|Nazanin Boniadi Quick Info
|5 ft 3¾ in
|Date of Birth
|May 22, 1979
Nazanin Boniadi is an Iranian actress and human rights activist who is known for having been cast in a number of movies and shows while also continuously working to uplift the people of Iran and bring their causes to international attention. She has presented keynote speeches at several events. As an actress, she has played various roles in shows and movies like Ben-Hur, Gameface, Charlie Wilson’s War, Iron Man, The Next Three Days, Shirin in Love, Desert Dancer, Passengers, Hotel Mumbai, Fair and Balanced, General Hospital: Night Shift, The Deep End, General Hospital, Suits, How I Met Your Mother, Best Friends Forever, Grey’s Anatomy, Homeland, Scandal, and Counterpart. Moreover, Nazanin Boniadi has also amassed a huge social media fan base with more than 80k followers on Twitter, more than 200k followers on Instagram, and more than 300k followers on Facebook.
Los Angeles, California, United States
Initially, Nazanin Boniadi studied at a private high school and then attended the University of California, Irvine from where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree, with honors, in Biological Sciences.
While studying at the university, Nazanin Boniadi won the Chang Pin-Chun Undergraduate Research Award for the work in molecular research involving cancer treatment and heart transplant rejection. Moreover, she also served as an Assistant Editor-in-Chief of UCI’s undergraduate medical newspaper, MedTimes. Afterward, Nazanin joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and took a course in Contemporary Drama which she completed in 2009.
Actress, Human Rights Activist
- Others – Hajj Mirza Hasan Isfahani (a.k.a. Hazrat Safi Ali Shah) (Great Great Grandfather) (Famous Persian Philosopher and Poet), Maternal Great Grandmother
Nazanin Boniadi is represented by The Artists Partnership, Talent Agency, London, England, United Kingdom.
5 ft 3¾ in or 162 cm
52 kg or 114.5 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Nazanin Boniadi has dated –
- Nazanin Boniadi was in a relationship with a man for a long span of time which later ended as the Church of Scientology prepared her to become one of Tom Cruise’s girlfriends and a potential wife.
- Tom Cruise (2004-2005) – Nazanin Boniadi reportedly started dating American actor and producer, Tom Cruise, in November 2004. Later, it was reported that she met Cruise via the Church of Scientology as they had planned the entire event where many women were vetted so that a potential wife for Cruise could be selected. The Church literally chose Nazanin Boniadi to be one of Tom Cruise’s girlfriends. However, the Church officials did not tell her about their plans and told her that she was selected for an important mission. Her braces were removed and she also had to let go of her red hair highlights. Nazanin Boniadi only got to know about the mission after she reached New York and she had also previously signed a confidentiality agreement, stating she could not abandon this special project without the Church’s approval. She has claimed that “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”.
However, their affair only lasted for around 2 months and ended in January 2005 and Nazanin Boniadi later revealed the entire thing to a friend, for which she was later punished by the Church and “had to dig ditches at midnight and scrub floor tiles… She was placed on a curfew… escorted everywhere she went”. She has claimed that the entire situation made her feel like “she was a victim of white slavery because she traveled across state lines under false pretences”.
- Riley Smith (2013) – In 2013, Nazanin Boniadi went out with American actor, Riley Smith, but the relationship did not proceed any further and soon got dissolved.
Race / Ethnicity
Dark Brown (Natural)
- High cheekbones
- Toned body
Nazanin Boniadi appeared in a commercial, titled “The Swap”, for Nespresso alongside George Clooney in 2011.
She has also either endorsed or promoted a number of brands through social media which include the likes of CELINE, Dries Van Noten, J BRAND, Veronica Beard, Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc., Dean Davidson, Roger Vivier, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Louboutin, NANUSHKA, and Malone Souliers.
Just like her mother, Nazanin Boniadi was also a Scientologist.
However, she later left the Church of Scientology and became a “non-practicing Muslim”.
Best Known For
- Having been cast in a variety of movies such as Kal: Yesterday & Tomorrow, Iron Man, Diplomacy, The Next Three Days, Shirin in Love, Desert Dancer, Ben-Hur, Hotel Mumbai, and Fair and Balanced
- Appearing in several shows which include the likes of The Game, General Hospital: Night Shift, General Hospital, The Deep End, 24, How I Met Your Mother, Suits, Best Friends Forever, Grey’s Anatomy, Homeland, Scandal, and Counterpart
- Her extensive activism work as she has worked alongside several organizations and is also an advocate of human rights
Nazanin Boniadi made her first feature film appearance as Taylor in the romantic comedy film, Gameface, in 2007. The movie was premiered at the Dances With Films Festival.
