the cult series Lost Girl as Kenzi in 2010 that her celebrity image went too much viral.
“You know, I never thought they were going to cast me on that show. I kept auditioning after auditioning. I thought I wasn’t funny enough, I wasn’t the kind of a girl they wanted. But they kept exploring the image they were looking for and I kept changing to fit what they thought they wanted.”
“I’m happy they saw Kenzi in me because I never thought I could be a tough funny street kid. But they sensed something inside me. Once we began filming, I was so different from this character it took me a long time to build what I was doing.”
Her work as Kenzi made her so popular with the show’s fan base that she knew when she left after Season 4 that “I would have to find the complete opposite of Kenzi to let people know that wasn’t me.”
And then along came the offer from Turn: Washington’s Spies, the AMC revolutionary war thriller that was looking to sex up its scenarios for its second season.
“The minute I read the script, I just knew I should do it,” she grins. “It’s not often that you find such a complex character for a young woman, especially a historical figure who was a real person.”
They were asking Solo to play Peggy Shippen, the born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-her-mouth daughter of Philadelphia aristocracy who fell deeply in love with the troublesome Major John André only to marry the legendary Revolutionary War traitor Benedict Arnold.
“Nobody expects to see me as the girl wearing period costumes, but it fits me perfectly in every way. When I tried on the dresses and the wigs, I kept thinking, ‘This should feel more strange to me. Why does it oddly feel like it’s where I should be?’”
And she’s delighted to be shattering people’s view of her as Kenzi, something she’s also doing with Orphan Black, where she’ll be as a guest as Shay, a holistic healer who meets Cosima, one of several cloned characters played by Tatiana Maslany.
“I loved being on Lost Girl, don’t get me wrong. But it’s so easy to get pigeonholed in this industry and I’m interested in people seeing that I’m a chameleon. Peggy is sexual and she’s not afraid to use what she’s got.”
She’s also interested in keeping her private life private, which is something she works hard at. “I’m really grateful for my relationship with my fans, but I’m a private person and I’ve tried very hard to protect that so I can live my life.”
And when she thinks back to the bad old days of relentless bullying, she has a certain amount “not of revenge, but of satisfaction.”
“There were occasions when people who were really horrible to me at school have reached out to me on Facebook now. How interesting! My last memory of a special person is ridiculing me and now they’re all, ‘Oh my God, you’re on TV!’ I’m proud of myself that I haven’t let that bullying hold me back.
“I’ve prevailed in a way. I’ve taken what happened to me and got over it.” It means bullying is not our job, it’s all about a situation that we need to avoid.
Ksenia Solo Career
Solo played Zoey Jones on the APTN series renegadepress.com. In both 2005 and 2006, she won the Gemini Award for the same role for Best Performance in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series for her work on the show. She went on to appear in other famous Canadian television series and movies, such as the films Love Thy Neighbor and Mayday, as well as guest-starring on the television series Kojak (is an American television series starring Ving Rhames. It aired on the USA Network cable channel and on ITV4 in the United Kingdom. It was a remake of Kojak starring Telly Savalas.
Rhames portrays Lieutenant Theo Kojak of the New York City Police Department, a skilled plainclothes detective with a shaved head and an affinity for jazz, fine clothing, and lollipops. As with Kojak, he is fond of the catchphrase “Who loves ya, baby?” The series lasted for one season).
In 2010, Solo played a very small part in Darren Aronofsky‘s Black Swan starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. From 2010 to 2011 she played as Natasha Siviac in the CW series Life Unexpected. Since 2010, she has starred as Kenzi in the Showcase series Lost Girl; Solo’s heritage and fluency in the Russian language were written into the role. She was also cast as Dodge in the pilot episode of Locke & Key, but the series was not picked up by Fox. In 2013, she began filming the independent film entitled Another You on location in Charleston, West Virginia. In 2015, Solo joined the main cast of Turn: Washington’s Spies as Peggy Shippen. She also had a recurring role in Season 3 of Orphan Black as Shay.
Solo is involved with the anti-bullying foundation Stand for the Silent and was made one of their directors.
