Whenever my mom goes to Afghanistan, I’m just like, ‘Bring me jewelry.’
TV and film has defined my entire life.
In Afghan culture, you don’t date – you marry. Even talking to boys before marriage brings great shame to your family.
I have a pretty big fund-raising heart.
I’m the first girl from Afghanistan to lead a series in the United States.
I go to the gym in a baseball cap, sweats and then run into a boy I like. It happens – so what?
My dad was in a Beatles cover band. My mom wore Candies and belly buttons. The people in our family were very glamorous. They wore pearls like Jackie O.
In 1979, when I was toddler, the Russians invaded Afghanistan, and my whole family fled to Vienna, Virginia. Far from home, my parents were determined to raise my two sisters and me according to Afghan traditions.
I have so much respect for policy makers and diplomats, but I could never be a politician because of the way they dress!
I just always knew I wanted to be an actor. I gave my Emmy acceptance speech when I was 11. But, I wasn’t allowed to do plays and things like that. It was considered dangerous. My parents didn’t think it was safe for a girl to do that, and they definitely didn’t think it was interesting to participate in the arts.
I grew up very poor, so I learned how to stretch a dollar. It’s nice to combine high-end with low-end or whatever-end you want.
I’m very physical. I’m extremely active, and I would love to do something a little more sexy and dangerous, a la Sophia Loren, or funny and humorous, a la Woody Allen. Getting to do things along those lines would be extremely wicked and a dream come true.
The thing with ‘Alphas’ is that, even though it’s sci-fi, I run into lots of people that have watched the show for various reasons. They’re like, ‘I had no expectation, and I’m totally blown away and fascinated.’
Even at an early age, I rebelled against my strict upbringing. When I was 9, I built myself a ‘make-out fort’ in our backyard from wood, filled it with candy, and invited my blond, blue-eyed neighbor over to kiss.
I didn’t want kabobs, Afghan music, and rules that required girls to be carefully monitored. I wanted mac and cheese, country music, and independence.