Actress Nazanin Boniadi is rapidly making her mark in both film and television. She was handpicked by industry icon and Academy Award-winning director, Mike Nichols, for a part in the 2007 feature film Charlie Wilson's War, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. She appeared as reporter Amira Ahmed in the 2008 Marvel blockbuster Iron Man, directed by Jon Favreau and starring Robert Downey Jr. She has also been cast in Academy Award-winner Paul Haggis's upcoming feature, The Next Three Days, starring Russell Crowe, which will hit theaters in 2011.
On the small screen Nazanin first became widely known for portraying Nurse Leyla Mir on ABC's Emmy Award-winning, General Hospital, for which she received a 2008 NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series. She first originated the role as a series regular on season one of SOAPnet's #1 rated primetime drama, General Hospital: Night Shift, in 2007.
Nazanin is credited as being the first actor in a contract role to portray a Middle Eastern character in U.S. daytime history, an accomplishment which she hopes has helped shape our social consciousness by promoting understanding.
Nazanin was able to showcase her comedic timing in her recurring role as Josie on the CW sit-com The Game. She has also appeared in several independent projects with new and gifted members of the entertainment community, including the Zachary Levi starrer Shades of Ray, and a lead role in Gameface, James Rhodimer's directorial debut.
Born in Tehran at the height of the Iranian Revolution, her parents relocated to London shortly thereafter, where Nazanin was raised with an emphasis on education. By the age of ten her passion for the arts was already in full bloom when she received a merit from the Royal College of Music for playing the violin, a certificate in ballet from the Vaccani School of Dance, and won the British "Yamaha Electone Festival" for her proficiency on the electric organ. After appearing in numerous high school productions, Nazanin earned her first TV credit hosting the UK's then popular children's TV show Early Bird.
Determined to rebuild the lifestyle her parents once enjoyed in their homeland, Nazanin decided to put her artistic dreams aside and instead focused on achieving a more "stable" and "secure" life as a physician. Nazanin moved to the United States to attend the University of California Irvine, where she won the competitive "Chang Pin Chun" Undergraduate Research Award (for her work in heart-transplant rejection and cancer research), and earned her Bachelor's Degree, with Honors, in Biological Sciences. Equipped with the confidence that she is capable of succeeding at anything she sets her mind to, Nazanin was no longer daunted by the prospect of pursuing her true calling- the performing arts.
Nazanin decided to immerse herself in the art of acting, even completing an intensive course in Contemporary Drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London under the supervision of the academy dramaturge, Lloyd Trott. Fluent in both English and Farsi, Nazanin's language skills, as well as her ability to effortlessly transition between authentic British, American and various Middle Eastern accents, have given her a universal appeal, allowing her to carve a niche in the industry all her own.
As a devoted human rights activist and an Official Spokesperson for Amnesty International, Nazanin has worked at a grassroots level and has also appeared on numerous international TV and radio programs to campaign for the rights of disenfranchised populations across the world.
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