Adrian Kayvan Pasdar (pronounced /ˈpæzdɑr/; born April 30, 1965) is an Iranian actor and film director. He is known for playing Jim Profit on the TV series Profit, for his roles in Near Dark, Carlito’s Way, Mysterious Ways and as Nathan Petrelli on Heroes. Additionally, he directed the feature film Cement.
Pasdar was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His father, Homayoon Pasdar, was an Iranian immigrant and cardiac surgeon, with a practice near Philadelphia. His mother, Rosemarie (née Sberesny), was born in Königsberg/Kaliningrad, a former German city in Russia, working as a nurse before becoming an English teacher and travel agent in France.
Pasdar graduated from Marple Newtown Senior High School in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and then received a football scholarship to the University of Florida to play linebacker. He was badly injured in a car accident during his freshman year. The accident left his face scarred, his legs badly injured, and kept him in a wheelchair for several months, at which time he had to finish his freshman year while undergoing intensive physical therapy.
Pasdar turned his attention to campus stage productions and rediscovered an early interest in writing and acting. No longer able to play football, he dropped out of school and returned home, taking a job with a theater group, People’s Light and Theatre Company. There he worked on sound and lighting as part of the stage crew responsible for set construction. He had a painful accident on the set, cutting off the end of his left thumb. His resulting medical compensation paid for attendance at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York.
Pasdar was also selected to play a bit part as a police officer in the Dixie Chicks video for their song, “Goodbye Earl“. The music video won both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association‘s Video of the Year Awards in 2000.
Acting and directing
At the age of 19, he auditioned for a role in Top Gun. Director Tony Scott was so impressed that he wrote the part of “Chipper” just for him. This led to bigger roles in Solarbabies (1986), Streets of Gold (1986), and Kathryn Bigelow‘s cult vampire movie Near Dark (1987), with Pasdar in the lead role of Caleb Colton. Other major roles include Vital Signs (1990). Pasdar got his biggest break in movies, when he starred as a beautiful woman opposite Julie Walters in the British movie Just Like a Woman. In 1992, he left Hollywood and returned to New York, working as a cashier for room and board, while taking the occasional small part, such as Frankie in Brian De Palma‘s Carlito’s Way (1993).
Adrian Pasdar wrote and directed the short film Beyond Belief and directed his first feature film, the art-house neo-noir Cement, a contemporary re-telling of Othello, in 1999. The $1.7 million independent feature, which won Best Picture awards on the festival circuit, starred Chris Penn, Jeffrey Wright, Sherilyn Fenn, Henry Czerny and was written by Farscape‘s screenwriter Justin Monjo. “I’ve used every ounce of energy and every drop of money I had to make Cement,” Pasdar said.
Pasdar’s major break into television came in 1996, when he was cast as the title character on the short-lived but critically-acclaimed Fox series Profit. He also guest starred in the 2 hour season finale of the fourth season of Touched by an Angel, “The Spirit of Liberty Moon“. From 2000 to 2002, Pasdar played the lead role of Anthropology Professor Declan Dunn in the spooky cult drama series Mysterious Ways on PAX.
Pasdar played David McClaren in the final two seasons of the long-running CBS drama Judging Amy, from 2003 through 2005. In 2006, he had a high-profile guest role as Gabrielle Solis‘s sleazy lawyer in Desperate Housewives.
Most recently, he starred as Nathan Petrelli in the NBC superhero drama Heroes. Pasdar based his mysterious character on “the most morally liquid characters” that he’s encountered in his life. The character is not based on one particular political figure, but on a melange of different ones, both good and bad. Pasdar’s character was killed off in an episode that aired November 30, 2009.
Anamarie “Pink” Pasdar is the younger sister of Adrian Pasdar. She appeared in the Mysterious Ways episode “Handshake”. She was the Associate Artistic Director (c. 2007-2008) at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
Pasdar married lead singer Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks in June 2000. The couple first met in May 1999, with Maines as a bridesmaid to her bandmate Emily Robison and Pasdar as a groomsman to his friend singer-songwriter Charlie Robison. They were married in Las Vegas’s Little White Wedding Chapel, in a $55 no-frills ceremony officiated by the chapel’s “Pastor Ann.” They have two children, Jackson Slade Pasdar (born March 15, 2001) and Beckett Finn Pasdar (born July 14, 2004) and live in Los Angeles, California and Austin, Texas.
He has a tattoo of an anchor on his arm. His children’s names are written on it. It symbolizes that his family is his anchor and support in life. He also has a tattoo of the Chinese character for Strength, which he got while filming Shanghai 1920 (上海1920, Shang Hai yi jiu er ling) (1991).
Pasdar is a guitarist for charity rock band Band From TV. Part of the proceeds from the band’s concerts go to his nominated charity, the Rush Epilepsy Center.
Pasdar was arrested on January 27, 2010 on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Awards and nominations
Award Wins for Acting
- 2009: Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor in Television, Heroes
Award Wins for Directing
- 2000: Grand Remi Award (WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival): Cement
- 2000: AngelCiti film festival: Audience Award, Cement
Other Award Wins
- 2009 (ensemble): Hollywood Note Foundation’s Change the World Awards, Humanitarian Award of Inspiration: Band From TV