Yara Shahidi is one of Hollywood's rising stars. Since her big-screen debut alongside Eddie Murphy in the 2009 comedy Imagine That, she's gone on to appear in TV shows like Cold Case, Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place, Lie to Me, and The Fosters. Scandal fans will also recognize her as the young Olivia Pope.
On Season 2 of ABC's breakout hit Black-ish (premieres Wednesday at 9:30/8:30c), the teenage actress reprises her role as the smart, popular, and social media-obsessed Zoey Johnson. In honor of the comedy's return, the actress took the time to reveal to Zimbio everything you ever wanted to know about her.
Advice you have for anyone trying to make it as an actor:
Enjoy “life” and be interested in the world and people around you, because it translates into being a more connected actor.
Black-ish co-star who is always cracking you up:
Marcus Scribner and I are always cracking each other up on and off screen!
Celebrity you met recently that made you starstruck:
Hugh Laurie… I mean he is Dr. House!
Describe yourself in one word:
I am an iconoclast (as you can tell by the fact that I used way more than a word).
Embarrassing story you're ready to share with the world:
My first on-screen tiny kiss on a single camera shoot and the young man had proudly just eaten a tuna sandwich. Since it was shot with one camera, I had to repeat the peck on the lips umpteen times. There. I shared it.
Favorite behind-the-scenes moment from the set of Black-ish:
Any behind-the-scenes moment that involves Craft services (a.k.a. food).
GIF that accurately describes how you feel today:
**Insert GIF from the movie Clueless here**.
Hardest thing you've ever had to do on camera:
Run, talk, and run into a wall. It looked great though… SMASHING, if I say so myself!
Interesting person you met recently:
Tisha Campbell-Martin. She is a multitalented woman of color who began in the industry as a young actor, like myself. I just found out that she was in The Little Shop of Horrors.
Job you'd have if you weren't an actress:
Head of the FBI.
Karaoke song you slay:
*NSYNC's “I Want You Back”.
Last TV show you binge-watched:
Psych… I love detective shows, and detective comedies are even better.
Music video you're really feeling right now:
"Alright" by Kendrick Lamar. Umm... Who isn't feeling this video???
Nineties fashion trend you still don't understand:
What’s not to understand?
One random fun fact about yourself:
Obsessed with all things history.
Person you admire most:
Too many people to name. Just know that they are all active parts of my life!
Question you'd ask a historic figure and who would you ask?
James Baldwin. I would ask him what inspired him to fight for diversity and inclusion, knowing it would be difficult, as a gay man of color.
Revelations you've had about your Black-ish co-stars since you started working with them:
They are just as goofy as I am. And that’s a compliment!
Signature Zoey Johnson look you really loved wearing on screen:
It would have to be anytime Zoey gets fancy, whilst staying trés hip (i.e. a Ted Baker dress with limited edition tennis shoes).
TV show you'd love to cameo on:
Law & Order: SVU or White Collar (which needs to be un-canceled) so I can be the newest white-collar criminal… Thanks Matt Bomer!
Up-and-coming band you hope blows up soon(ish):
Okay, so Arctic Monkeys has blown up already, but I need another album and a west coast tour, so I am manifesting it by speaking about them!
Vine video that never fails to crack you up:
When Matt Cutshall takes the beat of Justin Timberlake’s "Cry Me a River" and sings about horchata latte’s.
World mystery you'd love to see solved:
What happened to Atlantis? And why isn’t Loki the rightful ruler of Asgard?
Since we will not ask for your favorite "X word," we will simply ask for your shameless plug here:
You bettah be joining us on Wednesday nights to witness the tomfoolery and rigmarole on Black-ish!
YouTube video you're showing all of your friends:
The 1994 interview where Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore is interviewing Beck. It's awkward, funny, and ultimately empowering because you see what to do if all else goes awry.
If you didn't know Zimbio was an entertainment site, what would you think "a Zimbio" was?'
I would think a Zimbio was a a teleportation device! I can't wait to "zimbio" to 2065!