Since making her unaccredited debut as a dancer in _Beatlemania (1981)_ (qv) (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 (I)' (qv)'s kitsch classic _Showgirls (1995)_ (qv). 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)_ (qv), she solidified her reputation playing a lesbian sexpot in the Wachovski Bros' neo-noir _Bound (1996)_ (qv). Of French, Dutch and Russian-Jewish extraction, Gina Gershon was born in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, the last in a brood of three kids. Raised in the San Fernando Valley, she got the acting bug early, appearing at the age of seven in a school production of _Bye Bye Birdie (1963)_ (qv). 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)_ (qv). 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' (qv). Her big screen breakthrough came with a part in the 1986 "Brat Pack" teenage hit _Pretty in Pink (1986)_ (qv). She also had parts in the 'Tom Cruise' (qv) vehicle _Cocktail (1988)_ (qv) and 'Arnold Schwarzenegger' (qv)'s _Red Heat (1988)_ (qv). Of this period, she says, "One of my first gigs, a movie called _Cocktail (1988)_ (qv), I found myself at 8 in the morning, in bed, practically naked, having to make out with 'Tom Cruise' (qv); hmmmm... movie business - so far, so good". Citing 'Frank Sinatra' (qv)'s song "My Way" as an inspiration, she says that following _Cocktail (1988)_ (qv), "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 (I)' (qv), Frank's first wife, in the TV miniseries _Sinatra (1992) (TV)_ (qv). Gina Gershon became a celebrity in _Showgirls (1995)_ (qv). The following year, Gershon solidified her claim on second-tier stardom playing the calculating lesbian "Corky" in the crime movie _Bound (1995)_ (qv). 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 (I)' (qv)' revival of _Cabaret (1972)_ (qv) 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' (qv). "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".
- [on _Showgirls (1995)_ (qv)] "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' (qv) 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)_ (qv) ... 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)_ (qv) 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.