Karina Lombard is often best recognized for her role as the woman who seduced Tom Cruise on the beach in "The Firm", or as Brad Pitt's wife in "Legends of the Fall", but beginning next summer she will be known to a whole new fan base as the woman who seduces Mia Kirshner's straight character in "The L Word" (formerly known as Earthlings).
A Showtime series set to premiere in the summer of 2003, "The L Word" features a cast of well-known and semi-known actresses, including Jennifer Beals, Pam Grier, and Laurel Holloman, among others, and revolves around Kirshner's character Jenny as she moves to L.A. with her boyfriend and subsequently begins to question her sexuality after befriending her new lesbian neighbors (played Beals and Holloman).
In the pilot, Karina plays the pivotal role of Marina, the woman who introduces Jenny to her sapphic side--or, as described by director Chaiken, the fabulous seductress who rocks Jenny's world.
She has the most diverse ethnic background of any of the "The L Word" cast members--her maternal grandparents are Lakota Indians from South Dakota and her father is Swiss Russian-Italian--and speaks English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Born in Tahiti, Karina moved with her father to Barcelona with she was only a year old and subsequently attended a number of private Swiss boarding schools.
Although actress admits that she was never really educated about her Native culture because her father and his family discouraged it, she maintains her Native heritage is inside of me and I feel quite connected to it. Consequently, she always tries to ensurethat Native Americans be represented in the best and most truthful light possible in the roles she plays.
On a trip to New York as a teenager, Lombard was discovered by Bruce Weber for an ad campaign on Native Americans. She got her acting start at eighteen as a half-Tahitian and half-English girl in the Canadian miniseries L'isle, and then moved to New York to launch her American acting career with a small part in The Doors in 1991. Two years later she won a First Americans in the Arts award as a Native American Actress for her role in Wide Sargasso Sea, in which she played a Creole woman in Jamaica. She also played a Native American woman in 1993's Legends of the Fall, as Brad Pitt's wife, and had a memorable role a year earlier as the prostitute who seduces Tom Cruise on the beach in "The Firm".
Along the way she also appeared as a slave girl in "Kull the Conquerer" (1997), a photographer in "Footsteps" (aka Deception, 2001), and a police chief in the 2000 telefilm Murder at the Cannes Film Festival.