Mena Suvari Biography

An actress who is capable to take wide range of film characters without losing the acuity in her enactment, Mena Adrienne Suvari undoubtedly has risen to be one of the most promising young stars of her generation. Named after a hotel located at the base of the pyramids in Egypt, she was born on February 13, 1979 in Newport, Rhode Island as the only daughter of Ando and Candice Suvari. Spending her early childhood in an old stone mansion together with her three older brothers, she later left her hometown at the age of nine to follow her parents moving to the U.S. Virgin Island before finally settled in Charleston, South Carolina where she attended the all-girls school of Ashley Hall. It was during this time that she was introduced to modeling which subsequently brought her to be signed by New York-based Wilhelmina agency, making this lovely girl of Estonian and Greek descent had to split her time between the two cities for five years.

As her attention shifted to acting, Mena immediately landed a guest appearance in ABC's comedy series, "Boy Meets World" (1993-2000) in 1995, then followed by two more others in "High Incident" (1996-1997) and "ER" (1994) a year later. Already relocated to Los Angeles with her supportive family, she thus decided to take full concentration on pursuing an acting career after her graduation from Burbank's Providence High School by 1997. Still in the same year, this mesmerizing teen was quickly involved in several big screen productions, such as "Nowhere", "Snide and Prejudice", and "Kiss the Girls" while also joined the CBS' medical drama, "Chicago Hope" (1994-2000). Portraying a girl infected with HIV named Ivy Moore in this popular show, she satisfyingly impressed critics which prompted the audience to direct their attention on her.

Mena's star began to shine brightly in 1999 as her next project, a teenage comedy flick entitled "American Pie", surprisingly scored more than 235 million U.S. dollar all over the world, automatically catapulted her, along with the other cast, to glow under the spotlight. Switching to drama genre, she afterwards was seen alongside Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Chris Cooper, plus Thora Birch in Sam Mendes' gritty feature of "American Beauty" (1999) which turned out to be a commercial and critical success during its run in the theaters. Garnered over $130 million in the domestic market only, the film brought her to widespread recognition as she managed to earn a nomination at the prestigious BAFTA Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role by the year 2000.

Mena then returned to comedy with a series of movies, like "Loser" (2000), "American Virgin" (2000), also "Sugar & Spice" (2001) in which she met cinematographer Robert Brinkmann during the filming process and eventually married the 38-year-old man in March 2000 at the age of 21. After reprising her role in "American Pie 2" (2001), she teamed up with Catherine Deneuve, Tim Roth, and Stephen Rea to make "The Musketeer" (2001) before starred opposite James Franco in the directorial debut of Nicolas Cage entitled "Sonny" (2002). Also joined Brittany Murphy in Jonas Akerlund's "Spun" (2002), she headed back into TV production to reunite with "American Beauty" screenwriter, Alan Ball, through HBO's acclaimed drama series, "Six Feet Under" (2001-2005).

Being in that famous TV program for only several months amazingly did not keep Mena out from any honors for she was later nominated in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series at Screen Actors Guild Awards alongside the other cast in the following year. Started 2005 with an appearance in "Beauty Shop," this striking actress suddenly created sensation when she filed for divorce from Brinkmann in April as the result of irreconcilable differences that had occurred within their five-year marriage. As the legal separation was finalized a month later, she was then spotted romancing professional breakdancer Mike "Murda" Carrasco, a member of "Knuckle Head Zoo" whom she met at break-dancing event Battle of the Year.

In the meantime, Mena's acting career delightfully ran in a steady path throughout the rest of 2005 as she managed to land roles in a number of high-profile movies, including "Domino" and "Rumor Has It" followed by those in "The Dog Problem" and "Factory Girl" in 2006. The busy schedule continued in 2007 with big screen appearances in both "Caffeine" and "Brooklyn Rules", the former placing the beauty alongside the likes of Katherine Heigl, Mike Vogel, and Breckin Meyer while the latter also starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Alec Baldwin. In addition, the year also marked her new love journey with Simone Sestito, an Italian-American dancer. Coming to 2008, audience would find her showing up in three more film titles of "Stuck", "The Garden of Eden", and "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh", an adventure drama comedy about the story of five colorful friends set in the titular city in the mid-eighties.