Arian Moayed

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Arian Moayed
Born (1980-04-15) April 15, 1980 (age 38)
Occupation Actor, writer, director
Years active 2002–present
Spouse(s) Krissy Shields (present)
Children 2

Arian Moayed (born April 15, 1980) is an Iranian-born American actor and theater producer. Moayed received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play in 2011 for his performance as Musa in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.[1][2][3]


Early life[edit]

Moayed was born in Iran.[4] His father is a banker by profession.[4] His parents left Iran following the 1979 Iranian Revolution.[4] The family settled in Glenview, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, when Moayed was five years old.[4] He speaks Persian.[4]

Moayed graduated from Glenbrook South High School in 1998. He then received a bachelor's degree from Indiana University in 2002.[1] During college, he appeared in plays by Anton Chekhov and William Shakespeare.[1]

He and his wife, Krissy Shields, have two daughters, Olive Joon and Ivy Shireen.[1][2]


Moayed moved to Manhattan following college.[2] In 2002, Moayed and actor Tom Ridgely, who was Moayed's roommate at Indiana University,[2] co-founded the Waterwell, an experimental, multimedia theater company in New York.[1][2] Moayed and Ridgely have produced more than a dozen stage productions and shows since the theater was established.[1] Moayed also works as Waterwell's artistic director.[4]

Moayed originally read for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo at a workshop in New York City in 2007.[4] However, prior commitments prevented him from joining the cast of the show until just ten days before the show's debut in 2009 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles.[1] Moayed was cast in the role of Musa, an Iraqi translator, by the show's director, Moises Kaufman.[4]

Moayed does not speak Iraqi Arabic, which is spoken by his character in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.[4] To acquire an authentic accent needed for the role, Moayed taped the translator who was hired for the play and studied her Iraqi Arabic accent in English.[4]

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo moved from Los Angeles to Broadway in 2010, where Moayed appeared opposite Robin Williams.[1] Moayed received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his portrayal of Musa at the 65th Tony Awards in 2011.[1] He also received a Drama League Award nomination and received a Theater World Award.

As a writer/director, Moayed wrote and directed his first short Overdue in 2012, which premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival in March, 2012. It was released on The Business of Being Born website. Overdue is about a couple trying to induce labor naturally before medical intervention. His second short film, Day Ten, stars Omar Metwally about the days right after September 11, 2001. Day Ten had its world premiere at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

In 2015, filming is scheduled to begin on Moayed's debut screenplay, This Island Made Me.[1] The film follows an eleven-year-old Iranian immigrant who tries to reunite his family for a concert.[1]

In 2016, he starred in the titular role of The Guards at the Taj alongside Omar Metwally. For his performance, he received a 2016 Obie Award presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Village Voice.


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