Yara Shahidi: Print Model to Black-ish

Yara Shahidi

Yara Shahidi who stars on Black-ish as Zoey started her career when she was six weeks old in a print advertisement for life insurance.

Yara Shahidi was getting offers to star in feature films since she was seven years old. Yara has been in front of our eyes since the TV series Entourage back in 2007. At sixteen she has a long list of credits to her name. Instyle shared a list of some things you may not know about the young star. Here are five tidbits about the up and coming actress:

1. Yara Shahidi is half Iranian and she is not sure if she is part Viking. The Imagine That actress said, “We’re Choctaw Native American and African-American—our family originated in Ghana, and then there’s a portion of our family that’s the descendants of Vikings.”

2. The Unthinkable actresses second cousin in Nas. She said, “My momma grew up with him. He got his genealogy done at Harvard and Henry Louis Gates Jr. did his entire family background. I was a flower girl at his wedding.”

3. Yara’s character, Zoey on Black-ish is based on someone she knows. “I went to school with creator Kenya Barris’s daughter for a year, and I didn’t know that my character was based on her going into it. It’s interesting to compare what I originally thought of Zoey with how she’s developed. All I knew is that she was sassy, technologically advanced, and went to some preppy private school.”

4. The Motherhood actress said she loves comic books. “I track what Marvel’s doing all day every day. I love the X-Men trilogy, Thor, and Thor 2. It all started when I was in Cleveland and the Avengers cast was staying at the same hotel as I was. They were shooting it in Cleveland, so Chris Hemsworth just came in and went swimming when I was in the hot tub.”

5. For Yara, Kerry Washington is her style icon. “I frequently wear things that are far too conservative for a teenager. I’ll roll up with saddle pants and blazers and button-down shirts and Oxfords. Washington taught me that as a young actress not to change who are or your values or morals for a role because what’s really authentic is when someone is true to who they are.”

It looks like Yara is one seasoned young actress who has been getting some great advice. She is certainly a talented young woman. Do you watch Yara Shahidi on Black-ish?

Photo: JB Lacroix/WireImage