Wissam Shawkat

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Shawkat (/ˈæliə ˈʃkɑːt/ AL-ee-ə SHOH-kaht;[1][2] born April 18, 1989)[3] is an American actress and artist. She is known for her roles as Hannah Rayburn in State of Grace, Maeby Fünke in the Fox/Netflix television sitcom Arrested Development (2003–2006; 2013; 2018–2019), Gertie Michaels in the 2015 horror-comedy film The Final Girls, and Dory Sief in the TBS comedy series Search Party (2016–present). She also guest starred as Frances Cleveland, Virginia Hall, and Alexander Hamilton on Comedy Central's Drunk History.

Early life[edit]

Shawkat was born in Riverside, California, to Dina Shawkat (née Burke) and film producer Tony Shawkat.[citation needed] She grew up in Palm Springs.[4] She has two brothers.[5] Her father is an Arab, from Iraq.[1][6] Her mother is of Norwegian, Irish, and Italian descent.[7]


From 2001–2004, Shawkat played Hannah in State of Grace. As Maeby Fünke, Shawkat was a regular cast member of Arrested Development for the entire run of the show from 2003 to 2018.[8] The series received nearly universally positive reviews, with Shawkat's performance occasionally singled out for praise. Pop-culture commentator Brian M. Palmer remarked that she was "one of the brightest lights on a show populated solely by bright lights,"[9] and Scott Weinberg of eFilmCritic described her as "one funny young lady."[10] In an interview with The A.V. Club in 2010, Shawkat remarked that many of her "formative moments" as an actress took place on the Arrested Development set: " [Show creator] Mitch Hurwitz was like a father figure to me. In a way, it was great to be around [the cast], because I feel that my understanding of comedy was able to grow really well during that time."[11]

In 2009, Shawkat appeared in Whip It co-star Har Mar Superstar's music video for "Tall Boy", which also featured Eva Mendes and Eric Wareheim. In October 2009, it was announced that Shawkat, Har Mar, and Whip It co-star Ellen Page would produce and write a show for HBO called Stitch N' Bitch.[11] According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show "follows two painfully cool hipster girls as they relocate from Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood to Los Angeles' Silver Lake enclave in hopes of becoming artists—of any kind."[12]

Shawkat, along with Arrested Development co-star and close friend Mae Whitman, sang guest vocals on a number of tracks from indie-punk band Fake Problems' 2010 album Real Ghosts Caught on Tape.[13]

Six years after the series was canceled by Fox, filming for a revived fourth season of Arrested Development began on August 7, 2012 and Shawkat reprised her role as Maeby Fünke. The season consists of 15 new episodes which debuted at the same time on Netflix on May 26, 2013. Each episode focuses on one particular character, with Shawkat's Maeby, now a high school senior, featured in episode 12, "Señoritis" and appearing in several other episodes of the season.

In 2015, Shawkat guest-starred on Broad City, portraying the romantic interest and look-alike of Ilana Glazer's character for one episode; the two were only attracted to one another due to their similar appearances. Leading up to the episode, many had remarked on the physical similarities Shawkat and Glazer bear to one another.[14]

Shawkat stars on the TBS comedy Search Party, which premiered on November 21, 2016[15] and had been renewed for season three as of 23 April 2018.[16]

Shawkat plays the role of Tyler, a high-living American partier in Dublin, in the 2019 film Animals, directed by Australian director Sophie Hyde. It is a film made by women and starring women as lead characters, about a friendship which changes after Laura (played by Holliday Grainger) gets engaged to her teetotalling boyfriend.[17][18] Shawkat said that she had never played a character like Tyler before, with her previous characters more relatable, and she was "excited to play someone who was so fun, but so damaged".[19]

Personal life[edit]

When not acting, she likes to paint; she has participated in gallery shows in Los Angeles, Mexico City and Paris. She also likes to make music and sing in jazz bars.[2] Ever since the filming of Whip It, she has been best friends with fellow actress Ellen Page. She is bisexual.[20]

Shawkat is the granddaughter of actor Paul Burke.



Year Title Role Notes
1999 Three Kings Amir's Daughter
2005 Rebound Amy
2005 Queen of Cactus Cove Billie Short film
2006 Deck the Halls Madison Finch
2008 Bart Got a Room Camille
2008 Prom Wars Diana Riggs
2009 Amreeka Salma Halaby
2009 Whip It Pash Amini
2010 The Runaways Robin
2011 The Lie Seven
2011 Cedar Rapids Bree
2011 The Oranges Vanessa Walling
2011 Our Deal Night Creeper Short film
2012 Damsels in Distress Mad Madge
2012 That's What She Said Clementine
2012 Ruby Sparks Mabel
2012 The Brass Teapot Louise
2012 The Golden Age Janice Short film
2013 May in the Summer Dalia
2013 The End of Love Alia Shawkat Cameo
2013 Setup, Punch Dottie Kaufman Short film
2013 The To Do List Fiona Forster
2013 Bunion Rachel Short film
2013 Night Moves Surprise
2013 The Moment Jessie Jamil
2014 Life After Beth Roz
2014 Wild Canaries Jean
2015 The Final Girls Gertie Michaels
2015 The Driftless Area Carrie
2015 Nasty Baby Wendy
2015 Adam Green's Aladdin Emily
2015 Green Room Sam
2015 Me Him Her Laura
2016 The Intervention Lola
2016 Pee-wee's Big Holiday Bella
2016 Paint It Black Josie
2016 20th Century Women Trish
2017 Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town Agatha Benson
2018 Blaze Sybil Rosen
2018 Duck Butter Naima Also writer
2019 Animals Tyler
2019 First Cow Woman with Dog
2019 I Lost My Body Gabrielle (voice) English dub