Film Appearances of Ksenia Solo:
- 2001- A Man of Substance as Hannah
- 2001- My Louisiana Sky as Abby Lynn
- 2001- What Girls Learn as Girl
- 2002- Sins of the Father as Lucinda
- 2003- The Republic of Love as Micheline
- 2003- Defending our Kids as Kristyn Posey
- 2006- Love Thy Neighbor as Erin Benson
- 2010- Black Swan as Veronica
- 2011- The Factory as Emma
- 2016- Pet as Holly Garling
- 2017- Another You as Sydney Jameson
- 2017- In Search of Fellini as Lucy
- 2017- Tulipani, Love Honour and a Bicycle as Anna
Television appearances of Ksenia Solo:
- 2000- I Was a Sixth Grade Alien as Xanthippe for the episode Bride of Pleskit
- 2000- Earth: Final Conflict as Kathy for the episode of Take No Prisoners
- 2002- Adventure Inc. as Natalie for the episode of Village of the Lost
- 2004- Missing as Megan for the episode of Judgement Day
- 2004-08- renegadepress.com as Zoey Jones for 42 episodes
- 2005- Kojak as Angela Howard for the episode of All Bets Off Part 1
- 2007- Cold Case as Lena for the episode Cargo
- 2008- Moonlight as Bonnie Morrow for the episode Fated to Pretend
- 2009- Crime Stories as Waitress for the episode The Happy Face Killer
- 2009- The Cleaner as Callie Bell for the episode Cinderella
- 2010-11- Life Unexpected as Natasha for 13 episodes
- 2010-15- Lost Girl as Mackenzie as Main Role
- 2011- Nikita as Irina for the episode of Alexandra
- 2011- Locke & Key as Dodge
- 2012- Lost Girl Finale Pre-Show as herself
- 2013- Lost Girl ConFAEdential as herself
- 2013- UPYURUS6 as Kenzi
- 2013- Lost Girl: An Evening at the Clubhouse as herself
- 2015- Turn: Washington’s Spies as Peggy Shippen for 20 episodes
- 2015- Orphan Black as Shay for 6 episodes
- 2018- Blue Book for the episode Susie
Trivia of Ksenia Solo
- She was considered one of the 55 faces of the future by Nylon Magazine’s Young Hollywood Issue that released by May 2010.
- Toronto, Canada: Filming 2nd season of Showcase’s new hit show Lost Girl [August 2011]
- Name is pronounced “Keh-sen-ya So-lo”.
Some of the personal quotes from Ksenia Solo
- [on Renegadepress.com (2004)] “Renegade” is edgy and it’s fresh, new, and faces topics that need to be talked about and not necessarily by adults, but by us. Our show is dangerous and takes risks. It’s been so exciting to be a part of something like “Renegade”.
Ksenia Solo To Star at ‘Sweet Harmony’
Ksenia Solo, whose credits include the Syfy series Lost Girl and AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies, has been set as the lead role with her all talents in Sweet Harmony, an indie psychological thriller to be directed by famous director Jeff Beesley. Shooting just set and going to start by this summer in Winnipeg.
The script from Kerry Douglas Dye is mostly under wraps, but the story takes place in a rent-controlled New York apartment building in a gentrifying neighborhood that has gone condo. Conflict arises between the newer upscale residents and one of the original tenants. Scary Good Films’ Kevin Niu and Shane Snoke are producing, and Lynwood Spinks and Casey Wolfe are executive producers.
Solo, whose credits also include Orphan Black, recently starred in Tulipani: Love, Honour, and a Bicycle for director Mike Van Diem, which premiered at Toronto, and In Search of Fellini opposite Maria Bello.
‘Blue Book’: A series that Produced UFO Series for History channel
Michael Harney and Ksenia Solo have joined the series regular cast of History’s scripted drama series Blue Book, executive produced by Oscar winner Robert Zemeckis.
Created and written on spec by David O’Leary, the 10-episode Blue Book chronicles the true top secret U.S. Air Force-sponsored investigations into UFO-related phenomena in the 1950s and ’60s, known as “Project Blue Book.” The series follows Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Aidan Gillen), a brilliant college professor recruited by the U.S. Air Force to spearhead this clandestine operation that researched thousands of cases, many of which were never solved. Each episode will draw from the actual files, blending UFO theories with authentic historical events from one of the most mysterious eras in United States history. The series hails from A+E Studios and Compari Entertainment, a division of Zemeckis’ ImageMovers.
Harney will play a USAF General who is a sage of a man with a long, decorated military career. The powerful and also morally concerned general works closely with his partner overseeing Project Blue Book, hiding the truth about UFOs from the public for reasons of national security.
Ksenia Solo will portray the character of Susie. A modern, stylish, eye-catching young woman with an alluring confidence to envy, Susie is new in the town when she becomes fast friends with Dr. Hynek’s wife, Mimi (Laura Mennell). But, as the two bond over similar interests, empowering one another, we’ll soon learn Susie is far more than she initially appears in the series.
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