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Suvari in 2016
|Born||Mena Alexandra Suvari
February 13, 1979
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Education||Providence High School (Burbank, California)|
|Occupation||Actress, fashion designer, model|
|Height||5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)|
Mena Alexandra Suvari (born February 13, 1979) is an American actress, fashion designer and model. Shortly after beginning her career as a model, Suvari appeared in guest roles on such 1990s television shows as Boy Meets World and High Incident.
She made her film debut in the drama Nowhere (1997). She achieved international fame for her roles as Angela Hayes in American Beauty and Heather Gardner in American Pie (both 1999), the former earning her a BAFTA Award nomination. She reprised her role as Heather in American Pie 2 (2001) and American Reunion (2012). She also appeared in The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999), Loser (2000), Sugar & Spice (2001), Spun (2002), Trauma (2004), and the HBO drama series Six Feet Under (2001–05). Suvari is a model for Lancôme cosmetics and print ads for Lancôme Paris Adaptîve and has been featured in several fashion blogs and magazines such as Vogue. She is a long-time supporter and activist for the African relief organization, the African Medical and Research Foundation.
Suvari was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the daughter of Candice, a nurse, and Ando Ivar Süvari, a psychiatrist. Her mother is of half Greek descent and her father was Estonian (from Pärnu). She has three older brothers.
She began modeling as a preteen and soon after appeared in a Rice-A-Roni commercial. The family later relocated to Charleston, South Carolina, where her brothers attended The Citadel. Mena considered becoming an archaeologist, astronaut or doctor, when a modeling agency stopped by her all-girls school, Ashley Hall, to offer classes. By the time she started acting, she had been modeling for the New York-based Wilhelmina agency for five years. Suvari relocated to California, and attended Providence High School in Burbank, graduating in 1997.
Early work, 1995–1998
Suvari made appearances in television shows such as Boy Meets World and ER at the age of fifteen and sixteen respectively. She also appeared in a number of episodes of the television series High Incident. She played a girl named Ivy infected with HIV in the Chicago Hope episode "Sympathy for the Devil".
She gained early notice for her performance as Zoe in Gregg Araki's low-budget drama feature Nowhere, alongside James Duval, Rachel True, Heather Graham and Ryan Phillippe. She had a supporting part in the indie drama film Snide and Prejudice, which opened at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. She played a small role as Coty Pierce in the 1997 thriller Kiss the Girls, where she appeared opposite Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd. She next was cast in a supporting role in the independent dramedy Slums of Beverly Hills, which was released in 1998. It was on the set of this film that she met Natasha Lyonne, who would later join the cast of American Pie.
International success, 1999–2006
In 1999, Suvari starred in the Academy Award-winning American Beauty, for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and was nominated for the "Favorite Actress – Newcomer" at the 2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards. She appeared as Heather in the popular teen comedy American Pie the same year. The film was commercially successful, grossing $102 million domestically and $235 million worldwide. She appeared as Lisa Parker in The Rage: Carrie 2.
Suvari starred alongside her American Pie co-star Jason Biggs in the romantic comedy Loser (2000). She appeared in the poorly received film The Musketeer, and had an appearance again with Biggs in the music video for the Wheatus song "Teenage Dirtbag" in 2001. She reprised the role of Heather in the 2001 sequel to American Pie, American Pie 2, which was also a box office success. She joined the cast of the dark comedy film Sugar & Spice, playing the character Kansas Hill, one of a group of close-knit cheerleaders. The film was a box office bomb. The following year, she starred in the independent drama Spun, opposite Brittany Murphy and John Leguizamo, and appeared in Nicolas Cage's directorial debut Sonny, a low-budget drama co-starring James Franco and Brenda Blethyn. In 2004, Suvari's film, the thriller Trauma, directed by Marc Evans, was released at the Sundance Film Festival. She portrayed the character of Charlotte, and co-starred with Colin Firth. The film was described by several film critics as a psychological thriller in the same vein as Jacob's Ladder (1990) and Memento (2000). In that year, she became a recurring character in the fourth season of the critically acclaimed HBO serial Six Feet Under, as lesbian performance poet and artist, Edie. She and the other Six Feet Under cast members received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2005.
