Sarena Khan is what happens when you mix the Taj Mahal and the Kremlin. This Indian/Russian actress from Massachusetts is already winning lead film roles despite just recently switching from her focus on studying to working. Her difficult to identify exotic looks, 5-10 bombshell frame, and chilling dramatic edge, fuel descriptions of this rising star as the Millennials' answer to Laura Croft.
Given that Sarena's father is one of the most innovative directors to come out of Bollywood -- most famous for the first Indian-American crossover film shot in English -- it is easy to chalk up his daughter's achievements to the possibility she was literally built for film and creative expression.
When Sarena isn't working or auditioning, she can be found in class. Her extensive and elite training includes the USC Conservatory (where she completed her BFA), the Royal Shakespeare Company, Larry Moss, Stephanie Feury Studio, and currently John Rosenfeld Studios.
Her hard work and constant studying paid off when the lead actress on a thriller produced by Annaperna co-founder Aaron Harvey fell out of the project several days before shooting. While suffering from a terrible winter cold, Sarena -- who had won a smaller role on the project -- had less than 24 hours to convince the filmmakers she could convincingly play British. Her strategy was not to speak a word in American English until the film wrapped. When shooting was complete and the film cast and crew celebrated, many of the people she had spent weeks filming with were bowled over when they heard her speak without an accent. She had to explain numerous times that she wasn't British.
Playing a strong European executive haunted by a long distance relationship spoke to Sarena's passion for the unconventional and versatile. During her first year of representation, she secured a recurring on a BET pilot, a prominent female part in a tribe of famous warriors in a soon to be shot epic, a supporting role in a Wayans' brothers film, and a sexy cameo alongisde Chad Michael Murray in "Cavemen."
When not working on her craft, Sarena can be found playing with her dog Jasper and listening to her favorite music, including the likes of The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Illumination Road, Otis Redding and Nina Simone.... or planning her trip for next year to Thailand where she hopes to learn about the care taking of Elephants and spending a week doing just that.
As a child Sarena's father hung an ancient Sanskrit poem in their study. It quickly became her personal mantra and she now has the same poem on the same old parchment paper hung in her West Hollywood home. The story centers around living in the present moment, something that she brings to her life and her work. Both of the actress' parents instilled a massive work ethic and thirst for education/training that remains at the heart of Sarena's approach to the industry. Her favorite piece of advice from her mother.... “learn the rules, then break some”.
As the product of a merger of two great but disparate cultures, Sarena's mission is to explore and help form alliances through art and storytelling around the globe. And since she change appearances with skill of a chameleon, this actress' hopes are elevated by her ability to credibly play Indian, Russian, Middle Eastern, Latin, Italian and of course American parts. While it is difficult to predict what part of the globe we will see her in next, it is clear Sarena Khan will be a leader in a new generation of actresses that an industry increasingly driven by foreign markets needs in order to continue to thrive.
Published on Nov 04, 2013