The L “Carmen”
“Going to the moon made more sense than being an actress on a TV show. It wasn’t a reality.” Sarah Shahi.
A former NFL cheerleader and swimsuit cover girl who was crowned 1997 Miss Fort Worth, Sarah Shahi has turned to acting and was widely remembered as Carmen de la Pica Morales (2005-2006), a lesbian Latina DJ on Showtime’s highly acclaimed series “The L Word.” The Iranian-Spanish beauty, descendent of 19th century Iranian Shah Fat′h Ali Shah Qajar, has appeared on such TV shows as "Dawson's Creek," "Frasier," "Alias," "Supernatural", "ER", "Boston Public" and in the films Old School (2003), A Lot Like Love (2005), For Your Consideration (2006) and The Dog Problem (2006). Next, she will play roles in the upcoming films AmericanEast, Shades of Ray, and The Adventures of Beatle Boyin. She will also star opposite Damian Lewis on NBC's upcoming detective show, “Life,” which will premiere on September 26, 2007.
The 5' 3" tall, dark brown haired/eyed model/actress was named #90 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2005 list and moved up to #66 in 2006. She is reportedly dating fellow Texan actor Steve Howey, (born on July 12, 1977), who played Van Montgomery in the television series “Reba.”
“(My mum) always taught us there's no difference between your hand and your boob. They're body parts and if you have it, flaunt it. You're not going to be flaunting it when you're seventy-five.” Sarah Shahi.
Iran Ruler’s Descendant
Childhood and Family:
"I'm kind of a mutt: My dad's Persian, my mother is Spanish, and I was born in Texas. Growing up, all I wanted to be was white because all my friends had blond hair and blue eyes. Then I came to L.A. and realized, Oh, maybe it's good to be different." Sarah Shahi.
After her family left her native Iran due the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Aahoo Jahansouzshahi, who would later be more popular as Sarah Shahi, was born in Euless, Texas on January 10, 1980. Her father is of Persian origin and her mother is Spanish. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Fath Ali Shah (a.k.a. Baba Khan) of the Qajar Dynasty, who ruled Iran from 1797 to 1834.
"I’m so happy I grew up there (in Euless). It sounds corny, but there’s something about the South – the hospitality, the charm." Sarah Shahi.
Sarah, who speaks English, Farsi and some Spanish, was in the National Honors Society during high school and studied opera at the Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. She has a Brown belt in Karate and likes to play the piano and the guitar in her free time. She also enjoys spending time with her Jack Russell dog, Eddie.
“I was the teacher’s favorite, but never the kids’ favorite.” Sarah Shahi.
From Cheerleader to Actress
“I was 11, and I was going to a birthday party. I developed at a very young age, and I wasn’t comfortable with it. I would wear baggy clothes. And my mom said: ‘You’re not going until you put on a skirt! Celebrate your body!” Sarah Shahi.
With the support of her mother, Sarah Shahi began competing in beauty pageants when she was still in elementary school. And by the age of 10, she was offered to take part in an international modeling competition in New York.
“I thrive on competition. If you put me in a competition and I don't win, I'll die trying.” Sarah Shahi.
While studying at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Sarah was crowned Miss Fort Worth in 1997 and subsequently joined the world-renowned Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader squad. During his cheerleading stint in the popular squad from 1999 to 2000, she graced the covers of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders Calendar and Muscle and Fitness Magazine. She also traveled to the troubled Balkans, as a member of a USO tour, to entertain US soldiers engaged in operations in Kosovo.
In the new millennium, Sarah landed an uncredited role as a cheerleader in Robert Altman's romantic comedy film, Dr. T & the Women, starring Richard Gere, Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, Laura Dern, Kate Hudson, Liv Tyler, Shelley Long and Tara Reid. At the encouragement of Altman, Sarah moved to Hollywood, where she scored guest roles on such shows as ABC sitcom “Spin City,” Fox’s dramedy “Boston Public,” the WB’s comedy “Maybe It's Me” and NBC sitcom “Frasier.” She also received a number of recurring roles in several famous series including ABC spy-fi “Alias,” where she was cast as Jenny (2001-2002) and on the WB’s teen drama “Dawson's Creek,” where she played Sadia Shaw (2003).
Meanwhile, moviegoers could catch her in Todd Phillips' bloskbuster comedy motion picture Old School (2003), starring Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn. Back on the small screen, Sarah was spotted as a guest in a November 2003 episode of popular NBC medical drama “ER” and appeared twice on the WB’s sitcom “Reba.” She also became the first ghost in the pilot episode of the CW paranormal drama series “Supernatural” (2005).
2005-2006 saw Sarah played her most popular role to date, as the Mexican-American DJ Carmen de la Pica Morales who is involved in relationships with Shane McCutcheon (played by Katherine Moennig) and Jenny Schecter (played by Mia Kirshner) in the second season of Showtime drama television series “The L Word.” She recalled: “My very first day (on The L Word) I met Kate (Katherine Moennig) for the first time, and it was like, ‘Sarah, meet Kate. Kate, Sarah. Kate, you're going to be going down on Sarah. Sarah, you are going to have an orgasm. Welcome to The L Word.’”
After “The L Word,” Sarah landed another regular, this time as Tina Torres, an attractive teacher from Mexico, on NBC's six-episode sitcom "Teachers," based upon a UK series of the same name. She also appeared twice on Showtime’s one-hour drama “Sleeper Cell.” Additionally, she added to her film-acting resume with roles in 2006 comedies For Your Consideration, helmed by Christopher Guest, and The Dog Problem, which was written, directed and starred by Scott Caan.
Recently, in May 2007, Sarah guest starred on HBO’s hit mafia drama “The Sopranos,” playing Sonya Aragon, an exotic dancer and college student who had a fling with Tony during weekend. Next, TV viewers will catch her on NBC’s upcoming detective series, “Life,” which is scheduled to premiere on September 26, 2007. In the show, she will co-star opposite Damian Lewis, playing his reluctant new partner, Detective Dani Reese.
As for her big screen works, Sarah has completed Hesham Issawi's drama called AmericanEast, alongside Tony Shalhoub. She is currently filming writer-director Jaffar Mahmood's romantic drama comedy Shades of Ray, and Donna Robinson's independent dark comedy starring Michele Hicks, The Adventures of Beatle Boyin, in which she will play a stripper/hooker named Carla.
“I'm not one to be messed with. I can be bad when it needs to happen.” Sarah Shahi.