Mena Suvari

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Mena Suvari
Mena Suvari 2012.jpg
Suvari in 2012
Born Mena Alexandra Suvari
(1979-02-13) February 13, 1979 (age 36)
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
Occupation Actress, fashion designer, model
Years active 1995–present
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)[1][2]
Spouse(s)
  • Robert Brinkmann
    (m. 2000; div. 2005)
  • Simone Sestito
    (m. 2010; div. 2012)

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 in the 1999 films American Beauty (for which she was nominated for a BAFTA Award) and American Pie (1999). 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.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

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).[3][4][5][6] 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. After moving to the Los Angeles area, Mena attended Providence High School in Burbank, graduating in 1997.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Early work, 1995–1998[edit]

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[edit]

Suvari in 2007

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[edit]

Suvari in May 2012

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.[7] 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.[8]

Suvari reprised her role of Heather in American Reunion, released on April 6, 2012.[9] In 2012, she appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, guest hosted by Jack Whitehall.[citation needed]

In October 2014, a newspaper article detailed that Suvari is starring in a television series, South of Hell, which will be a paranormal thriller. It is being filmed in North Charleston, South Carolina.[10]

Other projects[edit]

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.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Suvari married German-born cinematographer Robert Brinkmann on March 4, 2000.[12] 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.[13][14] They were married on June 26, 2010 in a private chapel in Rome.[15][16][17] 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.[18] The divorce was finalized in October 2012.[19]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1997 Kiss the Girls Coty Pierce
1997 Snide and Prejudice Geli Raubal
1997 Nowhere Zoe
1998 Slums of Beverly Hills Rachel Hoffman
1999 American Pie Heather
1999 Rage: Carrie 2, TheThe Rage: Carrie 2 Lisa Parker
1999 Atomic Train Grace Seger
1999 American Beauty Angela Hayes
2000 Loser Dora Diamond
2000 American Virgin Katrina Bartalotti
2001 Musketeer, TheThe Musketeer Francesca Bonacieux
2001 American Pie 2 Heather
2001 Sugar & Spice Kansas Hill
2002 Sonny Carol
2002 Spun Cookie
2004 Trauma Charlotte
2004 Standing Still Lana
2005 Edmond Prostitute
2005 Rumor Has It Annie Huttinger
2005 Domino Kimmie
2005 Beauty Shop Joanne Marcus
2006 Factory Girl Richie Berlin
2006 Caffeine Vanessa
2006 Dog Problem, TheThe Dog Problem Jules
2006 Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Aerith Gainsborough Voice role
2007 Brooklyn Rules Ellen
2007 Stuck Brandi Boski
2008 Day of the Dead Sarah Cross
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
2011 Restitution Heather
2012 American Reunion Heather
2012 The Knot Sarah
2014 Don't Blink Tracy

Television[edit]

Year title Role Notes
1995
1996
Boy Meets World Laura
Hillary
Episodes: "Danger Boy"
"The Grass Is Always Greener"
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 TV movie
2004 Six Feet Under Edie 7 episodes in season 4
2006 Orpheus Sue Ellen Movie
2008 Sex and Lies in Sin City Sandy Murphy Movie
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"
2015 South of Hell Maria Abascal/Abigail Lead role

Video games

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Title of work Result
1999 Online Film Critics Society Best Cast American Beauty Won
2000 Young Hollywood Awards Best Ensemble Cast[citation needed] 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jenkins, David (31 December 2001). "American beauty - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Mena Suvari steps out with her tattoo artist lover Salvador Sanchez". Mail Online. DMG Media. October 23, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Pie's American Beauty Dabbles in Swordplay". Girl.com.au. October 2001. 
  4. ^ "The Virginian-Pilot Archives". 
  5. ^ Murray, Rebecca. "Interview with Mena Suvari at the Hollywood Premiere of "Rumor Has It"". About.com. 
  6. ^ Ando Ivar Süvari profile, quidnessettmemorialcemetery.org; accessed April 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "Mysterious casting for Nolte and Suvari". Guardian (London, UK). August 24, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Mena Suvari Engages in Sex & Lies". TV Guide. May 14, 2008. 
  9. ^ Fernandez, Jay A. (March 12, 2009). "'Bride' tosses a bouquet to Hawaii production". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  10. ^ "New TV Series 'South of Hell' shooting in Charleston area", postandcourier.com, October 31, 2014.
  11. ^ "Mena Suvari Named Celebrity Ambassador to American Legacy Foundation Circle of Friends Program". legacyforhealth.org. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Biography for Mena Suvari". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Mena Suvari Engaged to Music Producer". Fox News. July 17, 2008. 
  14. ^ Jordan, Julie (July 16, 2008). "Mena Suvari to Wed Music Produces". People. 
  15. ^ Fowler, Brandi (June 26, 2010). "Mena Suvari Ties the Knot in Italy!". E! Online. 
  16. ^ "Actress Mena Suvari Weds in Vatican City!". Us Magazine. June 26, 2010. 
  17. ^ "American Beauty star Mena Suvari weds in fairytale ceremony at the Vatican". The Daily Mail (London, UK). June 27, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Mena Suvari Files for Divorce". People. January 13, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Mena Suvari - Officially Divorced". TMZ. October 1, 2012. 

External links[edit]