Yara Shahidi Is the Quintessential Cool Girl

Don't believe us? Just wait.

Vijat Mohindra/CPI Syndication

Yara Shahidi—The Harvard-bound Black-ish actress—has a new after-school gig: Freeform's upcoming Grown-ish. Whether she's cooking, on the beach, or doodling, we want to hang.

Lives in: Los Angeles.

What do you do in your downtime? I love to cook. I am constantly inspired by whatever I’m watching or doing at the moment—once I watched too many episodes of Cupcake Wars and tried to make an Earl Grey cupcake with honey buttercream, and it ended up being a sticky mess.

Fantasy dinner party? On the guest list: James Baldwin. The menu would range from traditional Persian food to soul food to everything in between. It’s a reminder of how similar we are because the basis of most meals is the same ingredients, just seasoned differently.

Need to get away? I love going to the beach. I associate it with relaxation: When you’re acting, your work takes you everywhere, which means every place is a potential workplace, but the one place I have not worked yet is the beach. I’m not a very active beach person. I set up the towels, the chairs, the umbrellas, and then I promptly go to sleep while listening to music. But I do love to Jet Ski.

In your beach bag? Usually a book...actually, a few. The way I choose a book is I read the first chapter of three books and then make my decision. And, of course, snacks.

"I love going to the beach. I associate it with relaxation."

Feeling creative? I’m a very visual person—and a doodler. At a certain age, we’re not allowed to color. They no longer hand you crayons at dinner. Adult coloring books are therapeutic; you can step away from what you’re supposed to be doing.

In your artist kit? I’m a crayon person, through and through.

Follow her: @YaraShahidi.

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