Where is 'Search Party' star Alia Shawkat from? Season 4 sees Dory turning out to be the missing girl
Whenever Alia Shawkat takes over the role of Dory Sief, she becomes an absolute pleasure to watch on 'Search Party'. The once TBS show moved to HBO Max amid years of stagnancy and when it did, the dark comedy thriller returned with a very interesting Season 3. Now back with Season 4, the satire puts the focus on Dory by turning the tables on her.
The show may have started with a group of millennial friends looking for a missing girl, but in Season 4, Dory is the missing girl. If you have ever watched Shawkat on the screen and wondered where she is from, here is your answer. It is a frequently googled question — "is Alia Shawkat White?"
The actress is, in fact, not White. Her father is of Arab descent, from Iraq. It is reported that her father was born in Baghdad and moved to the United States in the 1970s. Shawkat's mother is of Norwegian, Irish and Italian descent.
Shawkat was born in Riverside, California, to mother Dina Shawkat (née Burke) and film producer father Tony Shawkat and grew up in Palm Springs with her two brothers.
At school in Rancho Mirage, she studied English, math, physics, geography and drama. But when she started getting acting projects, Shawkat moved to homeschool. Time in private school was not good either. In an interview, she recalled how her peers were "very rude" to her.
"Sophomore year — that’s when I decided to leave. It was a really, really small school, so I would leave and then come back; there were only like 12 kids in my class, and when I came back, there were already, like, three cliques. And I’m like 'All right, which one do I fit in?' Then I didn’t."
The 'Arrested Development' actress added that she felt like she couldn't fit in because she was not a regular kid — she was a child actress. "Kids can be harsh, especially when they get jealous. I'd be on set with my best friend, and we'd be working together, having such a good time, and then I’d have to go back to Palm Springs to go to school, and I was like 'Aw, f**k, I hate this!' It was like living two different lives for a little while."
Shawkat has never had the typical high-school and college experiences. In the interview, she also spoke about "coming from a small town". "Right when I turned 18, I moved to New York, originally for school, and then dropped out and just lived in New York. So I have been around adults and working since I was, like, 9, but when I was younger, I’d always go back to Palm Springs after working."
Life after school was not always by the books as it was supposed to be. "I did do homeschooling the last two years, but my parents did a very good job of helping me have a very normal—like, dinner after school, that kind of thing. Coming from a small town and still going home has always been able to make me feel like I’m 12 again. But in a good way."
Season 4 of 'Search Party' will premiere on HBO Max on January 14.