Nazanin Boniadi was born during the Iranian Revolution in 1980. She moved with her family from Tehran to London at a very early age.
Educated in England and the United States, Boniadi received the Chang Pin-Chun Undergraduate Research Award for molecular research involving cancer treatment and heart transplant rejection while at the University of California, Irvine. She graduated with bachelor's degree, with honors, in Biological Sciences.
Due to her involvement with the Church of Scientology in 2004, Boniadi met Tom Cruise. The pair reportedly dated. Shortly after this period, she began acting. She landed a role on the Soap Opera Network revival of General Hospital and its spinoff General Hospital: Night Shift in 2007.
Boniadi's breakout role came on Showtime's Homeland where she played a major role in Seasons 3 and 4.