Last month, you may have seen the posters plastered in subway stations across the city: John Krasinski’s face with the announcement of Amazon’s new show Jack Ryan premiering August 31st. But John is by far not the only one we are excited to see on the big screen: Meet Nadia Affolter, who plays the role of Sara in the hit show that just aired. We had a chat with Nadia about her experience starring in Jack Ryan and her road as an up-and-coming actress.
What was it like to work with John Krasinski in your new show “Jack Ryan”?
I actually think I benefitted a lot from just by observing how seriously he took his work not only as an actor, but also as a director of many scenes. He was focused, had a very detailed sense of how he wanted things to happen, and provided solutions to challenges. He had a good balance of focus, but also humor, he never let anything become too tense, and still, he was a great collaborator together with the rest of the team.
During the breaks, he was really funny. I remember once in Morocco when we were waiting for a scene to start again, we were sitting in the car, John, my little sister Arpy, and also Wendell Pierce, and it was really hot … but we were talking about our favorite sounds from the Hamilton sound track, and in particular about the song “Dear Theodosia…” we were really just having a good time talking about songs, family stories, and despite being tired and the heat, we had a good laugh and time passed well.
You play the role of Sara. What did you learn playing Sara, and what can the world learn from her?
Sara was a character that taught me a lot about life, and what’s going on with children less fortunate than I am. I think I take a lot of things in my life for granted, and playing Sara made me more aware of the circumstances of the refugees in the Middle East, and ‘children on the move in general’, although my role was not obviously at the depth of what an actual refugee has to go through, what I learned and realized was that Sara had to leave her entire world, her language, her education behind, and step into the role of becoming a mother figure to her younger sibling so early on in her life, while our mother was busy protecting us from crime and violent conflict.
Something I really enjoyed about this script is the amount of depth in the main characters of the TV show. Nothing is simply just black and white anymore, there are reasons for all the actions that are taking place throughout the story.
I think the fact that the movie also focuses on the life of a woman refugee in the way it does, brings more awareness about the situation these people are going through, and that’s important.
What inspired you to become an actress?
I think part of the inspiration comes from my family. Since I was little, my siblings and I were always eager to perform little skits and musicals for our family members. Eventually, when we moved to NY about six years ago, we children joined the Children’s Theatre Company in NY, where we took part in musicals and performances about topics which dealt with important social issues, such as women’s rights, etc. One day, the Director of CTC told me about the opportunity for an audition to play a Persian Girl in “The Blacklist”. I decided to audition, and eventually booked the role.
What is your favorite production you have been part of?
I would say definitively Jack Ryan because it was a very huge production, I got along very well with everyone, there were so many people and different cultures, and so many different personalities – it was really an exciting experience, and I feel I got really close with some of the cast, in particular my cast family.
What is up for you next?
Right now I am excited to start going on more auditions and am currently preparing to start a YouTube channel that focuses on my musical career as well.
Any style tips?
As long as you feel comfortable with what you are wearing, and confident, and it is an expression of who you are – go for it. I can’t necessarily say what my style tips are because what I wear is completely different what everyone else would wear, I personally think you don’t need to wear less to express your style. I pick clothes that make me feel confident and that varies for everyone. I like boho clothes a lot but my style is constantly changing. I can personally always go for a cute pair of heeled boots, they’re my favorite. I’m kind of a heels girl.
How do you define beauty?
I think that although a person can be physically beautiful, what makes a person really beautiful is the way they carry themselves in their actions. Beauty throughout the ages has always been warped by what society dictates. But one thing that remains constant about beauty is the glow of somebody’s character.
Watch out for Nadia in her role as Sara on the new hit series Jack Ryan, premiering August 31st on Amazon’s streaming platform! Don’t forget to tune in!
Photos by Michael Blank
Hair by Harper
Makeup by Leah Rial
Styling by Andrew Pedro