In 2007, Nazanin Boniadi made her first theatrical film appearance as an Afghan Refugee Woman in the American biographical comedy-drama film, Charlie Wilson’s War. The film starred the likes of Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, and Ned Beatty. However, Boniadi’s role went uncredited.
Nazanin Boniadi made her first credited theatrical film appearance by playing the role of Amira Ahmed in the sci-fi superhero action-adventure film, Ironman, by Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008. The film won several awards and nominations and starred actors Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
First TV Show
Nazanin Boniadi made her first TV show appearance by playing the role of Josie in an episode, titled The Many Lies of Derwin Davis, of the American romantic comedy-drama series, The Game, in April 2007.
Nazanin Boniadi stays fit by working out on a regular basis and she often shares her workout videos on Instagram as well. Usually, she does exercises such as push-ups, mountain climbers, squats, and lunges. Moreover, she also incorporates resistance bands while exercising to tone up her muscle and increase her strength. Nazanin Boniadi also practices yoga.
As far as her diet is concerned, Nazanin Boniadi loves chocolates and sugar but tries to eat healthy as much as possible. She focuses on meals that are tasty, healthy, and provide her with sufficient energy and are based on low-glycemic, alkaline, and organic foods. Nazanin Boniadi also enjoys almond milk smoothies which she prepares using reishi, maca, cordyceps, fruits, plant-based protein powder, and hydrolyzed collagen powder. Salads also make a big part of her meals and she loves the one that includes beets, arugula, cucumbers, avocado, red seedless grapes, feta cheese, and walnuts, with freshly squeezed lemon juice, Himalayan salt, cayenne pepper, and a dash of balsamic. Additionally, Nazanin Boniadi also focuses on drinking a lot of water throughout the day and she tries to avoid caffeine and refined sugar as much as she can.
Nazanin Boniadi Favorite Things
- One Of Her Favorite Dishes – Zereshk Polo (Rice with saffron and barberries)
- City For Food – Florence in Italy
Source – TheNewPotato.com
Nazanin Boniadi Facts
- She was born when the Iranian Revolution was at its peak and within a month of her birth, her parents shifted to London, England, United Kingdom, where she grew up.
- After her parents relocated from Iran, Nazanin Boniadi once visited the country during her teen years and has since been declared ‘persona non grata’, which means her entry to Iran has been prohibited by the Iranian government.
- During her younger years, she used to perform ballet and also took interest in playing the piano.
- Being a student of Science, she later diverted her career pursuits and started acting in the year 2006.
- Nazanin Boniadi is the first contract actor who has played a Middle Eastern character in American daytime television history and is also the first actress born in Iran to ever be on contract on an American soap opera.
- For her role as Leyla Mir in the American medical drama TV series, General Hospital, Nazanin Boniadi was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the “Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series” category in 2008.
- She was cast as one of the love interests of the character played by Neil Patrick Harris on the American live-action sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, which starred actors Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, and Alyson Hannigan.
- Nazanin Boniadi also served as a spokesperson for Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) between the years 2009 and 2015. She has focused on the unjust conviction and treatment of Iranian youth, women, and prisoners of conscience.
- She was honored with a Social Cinema Award at the Ischia Global Film & Music Festival for working tirelessly for the preservation of human rights alongside Amnesty International.
- She has also presented keynote speeches at various events related to several social causes.
- Nazanin Boniadi became a board member of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, a non-government organization that works to attract international attention on the Iranian government’s repression of human rights and civil liberties in Iran, in October 2015.
- In 2016, she played the role of Esther in the American epic historical period drama movie, Ben-Hur, in which she starred alongside the likes of Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro, Ayelet Zurer, Pilou Asbæk, Sofia Black D’Elia, and Morgan Freeman.
- She is well-versed in both English and Persian.
- The best advice that Nazanin Boniadi has ever received is “Compromise on everything but the truth” while the worst advice has been “Mid-20s is way too old to start acting. You’ll never make it”.
- She thinks that she might have been a warrior princess in her past life.
- She loves going on hikes.
- Visit her official website @ nazaninboniadi.com.
Featured Image by Nazanin Boniadi / Instagram