The image is from Wikipedia Commons
Boniadi in 2019
|Born|| (1980-05-22) 22 May 1980
She attended a private high school and later moved to the United States where she earned a bachelor's degree, with honours, in biological sciences from the University of California, Irvine. At UCI, she won the Chang Pin-Chun Undergraduate Research Award for molecular research involving cancer treatment and heart transplant rejection. She was also Assistant Editor-in-Chief of MedTimes, UCI's undergraduate medical newspaper.
Boniadi changed her career path from science and started pursuing acting in 2006. Her first major acting role was as Leyla Mir on the daytime drama General Hospital and its SOAPnet spin-off series General Hospital: Night Shift, making her the first contract actor to play a Middle Eastern character in American daytime television history. She is also the first actress born in Iran to ever be on contract on an American soap opera.
Boniadi has also played supporting roles in several major Hollywood film productions, such as Charlie Wilson's War (directed by Mike Nichols), Iron Man (directed by Jon Favreau), and The Next Three Days (directed by Paul Haggis).
She played Nora, a love interest for Neil Patrick Harris' character Barney Stinson, on the sixth season of the hit CBS show How I Met Your Mother. She reprised this role during the show's seventh and ninth seasons.
She starred with Dev Patel and Armie Hammer in the 2018 feature film Hotel Mumbai, a dramatisation of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. From 2018 to 2019, Boniadi played the series regular role of Clare Quayle in the Starz espionage drama Counterpart.
Boniadi provided a voiceover to AIUSA's "Power of Words" public service announcement with Morgan Freeman, which won a Webby Award; campaigned with the organization for the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA); has served as a panellist and emcee for events related to Iranian rights, and spearheaded The Neda Project with AIUSA in May/June 2010.
In December 2010, she initiated an Amnesty International petition for Iranian film directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, who had been convicted of "propaganda against the state". The petition generated more than 21,000 signatures, including prominent Hollywood directors and actors. On 8 June 2011, she joined a delegation, led by Hollywood director Paul Haggis and AIUSA Executive Director Larry Cox, to deliver the petition to the Iran Mission to the United Nations in New York.
On 3 June 2011, Boniadi joined Sarah Shourd in a rolling hunger strike and wrote an article in support of the Free the Hikers campaign, pertaining to the imprisonment of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal in Iran.
In December 2012, Boniadi worked with Roxana Saberi to launch an Amnesty International petition and campaign to free wrongfully imprisoned filmmaker Behrouz Ghobadi, brother of acclaimed filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi, in Iran. The petition included signatures from prominent Hollywood directors and actors, as well as major film industry organizations and festivals. On 22 January 2013, Amnesty International announced that Behrouz Ghobadi had been released on bail from prison in Iran.
In late 2004 to early 2005, she had a brief relationship with actor Tom Cruise. According to claims of the documentary Going Clear, her acquaintance with Cruise was not accidental and the Church of Scientology prepared and planted her for this role. The Church also vetted her along with dozens of other women as a potential wife for Cruise, but she was not selected.
On 10 May 2017, American journalist Tony Ortega reported on FBI testimony that Boniadi had given in January 2010 regarding her relationship with Cruise through the Church of Scientology. Boniadi's testimony describes how the Church's Office of Special Affairs selected her to be Cruise's girlfriend.
In October 2004, Boniadi was volunteering for the Office of Special Affairs in Los Angeles when she was told by Church official Greg Wilhere that she had been selected for a special project. Boniadi was told that her dental braces had to be removed and that her red hair highlights had to be corrected; she was also encouraged to end her relationship with her longtime boyfriend. She had to sign a confidentiality agreement, stating she could not abandon this special project without the Church's approval.
