Vancouver-raised actor Nikohl Boosheri discusses global impact of her lesbian character Adena on The Bold Type

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      There's nothing quite like a popular television show when it comes to changing public attitudes.

      That's because characters enter into people's living rooms and their lives on a weekly basis.

      In the 1960s, Star Trek's diverse cast helped break down us-and-them thinking between people of different racial backgrounds.

      Producer Norman Lear's feminist sitcom Maude presented women like they had never been seen before in the early 1970s.

      A few years later, the miniseries Roots was a global sensation, telling the story of slavery over eight consecutive nights on network television.

      Nowadays, an American comedy-drama called The Bold Type is reshaping its audience's perceptions of Muslim women, thanks to Vancouver-raised actor Nikohl Boosheri.

      Having just started its second series on Freeform, it features a cast of characters who work at a women's magazine called Scarlet, which is clearly inspired by Cosmopolitan.

      Boosheri, a former SFU theatre student, plays a Muslim photographer named Adena El-Amin. This character is in love with Kat Edison (Aisha Dee), who's the publication's social media director.

      Adena's immigration problems were highlighted in Season 1, reflecting what life is like for many Muslims in Trump's America.

      In a recent interview on KTLA 5 in Los Angeles, Boosheri said that after witnessing the feedback she's received, she's even more convinced that there's a need for a character like Adena on TV.

      "I have people from, like, Brazil or Turkey or Morocco saying that they watch the show with their parents and it helped them come out to their families or made them feel that they weren't so alone," Boosheri revealed. "It's really overwhelming and so flattering...and it's a huge sense of responsibility that we all have."

      She also said in the interview that "people have been wanting to see themselves reflected" in these types of relationships on TV for a long time.

      "So it's really cool to be a part of that."

      Nikohl Boosheri reveals in this interview that her character on The Bold Type has affected people in Brazil, Turkey, and Morocco.

      At the same time, she acknowledged that her Canadian family still hasn't figured out how to watch The Bold Type because it's on a station that's unavailable in the Vancouver area.

      Freeform is a cable and satellite channel that targets young adults and teenagers. It's owned by the Walt Disney Company.

      In a commentary on the Freeform website, Boosheri said: "I hope viewers watching my portrayal of Adena take away that it's okay to be complicated. And to not fit someone else's idea of what's normal—and to really fight for yourself."

      The love affair between Adena and Kat has given birth to the hasthtag #Kadena, which fans use to express their devotion to the couple.

      The Bold Type is filmed in Montreal and Boosheri lives in Los Angeles.

      She was born to Iranian parents in Pakistan and moved to the Vancouver area when she was two years old.

      One of her better-known roles was as a young woman in an intimate relationship with another young woman in the 2011 art-house film Circumstance. It depicted liberal-minded Iranians in Tehran coping with the draconian dictates of theocratic rule.

      "It was the first time I kissed a girl," Boosheri told an audience after a screening at Vancouver's Fifth Avenue Cinemas in 2011.