Success arrived early for ALIA SHAWKAT (pronounced “AL-ee-ahh Show-cot”). Her career began at the young age of 11 when she landed a role on the ABC Family series STATE OF GRACE. However, she is best known for her role as ‘Maeby Funke’ on Fox’s Emmy award winning ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, where she portrayed a rebellious and mischievous member of a dysfunctional Bluth family. But most recently, Shawkat has gained attention for her work in film. In 2009, she was selected as one of Hollywood Reporter’s “Ten Rising Comedy Talents,” featured in both Nylon Magazine and Teen Vogue’s Young Hollywood issues, and she was chosen as one of Variety’s “Ten Actors to Watch.”
Shawkat had roles in two critically acclaimed films in 2009. The first was in AMREEKA, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, about a Palestinian family who relocates to Illinois. The second was Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut WHIP IT, a dramedy about a misfit teenager ‘Bliss’ (Ellen Page) who discovers herself through joining a roller derby league. Shawkat stars as ‘Pash,’ the funny and charming best friend and confidant to ‘Bliss’.
Shawkat will next be seen in Miguel Arteta’s much anticipated film, CEDAR RAPIDS. In this comedy, Ed Helms plays ‘Tim,’ a naive Midwestern insurance salesman who travels to a big-city convention in an effort to save the jobs of his co-workers. Shawkat plays ‘Bree,’ a young prostitute who introduces ‘Tim’ to the wilder side of life.
Some of Shawkat’s other film credits include: BART GOT A ROOM with William H. Macy and Cheryl Hines, in which she also served as a producer; REBOUND opposite Martin Lawrence; the ensemble family comedy DECK THE HALLS with Matthew Broderick, Danny De Vito and Kristin Chenowith; and THREE KINGS opposite George Clooney.
In addition to a bustling film career, Shawkat has active projects on the small screen. Most recently, Shawkat and her two WHIP IT co-stars, Ellen Page and Sean Tillman, are writing and producing a pilot, tentatively titled “STITCH N’ BITCH,” for HBO. Shawkat’s past TV roles include: a recurring role on USA Network’s “STARTER WIFE” with Debra Messing, where she played a troubled teen who befriends ‘Molly’ (Messing) and ‘Joan’ (Judy Davis) at a rehab facility; a starring role in the Lifetime original movie “NOT LIKE EVERYONE ELSE;” and guest starring roles on “VERONICA MARS,” “JAG,” “WITHOUG A TRACE,” “BOOMTOWN,” and “PRESIDIO MED.”