About a month later, after being flown to New York by the church, Boniadi learned that her project was to become a suitable girlfriend for Cruise. She stated in her testimony "at the beginning of the relationship [he] was very romantic but as the relationship progressed he began to have temper tantrums. He began to show violent tendencies". After their relationship ended in January 2005, Boniadi confessed her devastation to a friend and fellow church member. She was punished for this according to Church policies: she "had to dig ditches at midnight and scrub floor tiles... She was placed on a curfew... escorted everywhere she went". She also testified that she felt as if "she was a victim of white slavery, because she traveled across state lines under false pretenses".
In a later interview with the Los Angeles Times, Boniadi described her role in Counterpart as cathartic and therapeutic, saying "sometimes there are personal traumas that you don't ever talk about publicly but you pour it into your work". She continued: "this idea of shedding indoctrination and finding out who you are for me is a strong one. It has been extremely therapeutic for me to be able to put it out into the world through my art as opposed to openly discussing it."
|2006||Kal: Yesterday & Tomorrow||Simmi||Short Film|
|2008||Charlie Wilson's War||Afghan Refugee Woman||Uncredited|
|Iron Man||Amira Ahmed||Cameo|
|2009||Diplomacy||Persian Interpreter||Short Film|
|2010||The Next Three Days||Elaine|
|2012||Shirin in Love||Shirin|
|2015||Desert Dancer||Parisa Ghaffarian|
|2007||The Game||Josie||2 Episodes|
|General Hospital: Night Shift||Leyla Mir||13 Episodes|
|2007–2009||General Hospital||Leyla Mir||119 Episodes|
|2010||The Deep End||Heather Mosson||Episode: "To Have and to Hold"|
|24||Blonde Woman||2 Episodes|
|Hawthorne||Aneesa Amara||Episode: "Final Curtain"|
|2011||Suits||Lauren Pearl||Episode: "Errors and Omissions"|
|2011, 2014||How I Met Your Mother||Nora||Season 6–7 (recurring; 9 episodes)
Season 9 (guest; 1 episode)
|2012||CSI||Nurse Lauren||Episode: "Seeing Red"|
|Best Friends Forever||Naya||2 Episodes|
|2013||Go On||Hannah||1 episode|
|Grey's Anatomy||Amrita||1 episode|
|2013–2014||Homeland||Fara Sherazi||Season 3 (recurring; 6 episodes)
Season 4 (series regular; 10 episodes)
|2014||Scandal||Adnan Salif||Season 3 (recurring; 7 episodes)|
|2017–2018||Counterpart||Clare Quayle||Series regular|
|2021||The Lord Of The Rings||TV series|
- Terrero, Nina. "This Iranian-Born Actress Is Changing the Acting World". Time. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
- Blake, Meredith (3 January 2019). "The Conversation: Counterpart's Nazanin Boniadi on the complexities of playing Middle Eastern roles". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- "Nazanin Boniadi, a New Face in the Hollywood Cinema Industry" نازنين بنيادی، چهره ای جديد در صنعت سينمای هاليوود (in Persian). BBC Persian. 19 May 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Human Rights Education a Priority for Iranian Actress". United States Department of State. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- "UCI grads make good". University of California, Irvine. 6 June 2011. Archived from the original on 14 August 2013.
- Morse, Jane (23 October 2008). "Human Rights Education a Priority for Iranian Actress". Payvand Iran News. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- De Leon, Kris. "General Hospital Star Nominated for NAACP Image Award". buddytv.com. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- Gelman, Vlad (25 January 2011). "How I Met Your Mother: Nazanin Boniadi to guest as a love interest". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "Homeland Adds Boardwalk Empire Actor to Growing List of Guest Stars (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 22 May 2013.
- "Homeland Ups Nazanin Boniadi to Series Regular". The Hollywood Reporter. 14 March 2014.
- "Scandal Enlists Homeland Actress for Major Season Three Arc (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 11 February 2014.
