SHOHREH AGHDASHLOO earned an Academy Award nomination and won an Independent Spirit Award for her role, opposite Ben Kingsley, in the 2003 drama “House of Sand and Fog.” Her poignant performance as the supportive and sympathetic wife of a proud Iranian immigrant in that film also brought her Best Supporting Actress honors from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle and the Online Film Critics Society.
More recently, she starred in the box office hits “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” and “X-Men: The Last Stand,” as well as the romantic drama “The Lake House” and “The Nativity Story.”
On the small screen, Aghdashloo received acclaim for her role as Dina Araz in season four of the award-winning series “24.” In 2006, she starred alongside Ray Liotta in the John Wells series “Smith.” She has also guest starred on such series as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “ER” and “Will & Grace.” She will next be seen in the BBC Worldwide dramatic miniseries “Between Two Rivers,” and will soon begin filming the feature “The Rhythm of Chaos” for director Sarah Knight.
A noted film and theatre actress in her native Iran, Aghdashloo began her career on the stage with the Drama Workshop of Tehran at age 19. She debuted on screen a few years later in the 1977 feature “Gozaresh” (“The Report”), for renowned director Abbass Kiarostami, which won the Critics Award at the Moscow Film Festival. She followed this triumph with a role in “Shatranje Bad” (“Chess with the Wind”), also a film festival favorite. While her initial projects were banned in her home country, she scored a huge success with “Sooteh-Delan” (“Broken Hearts”), directed by the late Iranian filmmaker Ali Hatami, which established her as one of Iran’s leading actresses.
Just as her career began to crest, the Shah of Iran’s regime crumbled, forcing the Tehran-born actress to flee her home country during the 1978 revolution. Aghdashloo settled in England, where she completed her education in International Relations at the International University Europe in Waterford while putting her acting career on hold.
She resumed her career onstage in 1984 in a Farsi-language play that was also staged in several U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, and married playwright Houshang Touzie. Aghdashloo has since performed in several of Touzie’s works while forming Drama Workshop ’79, a theatre company created in memory of the revolution and dedicated to producing plays in her native language.
Aghdashloo has appeared in several independent films, including “Guests of Hotel Astoria,” “Twenty Bucks,” “Surviving Paradise,” “Maryam,” “America So Beautiful,” “Possessed” and “Pulse” (the latter two from filmmaker Shirin Neshat’s trilogy).