Yara Shahidi may be only 14 years old, but she has some serious goals for her future. And if the rate at which she is excelling now is any indicator, it is a very bright future, indeed.


Yara began her career at the age of two, starring in commercials that she cannot even remember. But as time went on, she discovered acting was something she “LOVED”. Today, she stars on the hit TV sitcom, Black-ish as Zoey, the teenage daughter of Andre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross).

When Hydrogen magazine asked the young star what it was like to have such iconic actors play her parents, Yara said “A mixture of surreal and educational. It’s like being in my own private improv class! They are both loving and nurturing and hilarious!” Although she admits she comes form the “world of drama”, she noted that once she started to say her inner0thoughts out loud, she realized she could make herself laugh, and others, too. She added: “[I] have been lucky enough to be on sitcoms throughout my short career.”

It may be a short-career up to this point, but Yara will likely be around for a while. Black-ish is already being recognized for its wittiness and has become a 2014 breakout comedy; it plans to be around for a while. At the moment, Zoey is being portrayed as a rather self-involved absentee daughter, but Yara assured viewers that overtime she will become a more three-dimensional character.

“She is so much more than that, which our audience will soon find out!” she explained. “Zoey represents a kind of mash up of typical teens. She is hilariously witty, smart and focused – like her dad, and is also an A-type personality, like her mom.” However, it seems Zoey is quite a bit unlike Yara, who describes her style as quirky, and her passions as travel and education. In fact, she has already taken time to attend courses at Oxford!

“My experience was absolutely awesome. I gained like-minded friends from around the world, and engaging professors that inspired me to continue feeding my love of learning… Some of the goals for my future: Continue growing as an actor, study at Harvard or Oxford (my GPA is 4.57) for my degrees and travel the world!”

But Zoey and Yara do have something in common, and it is the common ground they walk that led Zoey to the role. On the topic of the show’s subject matter, Yara discussed her reaction to the script, and noted: “I thought that the script was not only a reflection of my life as a young woman of color, but also as just a person finding my way. And even though the topics are serious, the writers do a brilliant job of making them relatable and funny for anyone.”


Photo: Hydrogen Magazine

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