Lili Mirojnick’s Happy Place

Actress Lili Mirojnick finds her joy on Happy!, the over-the-top comedic crime drama, and in real life.
Photography by Gregg Delman

by Ray Rogers

After years of one-off roles on television series from CSI to Grey’s Anatomy, Lili Mirojnick was more than ready to dig in to the empowered female cop she plays in Happy!, back on Syfy (and Netflix) for its second demented season. “You don’t get a lot of strong female characters who don’t have to be femmed-up on television. The amount of times I book a guest-star role and it’s like, OK, where’s the push-up bra, where are the heels?” says Mirojnick, who stars opposite Christopher Meloni on the darkly comedic crime caper. (“The writers have some twisted minds—we blow up nuns and there’s more orgies with latex-clad people this season,” she reports.) What a welcome change of pace to go to work in the same minimal, natural makeup she wears in real life to play badass detective Merry McCarthy. “It just so happened that I’m very much Merry—no bullshit, easy life, not a lot of frills, taking care of what she needs to take care of. She was me and I was her.”

Happy! also brought Mirojnick back to her happy place: hometown New York City (where the show is filmed) after an extended stint in LA. “I always felt that LA was a place where I had to build a life, but New York is a place where I can just be. My energy and the New York energy align.”

Photography by Gregg Delman

Newly settled in Williamsburg, she revels in long solitary walks in the city and as many nights of theater as she can take in. Her long-held dream of starring in a musical is “one I will never let go of!” she says. “Being back on stage is all I want. I left 12 years ago, so whatever I have to do, I’m ready to go shake some hands.”

In the meantime, a daily yoga practice keeps her fit and grounded. “I have a tendency to get anxious. Yoga taught me how to just exist,” she says. “It doesn’t matter what’s happening in my life—I could be the happiest person in the world or in a deep depression—but when I walk through those studio doors, I am home.”

STYLING: Veronica Martinelli
MAKEUP: Linda Kaufman
HAIR: Casie Morgan for Angelo David Salon | T3 Micro
SUIT: Kiton Pink Silk Suit jacket, $4,990; pant, $2,250, at Kiton,
SHOES: $950, at Kiton,
JEWELRY: Classic diamond-drop earrings, $69,865; highlight bracelet, $31,300; and highlight necklace, $231,000, all at Wempe,