Photo by JB Lacroix/Wireimage
Yara Shahidi is only 14 years old, but the Minneapolis-born actress, who moved to L.A. when she was 4 for her father’s career, is already a Hollywood veteran. She broke into the biz by acting alongside her mom, Keri Shahidi, in commercials, and has landed parts in several TV shows, including The Fosters, Cold Case, and Scandal. Her latest role as Zoey Johnson in ABC’s sitcom Black-ish—about a suburban family of five—throws her into the spotlight. Her character on the show is smart, savvy, and obsessed with fashion. In real life, Shahidi is obsessed with school. The 4.57 GPA student has already toured Harvard and Oxford.
“I really love history and public relations and business. I don’t know exactly what area of study I’ll go into, but I’m definitely going to college.”
“I pull from everybody—Denzel Washington, Saoirse Ronan, Queen Latifah, Angela Bassett. I’m inspired by all of their careers and how everybody has developed.”
“When I go to Minnesota, I feel relaxed. My grandpa owns a rug shop, Keljik’s Oriental Rugs, where my brother and I would play hide-and-seek. Now I’m getting a little tall, but when I was shorter, we would play for hours—and then bike around Lake Harriet.”
“I have the support of everybody around me. My parents, teachers, and everybody on set allow me to balance education and acting because they know I love both.”