Marisol Nichols as Nadia Yassir
|Portrayed by||Marisol Nichols|
Nadia Yassir (Urdu: نادیہ ياسر) is a fictional character from the TV series 24 played by Marisol Nichols. Introduced in Season 6, she works for the Counter Terrorist Unit at Los Angeles, a fictional domestic branch of the Central Intelligence Agency. For a short time in the sixth season, she replaces Bill Buchanan as the Director of CTU after he is fired.
Concept and creation
Marisol Nichols got the role after auditioning for the show four times including for the roles of Carrie Turner, Michelle Dessler and Claudia, Jack's love-interest in the third season. The character was initially to be named Natalie Barnes, but executive producer Howard Gordon decided to make the character Pakistani American a week before the shooting the sixth season of 24.
In contrast to the South Asian Muslim character she portrays, the actress is of Hungarian and Romanian descent from her paternal side and Mexican and Spanish on her mother's, and does not have any ancestry from Pakistan, other South Asian Muslim countries, or the Arab world. She has stated that her olive toned skin and dark hair allows her to play characters of many nationalities.
Nichols does not speak Arabic, unlike the character she portrays. In addition to her part, she had to memorize technical terminology and speak the language with a correct pronunciation. The character has been described as the opposite of Muslim characters on American television, in which they are at times stereotypically portrayed.
Loosely mentioned in the show that the character was born in the Middle East, Marisol Nichols said the character was born to Pakistani parents although Nadia has been described as an Arab American. Living in the United States since the age of two, Nadia is very Americanized, and also a practicing Muslim. Nadia is portrayed as an attractive, strong and skilled woman. She occasionally disagrees with Chloe O'Brian, who has a history of breaking rules to help Jack Bauer. She is a registered Republican. Nichols describes her as a "woman in command who also has integrity."
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Languages from University of Michigan. She is notable for her fluency in Arabic although Nadia is of Pakistani descent and Arabic is not one of the primary languages of Pakistan. Throughout the show, she interprets Arabic spoken by the terrorists. Nadia Yassir has been racially profiled for being a Muslim. She had restricted access to her background in her workplace and she is the first to be suspected of leaking data to terrorists by Mike Doyle which led to interrogation.
Nadia has been a love interest of Milo Pressman throughout Season 6. At one point, she and Milo share a passionate kiss. Tensions between Nadia, Milo, and his nemesis Mike Doyle rise when Nadia shows concern for Doyle after a field operation. The romantic connection between Milo and Nadia reaches a climax when Chinese agent Cheng Zhi's men invade CTU and hold the people inside it hostage. Zhou, the leader of the operation asks who is in command, Milo stands up instead of Nadia, protecting her, which results in his death.
|This section requires expansion. (July 2008)|
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- Special: The 2007 ALMA Awards!