Nazanin Boniadi is an Iranian-born English actress best known for her role as Fara Sherazi, a Muslim CIA analyst, in the psychological thriller television drama series Homeland, joining the cast in the third season.
Among her many television credits, she is also known as Nora, a relatively longstanding love interest to Neil Patrick Harris's Barney Stinson, in seasons six and seven of How I Met Your Mother. She also appeared in Rochelle, a three part series for WIGS that co-starred Rosanna Arquette and was produced by Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia.
On film, Boniadi appeared as Amira Ahmed in Jon Favreau's Iron Man and portrayed a young mother, Elaine, in Paul Haggis' The Next Three Days. She has several independent features to her credit including playing Parisa Ghaffarian in Richard Raymond's Desert Dancer, starring Freida Pinto, Reece Ritchie and Tom Cullen.
Boniadi first garnered attention for her work as Nurse Leyla Mir on General Hospital, for which she received a 2008 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series.
Born in Tehran at the height of the Iranian Revolution, her parents relocated to London shortly thereafter, where she was raised with an emphasis on education.
While she was involved in theatre early in life and earned her first TV credit as a guest host on the children's show Early Bird, Boniadi later decided she wanted to become a physician. She moved to the United States to attend the University of California Irvine where she received her Bachelor's Degree, with Honors (Dean's Academic Achievement and Service Award) in Biological Sciences, and won the Chang Pin Chun Undergraduate Research Award for her work in heart-transplant rejection and cancer research.
Switching gears to pursue her first love, Boniadi then decided to study acting, which included training in Contemporary Drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London under the supervision of dramaturge Lloyd Trott.
She is fluent in both English and Farsi. She is a dedicated human rights activist and an official spokesperson for Amnesty International USA, with a focus on women's rights and bringing attention to the unjust conviction and treatment of youth, women and prisoners of conscience in Iran.