Nazanin Boniadi is a British actress and activist, born in Iran and raised in London. She is best known for playing Nora in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother (2011), Fara Sherazi in the Showtime spy thriller series Homeland (2013–2014), Esther in the historical drama film Ben-Hur (2016), Clare Quayle in the Starz sci-fi thriller series Counterpart (2017–2018), Zahra Kashani in the action thriller film Hotel Mumbai (2018), and Bronwyn in The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings of Power (2022)
- Born: May 22, 1980 in Tehran, Iran
- Height: 1.62 m (5′ 3¾”)
Nazanin Boniadi changed her career path from science and started pursuing acting in 2006. Her first major acting role was as Leyla Mir on the daytime drama General Hospital and its SOAPnet spin-off series General Hospital: Night Shift, making her the first contract actor to play a Middle Eastern character in American daytime television history. She is also the first actress born in Iran to ever be on contract on an American soap opera.
She was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series in 2008 for her role in General Hospital.
Boniadi has also played supporting roles in several major Hollywood film productions, such as Charlie Wilson’s War (directed by Mike Nichols), Iron Man (directed by Jon Favreau), and The Next Three Days (directed by Paul Haggis).
She played Nora, a love interest for Neil Patrick Harris’ character Barney Stinson, on the sixth season of the hit CBS show How I Met Your Mother. She reprised this role during the show’s seventh and ninth seasons.
In May 2013, Boniadi joined the cast of Homeland season 3 as CIA analyst Fara Sherazi. She was promoted to a series regular for the show’s fourth season, for which she shared a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2015.
Boniadi also appeared in an eight episode arc on season 3 of Scandal as antagonist Adnan Salif. She portrayed Esther, the title character’s love interest, in the 2016 remake of Ben-Hur.
She narrated the soundtrack to the 2014 Iranian documentary film, To Light a Candle, made by Maziar Bahari and focusing on the state sanctioned persecution of Baháʼís in Iran.
She starred with Dev Patel and Armie Hammer in the 2018 feature film Hotel Mumbai, a dramatisation of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. For her role as British-Iranian heiress Zahra Kashani, Boniadi received a nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards in 2019.
From 2018 to 2019, Boniadi received critical acclaim for portraying the series regular role of Clare Quayle in the Starz espionage drama Counterpart.
In early 2020, it was revealed that Boniadi had been cast in an undisclosed role in The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime. February 2022, it was announced she would be playing the character of Bronwyn, described as a single mother and healer.
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