If you are a fan of ABC’s Black-ish, chances are that you have seen Yara Sayeh Shahidi. She plays the daughter on the show, and soon, she will be starring on a Black-ish spinoff, which would revolve around Zoey while she is in college. You need not worry about missing her on Black-ish, however, as the producers have announced that she will be heading home from time to time to make a guest appearance. Since most college students head home for the holidays, it would only be fitting for Zoey to return home as well. If you want to know more about the actress that plays Zoey, read on.
She Was Born in Minnesota
Yara was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her father is a photographer, and when Yara was four years old, he moved the family to California where he could get more work. Yara is very thankful for this decision, as she believes that if the family had remained in Minnesota, she wouldn’t be as successful as she is today.
Yara is Iranian-American and African-American. She is also part of the Choctaw Native American Tribe and her family originated in Ghana. It is also believed that she is the descendant of Vikings.
Yara Isn’t the Only Famous One in the Family
Yara isn’t the only star in the family. The rapper, Nas is her second cousin. She says that he and her mother were very close when they were growing up. Her younger sister is Sayeed Shahidi who is also an actress. She has had roles in Uncle Buck, Switched at Birth, Alex Cross, The First Family, and she even made a guest appearance on Yara’s show, Black-ish.
Her Career Began Very Early
Yara’s career started when she was just 6 years old. She was a model and she did television and print ads for several companies including McDonald’s, GapKids, Ralph Lauren, Guess Kids, Disney, and The Children’s Place. In many of her advertising campaigns, her mother and younger brother joined her. Although she is focused on acting, she still does some modeling. In 2016, she signed with Women Management modeling agency in New York.
Life Before Blackish
Before landing her role on Black-ish, Yara starred in both television and film. Some of her most popular roles were on Imagine That, Salt, Butler, Alex Cross, Entourage, Wizards of Waverly Place, Family Guy, Scandal, The First Family, and The Finder.
It Wasn’t Always Her Dream To Be an Actress
When Yara was 7 years old, she wanted to be a criminal consultant for the FBI. This was her dream, but she was still working as an actress and a model. After taking on a few roles and getting several modeling jobs, she decided that she loved the entertainment world, therefore, she continued auditioning.
Her Character on Black-ish is Based On Someone She Knows
The creator of Black-ish is Kenya Barris, and Yara went to school with her daughter. When she first auditioned for the role, all she knew was that her character was meant to be a preppy girl in private school, technologically advanced, and sassy. She didn’t find out until later that her character was based on her friend from school.
She is Really Into Comic Books
According to Yara, she tracks what is going on in Marvel comics every day. She says her favorites are Thor, Thor 2, and the X-Men trilogy. She says that one of the most amazing experiences in her life was when the cast of Avengers was staying at the same hotel as her. The cast was filming in Cleveland and while Yara was in the hot tub, Chris Hemsworth went into the pool area for a swim. She says that she was star struck during her entire stay.
She Says She Dresses Too Conservatively For a Teenager
Yara says that she doesn’t dress like a typical teenager. She wears blazers, button down shirts, Oxfords, and saddle pants. When she was younger, Kerry Washington told her that she should be true to herself. She also told her not to change her values or morals for a role. When it comes to choosing one person to look up to when it comes to life and fashion, Kerry Washington is her choice.
She Won an Award
In 2014, Yara won the NAACP Image Award for the Best Supporting Actress in Comedy.
Yara has had a very successful career so far and she is only 17 years old. Black-ish was her big break and that has led to her having a leading role in the spin-off. If you want to learn more about Yara, you can catch her on ABC.