- Fleming, Mike, Jr (2 December 2014). "Nazanin Boniadi to play Esther in remake of Ben Hur". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Bio: Nazanin Boniadi". Archived from the original on 14 April 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
- D'Aless, Anthony; ro (14 January 2020). "'The Lord Of The Rings': Amazon Studios Sets Series Cast – TCA". Deadline. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
- "Tag Archives: Nazanin Boniadi". Amnesty International USA. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- Bezai, John. "An Interview with Nazanin Boniadi". Human Writes. Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Nazanin Boniadi profile". Amnesty International USA. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Morgan Freeman: The Power of Words". YouTube. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "I-VAWA Supporters". Amnesty International USA. Archived from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "I Am Neda". Amnesty International USA. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Paul Haggis, Sean Penn, Martin Scorsese and Harvey Weinstein Join Amnesty International to Condemn Harsh Sentence for Acclaimed Iranian Director Jafar Panahi". Amnesty International USA. Archived from the original on 29 March 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "Iran Mission to the United Nations Accepts 21,000-Plus Petition Signatures from Amnesty International Delegation of Hollywood Luminaries". Amnesty International USA. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Boniadi, Nazanin (9 June 2011). "Hollywood Unites for Iranian Filmmakers". Amnesty International USA. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Zavis, Alexandra (4 June 2011). "Freed hiker fasts for two men still in Iran". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Giving Back". Nazanin Boniadi. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Ischia Global Fest 2011 — Music & Film". enzo-tex.it. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Rainn Wilson – Education Under Fire". University of California, Irvine. Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Nazanin Boniadi on Women's Rights at Amnesty's XX Factor Event. YouTube. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Boniadi, Nazanin (21 December 2012). "Join Hollywood and Amnesty International in Calling for the Release of Behrouz Ghobadi". Amnesty International USA. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Hollywood Film Directors and Actors Demand Freedom for Brother of Acclaimed Iranian Filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi". Amnesty International USA. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Petition: Free Filmmaker Behrouz Ghobadi" (PDF). Amnesty International USA. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Brother of Prominent Iranian Film Director Detained". Amnesty International USA. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- "Iranian Filmmaker Behrouz Ghobadi Released from Prison Following Amnesty Campaign with Hollywood Artists". Amnesty International USA. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Hosts Her 13th Annual "A World of Women for World Peace" Conference". Eddie Bernice Johnson. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Boniadi, Nazanin (2 May 2014). "Opinion: In Iran, an actress faces prison". CNN. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Boniadi, Nazanin (25 September 2013). "Rouhani: Meaningful Reforms or Political Games?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Natasha Fateh: We speak with actor & activist @NazaninBoniadi about female activists detained in Iran, the lack of support for ordinary people, and how the world has turned away". Twitter (video).
- Official website of Nazanin Boniadi - Biography
- Ball, Sarah (1 September 2012). "Scientology, Katie Holmes, and Tom Cruise: Who is Nazanin Boniadi?". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Alex Gibney (2015). Going Clear. Event occurs at 1:27:50.
- Orth, Maureen (October 2012). "What Katie Didn't Know". Vanity Fair. New York City: Condé Nast. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
- Wyatt, Daisy (9 October 2013). "New Homeland star Nazanin Boniadi 'vetted by Scientologists to become Tom Cruise's wife'". The Independent. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Ortega, Tony (10 May 2017). "Nazanin Boniadi's FBI testimony: Cast as Tom Cruise's girlfriend by Scientology". The Underground Bunker. Archived from the original on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
- Wright, Lawrence (2013). Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 356–362. ISBN 978-0-3077-0066-7.
- Business Insider, 2015
- Elan, Priya (14 October 2014). "Homeland's Nazanin Boniadi on hijabs and tackling prejudice on primetime". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- Sanchez, Rosa (11 September 2017). "Tom Cruise's Ex Congratulates His Nemesis Leah Remini For Anti-Scientology Show". Radar Online.
- "Prolific Persian : Nazanin Boniadi". The Persian Observer.
- Wyatt, Daisy (3 December 2014). "Homeland actress Nazanin Boniadi to star in Ben-Hur remake". The Independent.
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