L Word's resident
heartthrob grew up terrorizing Rittenhouse Square on her tricycle.
Moennig and her pals gleefully caused havoc as they sped around the park
on their noisy Big Wheels. They called themselves the Big Wheels Harley
was 100 percent tomboy," says Moennig, whose father, violin-maker
William Moennig, runs the family business in Center City. "I had the
biggest Big Wheels... .We made loud, ear-piercing noise."
is making noise, too.
just two 10 p.m. Sunday episodes, Showtime last week renewed the new
lesbian-theme drama. That makes L Word the fastest - you should
pardon the pun - pickup in Showtime's 27-year history.
on 13 hour-long episodes begins in June in Vancouver, British Columbia.
first cousin to Gwyneth Paltrow, plays L.A. hair stylist Shane, the
androgynous chick magnet in her group of lesbian friends.
Warren Beatty's hairdresser in 1975's Shampoo, Shane attracts women
like moths to light. Without even trying.
fact, L Word creator Ilene Chaiken modelled Shane on Beatty.
Chaiken introduced Moennig to Shampoo so she'd get a feel for the
part. (Moennig, 27, wasn't even born when the movie was released.)
"is a fantasy for a lot of women, gay and straight," says
Chaiken, 47, an Elkins Park native and Cheltenham High grad. "She has
a smouldering sexuality and an intriguing personality."
perfect fit for Moennig, according to Chaiken. The actor, she says, is as
androgynous as the character she plays.
"brings that revolutionary androgyny that confounds. She can pass for
a boy, yet she's totally sexy. I think men respond to her as much as women
wit: Moennig played a girl passing as a boy in her first series, the WB's Young
Americans (2000), set at an exclusive boys' boarding school. When the
dean's son fell for "Jake," he was labelled gay.
a Sapphic stud "is interesting," says Moennig, who won't discuss
her personal life. "I like it. Shane is so comfortable in her own
skin. That's an attractive quality. That's why she attracts
begins a major storyline in episode nine (March 14), when she gets into a
hot relationship with a married customer played by Rosanna Arquette (Pulp
Fiction). It gets more complicated, of course.
complicated about L Word for Moennig. It's her big break, and she's
graduating from Villanova's Notre Dame Academy in 1996, Moennig moved to
New York to pursue an acting career. She had been unemployed for almost a
year when her agent sent her The L Word script.
the first two pages, I thought this was one of a kind," she says.
"It was going to make an impact. It had a solid voice that people
sex scenes with women is no big whup, she says. "I knew what I was
walking into when I took the job. When it comes down to doing the deed,
all the love scenes are nicely written."
problem for her parents, either. Her father and mother, former Broadway
dancer Mary Zahn, "are stoked" about L Word, Moennig
come from a family of artists. It's my world. I'm here to play different
characters. This one happens to be a very sexual one."