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Alia Shawkat Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (9) | Personal Quotes (28)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 18 April 1989Riverside, California, USA
Birth NameAlia Martine Shawkat
Nickname Allie
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Alia Shawkat was born in Riverside, California, to Dina Burke and actor Tony Shawkat. Her maternal grandfather, Paul Burke, was also an actor. Her father is from Baghdad, Iraq, and her mother has Irish, Italian, and Norwegian ancestry. Success arrived early for Alia. Her career began at the young age of 11 when she landed a role on the ABC Family series State of Grace (2001). She later starred as "Maeby Funke" on Fox's Emmy-award winning Arrested Development (2003) where she portrayed a rebellious and mischievous member of a dysfunctional Orange County family trying to adjust to their loss of wealth.

Alia was introduced to show business by appearing in a Calvin Klein catalog, which immediately attracted the attention of commercial and theatrical agents in Hollywood. She soon landed a role opposite George Clooney in Three Kings (1999). This was followed by a supporting lead in the Ron Perlman' movie The Trial of Old Drum (2000).

But it was State of Grace (2001) that catapulted her into the forefront of young actresses. She has also had guest-starring roles on JAG (1995), Without a Trace (2002), Boomtown (2002) and Presidio Med (2002) and she recently starred opposite Martin Lawrence in Rebound (2005).

At 16 years old, when she was not filming, Alia attended a private school near her home in Rancho Mirage where she was able to continue her studies in English, Physics, Math, Geography and Drama. Her ambition is eventually to attend Yale University studying International Relations.

In her free time, Alia enjoys horseback riding, ice-skating and dancing. She is an accomplished pianist and speaks several languages. She splits her time between her home and Rancho Mirage and Los Angeles where she resides with her parents and her two brothers.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Lewis Kay/Alisha Mahon/Jamie Starr

Trivia (9)

She spends her time in both Los Angeles and her hometown of Palm Springs with her parents, two brothers, and her pet cat Max.
Her great-great-grandfather, Martin P. Burke, was a New Orleans policeman in 1898.
Her great-grandfather, Martin Burke, was a boxer who fought Gene Tunney and sparred with Jack Dempsey. Later, he and his wife owned a string of nightclubs in the New Orleans French Quarter.
Her maternal grandparents were actor Paul Burke of Valley of the Dolls (1967) fame, and former dancer Peggy Pryor (born Alice Louise Wikan).
Her father is Iraqi; he was born in Baghdad, and moved to the United States in the 1970s. Her maternal grandfather was of half Irish and half Italian descent, and her maternal grandmother was the daughter of Norwegian immigrants.
Step-granddaughter of Lyn Peters.
Daughter of Dina Burke and Tony Shawkat.
Member of The Interstate 5 Tennis Association.
Good friends with Ellen Page, her Whip It (2009) co-star.

Personal Quotes (28)

As an actress, you never know when you're going to work again - and there's so much dependency on working.
In my opinion FOX is known for being a network that just advertises, and that's pretty much how they get their viewers.
But I love singing, and I've been singing backup for friends' bands.
Kids can be harsh, especially when they get jealous.
When you focus on life, on enjoying and connecting with other people, that's when work comes. When you focus on work, you can never work. I'm always going through waves of that.
I think for a girl to be strong, it doesn't have to involve being physically strong.
I guess I've always been drawn to roles that have smart characters commenting on what's happening around them.
I go into work and get my hair and makeup done, go into wardrobe. I have to do three hours of school a day.
I feel very lucky.
I don't think it's good to say that you won't do certain things, but I don't necessarily have the natural urge to write.
Mitch Hurwitz was like a father figure to me. He was so sweet, and he's just so smart.
It would be great to do theater one day, but I don't think I'd do a musical.
I would do a movie musical.
I was born and grew up in Palm Springs. It's a great place to grow up, a real small town.
I was a late bloomer.
We're not going to dumb down for them. They have to move up. They're the network and we're the show.
The words are ludicrous at times, but you add the reality to it and that gives it the balance it has.
The main thing I got from growing up in a suburb is the boredom you have as a child.
Right when I turned 18, I moved to New York, originally for school, and then dropped out and just lived in New York.
On American TV, there just aren't a lot of female leads in comedy, especially at the peak of all the Judd Apatow stuff.
If you want to do something, then you do it. If you don't want to do something, don't just do it because your friends are doing it, or because all the popular kids are doing it.
I've been reading scripts where they've been doing a lot of singing now, but within the dark, realistic story line. I would love, love, love, love to do that. But not a musical on Broadway, I don't have that kind of energy or stamina.
I think with the whole new Internet media, I'm not necessarily Internet savvy, but I just feel that the way that art in general will be presented to the public is going to be different.
Yeah, I've worked with a couple of female directors, now, and I think that they're amazing. As good or better than guy directors.
When I get a new script my mom will read them and just be aghast. I think it's hysterical.
With independent film, as an actor, you have more involvement - it's very much more connected. It's not just like I'm showing up and there's another actor on the call sheet; you're very attached to it.
We don't have a laugh track, which helped Seinfeld a lot, and did kind of tell people when to laugh. It just made it a lot easier. Our show doesn't have that, so it's hard for Middle America to catch on.
If your friend's feeling bad, it's hard to know what to do. Do you back away or try to help them? It's a really hard situation that I've been in. You want to support your friend. You want to be there. My advice is, don't get too involved with it, just be by their side. If they need your help, they'll ask for it.

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