Homeland’s Nazanin Boniadi Gets Real About Being an Iranian Actress in Hollywood

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,012
    As CIA agent Fara Sherazi, Nazanin Boniadi is in the middle of the drama on the fourth season of Showtime’s Homeland, which airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Nazanin visited our New York City studio recently to speak about her adventures on the thrilling program, working with Claire Danes, and what it’s like starring in a show about the Middle East as an Iranian-born actress.

    Female Speaker: Having Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison from Homeland as a boss sounds intimidating, but fortunately for Nazanin Boniadi who plays Muslim CIA Agent Fara Sherazi their real life relationship is easy-going. Allie Merriam: Now Claire Danes placed your colleague on the show but of course she is your colleague in real-life too so tell me about that dynamic with her onset. Nazanin Boniadi: Yeah, I mean she is an incredible person and she made it so easy for me to full in and become a part of the show and the family, and Fara is a key part of Carrie's team this year, so it's interesting what kind of mayhem I am going to get into. My heart is going like a steam engine.

    You use that energy; you're a journalist, so it's your chance for the big story. Best operations are 90% true. Right! Allie Merriam: The scripts for your show are kept under lock and key.

    Nazanin Boniadi: Yeah, I have a thing where I get really nervous when they give me a hard copy, because I am like, just give me - just e-mail it to me, and I will read it and then I will delete it. There was an incident where I had -- the hard copy was given to me and I was getting on the plane and I thought I left it at check-in, which - can you imagine because it says my name on it and it says Homeland - and I was - I panicked and I was - thankfully it wasn't at check-in it was in my hand luggage but I had a heart attack. Allie Merriam: You were born in Iran and obviously Homeland tackles some topics that involve that part of the world, so do you feel a responsibility to make sure that the show speaks about that part of the world in the right way. Nazanin Boniadi: Absolutely! You want to keep it as authentic and true to life as possible but at least end of the day you don't want to forget that it is entertainment. Allie Merriam: Beyond Homeland do you think Hollywood does a good job of representing that part of the world in the right way; that's something you think about? Nazanin Boniadi: Initially the roles that were offered to people of my background were terrorist roles and there was a huge negative connotation in that sense, but now you are saying, I played Nora on How I Met Your Mother and they never even touched on her ethnicity. So you have like non-ethic specific roles for people and it's really fun to be able to play just to go. Allie Merriam: Homeland airs Sundays on show time.