Suvari appeared alongside Keira Knightley in Tony Scott's Domino, an 2005 action film based on the life of bounty hunter Domino Harvey. Later, she played Annie, Jennifer Aniston's character's tennis-obsessed sister, in the romantic comedy Rumor Has It, and co-starred with Queen Latifah and Alicia Silverstone in Beauty Shop, a spinoff of the BarberShop films, as Joanne Marcus. She performed the voice role of Aerith Gainsborough in the Square Enix/Disney video game Kingdom Hearts II and the English-language version of Square Enix's Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. She had a lead role opposite Katherine Heigl in Caffeine (2006), a romantic comedy about the relationships of the staff and patrons of the Black Cat Cafe in London one day. Suvari's last film in 2006 was Factory Girl, which premiered on December 29, 2006.
Recent work, 2007–present
In 2007, Suvari was cast in Michael Corrente's film Brooklyn Rules. The crime drama was released on May 18 in a limited release. Later, she starred in the Stuart Gordon's Stuck. The film premiered on May 21, 2007 at the Cannes Film Market, and opened in the United States on May 20, 2008. She had the main role in the direct-to-video horror zombie Day of the Dead (2008), a remake of George A. Romero's 1985 film of the same name.
She appeared in the film version of writer Michael Chabon's novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. She was cast as Catherine Bourne in the film adaptation of The Garden of Eden. The film was released in 2008 at the RomaCinemaFest and had a limited investors' screening in the UK. Sex and Lies in Sin City, starring Suvari, is a Lifetime made-for-television film about the events surrounding the death of Las Vegas casino owner Ted Binion.
Suvari stars In 2015 American supernatural horror drama television series South of Hell. The series was ordered by WE tv with a straight eight episode pick up, with seven episodes airing back-to-back on November 27, 2015, and an eighth episode available only through ITunes.
Suvari plays on the World Poker Tour in the Hollywood Home games for the Starlight Children's Foundation. She is also active in female empowerment issues. She is involved with several charities whose cause is breast cancer, the "End Violence Against Women" campaign, and tours high schools as a "Circle Of Friends" spokesperson, encouraging teenagers to quit smoking.
Suvari married German-born cinematographer Robert Brinkmann on March 4, 2000. Brinkmann was 17 years her senior. On April 24, 2005, she filed for legal separation, citing irreconcilable differences; the divorce was finalized in May 2005.
In 2007, Suvari began dating Italian Canadian concert promoter Simone Sestito, whom she met at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival. Suvari and Sestito became engaged in July 2008 during a vacation to Jamaica. They were married on June 26, 2010 in a private chapel in Rome. On January 13, 2012, Suvari filed for divorce from Sestito in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences and listing November 1, 2011 as the date of separation. The divorce was finalized in October 2012. She is currently dating tattoo artist Sal Sanchez Jr., whom she met at his tattoo parlor in Los Angeles, California.