Year Title Role Notes
1999 JAG Young Sarah MacKenzie Episode: "Second Sight"
2000 The Trial of Old Drum Dee TV film
2002 State of Grace Young Hannah Rayburn Main cast; 40 episodes
2002 Presidio Med Tara Wegman Episode: "Good Question"
2003 Without a Trace Siobhan Arintero Episode: "Maple Street"
2003 Boomtown Denise Stein Episode: "Home Invasion"
2003–06; 2013;
Arrested Development Mae "Maeby" Fünke Main cast; 79 episodes
2006 Veronica Mars Stacy Wells Episode: "The Rapes of Graff"
2006 Not Like Everyone Else Brandi Blackbear TV film
2007 The Business Screenwriting Manicurist 2 episodes
2008 The Bad Mother's Handbook Charlotte TV film
2008 The Starter Wife Robin 3 episodes
2010 The League April Episode: "The Expert Witness"
2013 ' Gail Episode: "Burn After Killing"
2014 Drunk History Frances Cleveland Episode: "First Ladies"
2014 Robot Chicken Minerva McGonagall (voice) Episode: "G.I. Jogurt"
2014 Getting On Colleen Hoover 4 episodes
2015 Adventure Time Betsy Poundcake (voice) Episode: "The Diary"
2015 Broad City Adele Episode: "Coat Check"
2015 Drunk History Virginia Hall Episode: "Spies"
2016 Portlandia Mayor's Kid Episode: "Shville"
2016 Animals. Sharon (voice) Episode: "Rats."
2016–17 Adventure Time Charlie (voice) 2 episodes
2016–present Search Party Dory Sief Main cast; 20 episodes
2016 Drunk History Alexander Hamilton Episode: "Hamilton"
2017–19 Transparent Lila 8 episodes
2017 Big Mouth Roland (voice) Episode: "Pillow Talk"
2018–19 Summer Camp Island Blanche/Cinnamon Raisin Toast (voice) 6 episodes
2019 Living with Yourself Maia Recurring role
2020 The Old Man Angela Upcoming series, main cast

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2002 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series – Leading Young Actress State of Grace Nominated
2004 TV Land Award Future Classic Arrested Development Won
2005 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Supporting Young Actress Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2006 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2014 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2017 Gracie Award Actress in a Breakthrough Role[21] Search Party Won


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Arab American Stories – Alia Shawkat Interview". YouTube.com. 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cheirif, Samantha (October 1, 2012). "Alia Shawkat Talks THE ORANGES, Cut Scenes and Alternate Ending, and Returning to ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT". Collider.com. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
  3. "Alia Martine Shawkat was born on April 18, 1989 in Riverside County, California". California Birth Index.
  4. "Alia Shawkat – DVD – Interview". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  5. "Internet Movie Database – Alia Shawkat – Biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  6. Alia Shawkat (2013-05-28). The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. CBS. Event occurs at 34:52. (Shawkat) "I'm half Iraqi, my dad's from Baghdad"
  7. "Alia Shawkat lands new Comedy Central project". June 12, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  8. "Internet Movie Database – Alia Shawkat". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  9. "Interview with Brian M. Palmer". Brianmpalmer.com. Archived from the original on 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2015-05-31. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. "eFilmCritic – DVD Review: Arrested Development Season 1". Efilmcritic.com. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Interview". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  12. "Ellen Page, Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat, and Har Mar Superstar (!) working on HBO show". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  13. [1] Archived August 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  14. Silman, Anna (March 12, 2015). "Alia Shawkat on her hot "Broad City" doppelgänger romance: "It was one of the best makeout scenes that I've had"". Salon.com. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  15. Andreeva, Nellie (July 31, 2016). "TBS to Strip New Comedy 'Search Party' Thanksgiving Week, Sets 'People of Earth' Premiere – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  16. McLennan, Cindy (April 23, 2018). "Search Party: Season Three; TBS Renews Dark Mystery Comedy Series". tvseriesfinale.com. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  17. Frangos, Daniela (1 April 2019). "Alia Shawkat, Animals and Reaching Adulthood". Broadsheet. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  18. Animals: Alia Shawkat, Holliday Grainger, Sophie Hyde, Emma Jane Unsworth on YouTube
  19. Marsh, Walter (3 April 2019). "Animals star Alia Shawkat is not your ingenue". The Adelaide Review. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  20. Osenlund, R. Kurt (May 11, 2017). "Actress Alia Shawkat on Bold Projects, Broad City & Being Queer in America". Out. Retrieved 2017-05-14. I was a tomboy growing up, and I remember my mom asking me when I was 10, 'are you attracted to boys or girls?' I said I don't know. Now I consider myself bisexual[.]
  21. "Alliance For Women In Media Foundation Announce The 2017 Gracie Awards Winners". fox34.com. Archived from the original on 13 April 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2017. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)