Young Iranian-American actress Medalion Rahimi has been learning to be herself, and it’s been landing her roles. From her start as a young model and theater student in her hometown of LA, to working on films like Netflix’s electronic music festival drama XOXO, the lithe actress has leveraged her distinct look and acting talents to land increasingly more prominent characters on the screen.
In a recent interview with StyleCaster, Rahimi opens up about being bullied for her inherited physical features as a child, including her hair and freckles. Her Iranian parents “left Iran to escape a dictator” before marrying in the US where Rahimi was born. In the interview, the actress reveals her growth towards embracing her natural physical characteristics as an actress, discontinuing the heavy application of makeup and hair treatments, and thereby finding more successful casting opportunities.
— Torrance Coombs (@torrancecoombs) June 20, 2017
The 24-year old actress recently wrapped up the first season of executive producer Shonda Rhimes’ recent Shakespearean period drama Still Star-Crossed, where she plays Princess Isabella of Verona in a story concept that continues past the ending of Romeo and Juliet. Rahimi joined a tremendously diverse cast that spans different cultural backgrounds, an element which distinguishes the show among its television ilk. From a recent SAG-AFTRA interview:
“This is how television should be. It was a great opportunity for women of color to play these ladies and princesses. I had a friend who actually cried watching the show, because she had never seen another woman of color in regalia, dressed like that. I get emotional thinking about it.”
Interestingly, this is Rahimi’s second role in a series under ShondaLand—the moniker for Shonda Rhime’s production company and home to such hit shows as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal—as well as her second role as a princess character; she previously played Princess Zara Al-Salim in The Catch. Not to put too fine a point on the increased representation on the ABC Network, but it should be noted that her previous character hailed from the fictional homeland of “Kuroq,” and her actual Iranian background remains an elusive detail in the new show (interestingly, a “Kuroqi” co-star on the show was also played by an Iranian-American actor, Navid Negahban). That being said, Still Star-Crossed played fast and loose with the ethnicity of its characters in a historical setting as a matter of course, something which is relatively unheard of on standard television to this degree.
Medalion Rahimi is definitely a new actress to watch, and although Still Star-Crossed has been cancelled by ABC after the completion of its first season, she’s currently set to appear in director Marc Carlini’s upcoming film She’s In Portland in 2018.
Photos of Medalion Rahimi