A few decades ago, one would be hard-pressed to see a woman like Shazi Raja in a major Hollywood production. This would not be down to a lack of talent in the actress, but rather as a result of her ethnicity. Shazi is a mixed-race woman with Pakistani origins, an ethnic background that would have kept her out of work back in the dark days of discrimination in Hollywood. However, the curtain is getting lifted and Hollywood is beginning to embrace its minority talents which has given Shazi Raja a chance to express her acting chops in productions like God Friended Me, Brad’s Status, and Salvation.
Intrigues of Shazi Raja’s Ethnicity and Nationality
As mentioned earlier, Shazi Raja is of Pakistani origins. She is, however, a multi-ethnic woman. While we do not have the specifics, we know that the Texas native, whose real name is Alina Sheherzad Akhtar Raja and was born on the 13th of May, 1992 in the city of Houston, was raised by her mixed parents who are of German heritage and Pakistani heritage, specifically Rawalpindi.
From afar, it appears that Shazi’s multi-cultural background affords her a chance to have a deep understanding of two large cultures. This, however, is not quite the case as it has not been easy identifying with both sides of her background due to her not being fully accepted by members of her extended family on both sides because of her mixed status.
She Trained at a Performing Arts School Before Attending Rutgers University
Shazi Raja found interest in the performance arts when she was a child and began to nurture her passion ever since. Her first performance was at a stage play she performed alongside her mother at the age of eight. She eventually whetted her acting skills at the performing and visual arts school in Houston which further ignited her interest in becoming an actress.
The end of Shazi’s high school years meant she had a chance to carve her own way and she did so by enrolling at Rutgers University where she earned herself a degree in Fine Arts. During her time at the university, Shazi spent some time in London, England at the Rutgers Conservatory at Shakespeare’s Globe where she continued her training for a year.
The Highlights of Her Budding Acting Career
— Brad's Status (@bradsstatus) August 26, 2017
After graduating from the university, Shazi Raja relocated to New York to begin the career she has been working for since she was a child. In the Big Apple, which is America’s home of theatre, she joined the Huntington Theatre Company before appearing in stage plays like Milk Like Sugar. Her performance in the play earned her critical praise, particularly from the Independent Reviewers of New England who gave her an award for Best Actress.
Not long after, the comely actress made her first appearance in an onscreen production in 2016. She featured as Eesha in an episode of the American anthology drama TV and web series, High Maintenance. In the following year, Shazi Raja got one of her most significant roles yet, a leading role alongside Ben Stiller for the film, Brad’s Status, where she played Ananya. The movie premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017. Afterward, Amazon Studios released it on theatres, and it went on to earn about $3.8 million from the box office.
In that same year, the up and coming actress began to appear as Amanda Neel in the TV show Salvation. She featured in 13 episodes.
Shazi’s performance in Brad’s Status was a transformative and uplifting moment in her career. Its effect continued well into 2018 when she was cast as a supporting character in God Friended Me, a CBS comedy-drama series that tells an uplifting story about an outspoken atheist who received a friend request from God on social media.
In the year 2019, Shazi Raja continued to make more appearances across both film and TV as she landed three acting gigs. She played the role of Nazil Ahmadi in one episode of The Code, featured as Nadine Suheimat in four episodes of The Resident, and then portrayed the character of Angela in the American slasher film, Haunt. So far in her career, the adept actress has attained a handful of acting credits and will surely land more roles in the coming years.
What We Know About the Members of Her Family
Of her two parents, it is Shazi Raja’s father that is Pakistani while her mother is American. The actress is also very close to her paternal grandparents whom she is said to visit often in Pakistan. Another popular family member of hers is her younger brother, Ali, who was born in May 1998.
Other details of her family, including her parents’ profession or what her sibling is up to at the moment, are unknown. It is believed that as the actress continues her upward climb in the acting industry, more details about her personal life will emerge.
A Look at Shazi Raja’s Dating History
Shazi Raja has worked overtime to keep details of her personal life low key. This has, however, not stopped rumors from circulating that she once dated Christian Navarro in the past.
In 2016, Shazi had uploaded a picture of herself with the American actor on her Instagram handle. As a result of her caption on the post that read “Happy Birthday baby ily”, it was speculated that the two were dating. The rumor made rounds in the media at the time but the pair never commented about it.
— Christian Navarro (@ChristianLN0821) July 20, 2017
The story further appeared to be true when Navarro, who is famed for portraying Tony Padilla in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, gave a shout out to the actress on his Twitter handle in 2017. Later in the same year, however, the actor stated that he had called off his relationship with his girlfriend who he never disclosed her identity. Many at this point assumed he was referring to Shazi Raja.
Since that time, Chris Navarro has started a relationship with Kassidy Sierra Ramirez. The pair began seeing each other in 2019. Raja, on the other hand, has continued to keep her love life away from from the public. Hence, it’s still unknown whether she is currently in a relationship or enjoying singlehood.