|Born||Yara Sayeh Shahidi
(2000-02-10) February 10, 2000
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
|Years active||2007 â€“ present|
|Known for||Black-ish, The First Family, Bad Teacher (TV Series)|
I was in Minnesota, where I was born, and I did print ads and commercials. And that was always cool ’cause when you’re little, you can only work two hours a day, and it changes.
I’ve been shy twice. Once when I saw Matthew Bomer and once when I saw Adam Levine. I couldn’t say anything, literally.
When we moved to L.A., I started going out for more commercials, and then one day they emailed me a movie script. The first thing I said was, ‘No way. I love commercials.’
I have the support of my parents and my teachers. They made it very possible for me to go to a school that is open and supportive of me being gone at times and pursuing acting. But school always comes first for me.
‘First Family’ on the CW is about the president and his family living in the White House.
L.A. is great, but it’s a completely different beast. I go back to Minnesota, and I borrow a bike from my neighbor and go around Lake Harriet saying ‘Hi’ to people. Some of that is missing in L.A.
One thing I’ve always been concerned about is the objectification of women in ads, and that’s one thing where I was like, ‘Well, if I become a part of advertising, I could change that.’
Being homeschooled for half of my life allowed me to choose my own curriculum and find things I really enjoy, and that’s kind of inspired me. I’ve always been intrigued in or interested in the topics I’ve been covering.
Having life experiences outside of acting is something my family has always made sure happens.
One thing that used to worry me is the fact that it seemed like Harvard was this big scary thing where I would have to spend all my time studying just to get in. But getting to go to both campuses of Harvard and Oxford and getting to meet some of the professors was absolutely amazing.
My friends always laugh because I’m the kind of person who bought the Brooks Brothers school skirt, even though it’s not my school’s uniform skirt, but just because I liked it. I’m a knee-high socks kind of person.
I am all about comfort and whatever comes along with comfort. I wear a lot of sweats. But I’m also very preppy naturally.
At Harvard, I got to meet and have dinner with Jamaica Kincaid. Just to have conversations with professors was absolutely amazing.
I have so many pairs of oxfords; it’s ridiculous. It started because at my school you have to wear oxfords for our uniform, but after I got my first pair, I realized they were really comfortable, so they became my regular walking shoes, too.
Scenes change all the time. Scenes will change while you’re shooting them, and you just have to roll with it ’cause that’s what makes it funny. It’s not being stuck in your character and how you’re gonna do something, but to react to other people and to really have a real-life conversation.
I really love hip hop. My cousin Nas came out with an album ‘Life Is Good,’ and I love that album, but I also love Maroon 5.
I go on and off home-school and regular school, but the kids don’t treat me any differently because they’ve all known me forever.
Never jeopardize who you are for a role. Now, I’m not saying you should never change for a role, because the fun of being different characters is adapting different nuances and different parts of the character, but never jeopardize your moral compass or anything like that to have a role.
For me, personally, I’m usually not on my phone that much. I prefer listening to old radio shows and watching foreign films than tweeting.
I really love acting, but I also really want to be a historian, so it’s really confusing.