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Message posté par admin le 24 Oct 2011

Nazanin Boniadi got her start on General Hospital, but fans of How I Met Your Mother know her as Nora, the laser-tag-loving, Ewok-hating World Wide News employee who may or may not have been Barney’s mystery bride in this season’s premiere. We spoke with the Iranian-born and London-raised actress ahead of tonight’s episode (in which she and Barney share a romantic evening gone wrong) about what it’s like to work with Neil Patrick Harris, bailing on med school, and making soap opera history.

Tonight’s episode, “Noretta,” is named for your character. From the preview, it’s clear that it’s going to be a big one for Nora and Barney. Anything you can reveal?
I can tell you that Barney and Nora have planned a romantic evening together and everything that can possibly go wrong does. This is my eighth episode of How I Met Your Mother and I’ve never had to do this much physical comedy, so it was very exciting. At the table read, all the actors were in hysterics. I haven’t heard people laugh this much at a table read in all the episodes I’ve done.

Neil Patrick Harris is especially great at physical comedy. What was it like acting opposite him in those kinds of scenes?
He really brings out every actor’s A-game. He’s a consummate professional. You’d expect someone who’s that great to be very serious, but he’s so light about it that he puts me at ease. He’s really made me a better actor, and the rest of the gang has, too. And the writers — there’s a reason why that show is a global success. Their writing transcends cultural barriers. That’s why people all across the world find it funny. I love being on it, obviously.

After seven seasons together, I’d imagine the cast is pretty tight off-camera, too. Has it been hard to infiltrate such a strong ensemble?
It was so easy! Comedians are usually really great when they’re trying, but in their downtime they’re usually not very funny. With these guys, it’s constant laughs. It’s the healthiest work environment I’ve ever been in.

What do you think it is about Nora that has been able to tame Barney?
I think it’s about timing in his life more than who Nora is. I do think that there are some things about Nora that Barney is responding to: She’s a strong woman and she doesn’t put up with much. But in the “Noretta” episode, I think you’ll find that there are maybe deeper reasons why he likes her.

I was reading your bio and it says you were “the first actor in a contract role to portray a Middle Eastern character in a U.S. daytime television series.” Which is a mouthful …
[Laughs.] Yeah, it is.

But still quite a distinction. Did you realize you were making history when you signed on to General Hospital?
I didn’t at the time. But then I started getting fan mail from the Middle Eastern community. That’s when I realized what a very Caucasian genre it is. Soaps are very, very Caucasian. People started telling me I was the first to play a Middle Eastern on the soaps, so we did a little digging and found it to be true. It was kind of an honor. Those little things — not that they make a huge difference — but it’s nice for the Middle Eastern community to see themselves on something that has generally been very Caucasian.

You attended University of California Irvine and won a prestigious undergraduate research award for your work in heart transplant rejection and cancer research. Where did acting come into play?
It’s funny, because I always wanted to act, but in my cultural background academics are heavily emphasized. So I was a good girl and went to college and did the things that I thought were right. I’ve always wanted to help people, so I thought maybe medicine was the way to do that. But when I finally graduated college and started the med school applications, I realized I couldn’t spend the rest of my life doing something that wouldn’t be my calling. I had to at least give acting a shot because that was my true passion. Then I had to break the news to my dad, who paid for my college. Needless to say, he wasn’t thrilled. He said, “So what do you want to do with your life?” And I said, “I want to act.” And he said, “You do realize you’re in your mid-twenties and you haven’t acted a day in your life?” And I said, “Yeah, I’m fully aware of that, but I’m going to take it seriously like I did with pre-med. I have the passion for it, so I’m hoping it will pay off.” Thank God it did.