Yara Shahidi is, at this point, definitely a household name. The super talented teen is not only one of the leading voices of her generation, she is also a pioneer in fashion, acting, and more. As she gets ready to embark upon fulfilling one of her most important roles to date, college student, wwd.com caught up with the young superstar and spent five minutes getting to know her better.

Check out the interview in its entirety below and let us know what you think.


On becoming an actress: “It was never something where I woke up and said ‘Hey I want to be an actor.’ It was always something I really enjoyed doing by accident. Because of that it took the pressure off. I also had the very good fortune of not having to work to pay bills for a very long time. It alleviates the need to just be working as much as possible so I’ve been able to be in collaboration with people I truly enjoy.”

On becoming an activist: “Our family has always been engaged and interested in the world around us. [My brothers and I] were always encouraged to have our own opinion at a young age, which is not always something a child is asked — especially to have an opinion with reasoning behind it. That really helped.”


How the prominence of the #MeToo movement has shaped her thinking: “‘Black-ish’ already aligned with how I politically lead so, if anything, that gave me a larger platform. Then people started to ask me to lead the conversations that were started on ‘Black-ish’ and then it became its own thing in which I could finally lead and start conversations. Within the past six months, I feel like, if anything, we’re at the precipice of everyone’s general anxiety and fear. It’s not anything new, but now it can’t be ignored. It’s also a reminder that we can’t separate our identities; I can’t separate my womanhood from my blackness from my Iranian [heritage].”

On the importance of family: “My mom will ask if I want to go [to an event] by myself and I always tell her to please come. Family is what makes all of the travel [feel like] home and worth it. When you’re not with your family it becomes work versus it just being fun.”


On someday running for office: “I’ll be politics adjacent.”

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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