|1997||Kiss the Girls||Coty Pierce|
|1997||Snide and Prejudice||Geli Raubal|
|1998||Slums of Beverly Hills||Rachel Hoffman|
|1999||Rage: Carrie 2, TheThe Rage: Carrie 2||Lisa Parker|
|1999||Atomic Train||Grace Seger|
|1999||American Beauty||Angela Hayes|
|2000||American Virgin||Katrina Bartalotti|
|2001||Musketeer, TheThe Musketeer||Francesca Bonacieux|
|2001||American Pie 2||Heather|
|2001||Sugar & Spice||Kansas Hill|
|2005||Rumor Has It||Annie Huttinger|
|2005||Beauty Shop||Joanne Marcus|
|2006||Factory Girl||Richie Berlin|
|2006||Dog Problem, TheThe Dog Problem||Jules|
|2006||Final Fantasy VII Advent Children||Aerith Gainsborough (voice)||English dub|
|2008||Day of the Dead||Sarah Bowman|
|2008||Mysteries of Pittsburgh, TheThe Mysteries of Pittsburgh||Phlox Lombardi|
|2008||The Garden of Eden||Catherine Bourne|
|2010||You May Not Kiss the Bride||Tonya|
|2010||No Surrender||Amelia Davis|
|2015||Badge of Honor||Jessica Dawson|
|1995/96||Boy Meets World||Laura / Hillary||2 episodes|
|1996||Minor Adjustments||Emily||Episode: "A Fish Story"|
|1996||ER||Laura-Lee Armitage||Episode: "Last Call"|
|1996/97||High Incident||Jill Marsh||4 episodes|
|1997||Chicago Hope||Ivy Moore||Episode: "Sympathy for the Devil"|
|1999||Atomic Train||Grace Seger||Television film|
|2004||Six Feet Under||Edie||7 episodes in season 4|
|2006||Orpheus||Sue Ellen||Television film|
|2008||Sex and Lies in Sin City||Sandy Murphy||Television film|
|2010||Psych||Allison Cowley||Episode: "Yang 3 in 2D" (5.16)|
|2011||The Cape||Dice||Episode: "Dice" (1.05)|
|2011||American Horror Story: Murder House||Elizabeth Short||2 episodes|
|2013||Chicago Fire||Isabelle||7 episodes|
|2013||Hollywood Game Night||Herself||Episode: "What's Cooking on Game Night"|
|2013||Lakewood Plaza Turbo||Enid / Ginger (voices)|
|2015||South of Hell||Maria Abascal/Abigail||Lead role|
|2016||Inside Amy Schumer||Herself||Episode: Psychopath Test|
- 2006: Kingdom Hearts II (as Aerith Gainsborough)
- 2016: OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo (as Enid)
Awards and nominations
|Year||Association||Category||Title of work||Result|
|1999||Online Film Critics Society||Best Cast||American Beauty||Won|
|2000||Young Hollywood Awards||Best Ensemble Cast||American Pie||Won|
|2000||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||American Beauty||Won|
|2000||BAFTA Awards||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||American Beauty||Nominated|
|2005||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Six Feet Under||Nominated|
- Jenkins, David (31 December 2001). "American beauty - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- "Pie's American Beauty Dabbles in Swordplay". October 2001.
- "The Virginian-Pilot Archives".
- Murray, Rebecca. "Interview with Mena Suvari at the Hollywood Premiere of "Rumor Has It"". About.com.
- Ando Ivar Süvari profile, quidnessettmemorialcemetery.org; accessed April 4, 2015.
- Staff (1999-10-18). "All-American Girl". People. 52.
- "Mysterious casting for Nolte and Suvari". Guardian. London, UK. August 24, 2006.
- "Mena Suvari Engages in Sex & Lies". TV Guide. May 14, 2008.
- Fernandez, Jay A. (March 12, 2009). "'Bride' tosses a bouquet to Hawaii production". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "South of Hell". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
- "Mena Suvari Named Celebrity Ambassador to American Legacy Foundation Circle of Friends Program". legacyforhealth.org. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- "Mena Suvari Engaged to Music Producer". Fox News. July 17, 2008.
- Jordan, Julie (July 16, 2008). "Mena Suvari to Wed Music Produces". People.
- Fowler, Brandi (June 26, 2010). "Mena Suvari Ties the Knot in Italy!". E! Online.
- "Actress Mena Suvari Weds in Vatican City!". Us Magazine. June 26, 2010.
- "Mena Suvari Files for Divorce". People. January 13, 2012.
- "Mena Suvari - Officially Divorced". TMZ. October 1, 2012.
- "Mena Suvari".
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