Nadia Yassir

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Nadia Yassir
24 character
Nadia Yassir.jpg
Marisol Nichols as Nadia Yassir
First appearanceDay 6 – Episode 1
Last appearanceDay 6 – Episode 24
Portrayed byMarisol Nichols
Significant other(s)Mike Doyle Milo Pressman

Nadia Yassir (Urdu: نادیہ ياسر‎) is a fictional character from the TV series 24 played by Marisol Nichols. Introduced in Season 6, she works for the Counter Terrorist Unit at Los Angeles, a fictional domestic branch of the Central Intelligence Agency. For a short time in the sixth season, she replaces Bill Buchanan as the Director of CTU after he is fired.

Concept and creation[edit]

Marisol Nichols got the role after auditioning for the show four times including for the roles of Carrie Turner, Michelle Dessler and Claudia, Jack's love-interest in the third season. The character was initially to be named Natalie Barnes, but executive producer Howard Gordon decided to make the character Pakistani American a week before the shooting the sixth season of 24.[1][2]

In contrast to the South Asian Muslim character she portrays, the actress is of Hungarian and Romanian descent from her paternal side and Mexican and Spanish on her mother's, and does not have any ancestry from Pakistan, Muslim countries, or the Arab world.[3] She has stated that her olive toned skin and dark hair allows her to play characters of many nationalities.[4]

Nichols does not speak Arabic, unlike the character she portrays. In addition to her part, she had to memorize technical terminology and speak the language with a correct pronunciation.[5] The character has been described as the opposite of Muslim characters on American television, in which they are at times stereotypically portrayed.[6]


Loosely mentioned in the show that the character was born in the Middle East, Marisol Nichols said the character was born to Pakistani parents although Nadia has been described as an Arab American.[7][8][9] Living in the United States since the age of two, Nadia is very Americanized, and also a practicing Muslim.[5] Nadia is portrayed as an attractive, strong and skilled woman. She occasionally disagrees with Chloe O'Brian, who has a history of breaking rules to help Jack Bauer. She is a registered Republican. Nichols describes her as a "woman in command who also has integrity."[7]

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Languages from University of Michigan. She is notable for her fluency in Arabic although Nadia is of Pakistani descent and Arabic is not one of the primary languages of Pakistan.[10] Throughout the show, she interprets Arabic spoken by the terrorists. Nadia Yassir has been racially profiled for being a Muslim. She had restricted access to her background in her workplace and she is the first to be suspected of leaking data to terrorists by Mike Doyle which led to interrogation.

Nadia has been a love interest of Milo Pressman throughout Season 6. At one point, she and Milo share a passionate kiss. Tensions between Nadia, Milo, and his nemesis Mike Doyle rise when Nadia shows concern for Doyle after a field operation. The romantic connection between Milo and Nadia reaches a climax when Chinese agent Cheng Zhi's men invade CTU and hold the people inside it hostage. Zhou, the leader of the operation asks who is in command, Milo stands up instead of Nadia, protecting her, which results in his death.

Critical reception[edit]

In 2007, Nichols was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress at the ALMA Awards for her portrayal of her character during the sixth season of 24.[11]


  1. ^ "The Day Is Just Beginning for Marisol Nichols on '24'". AolTV. 2007-02-36. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2013-02-04. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Marisol Nichols, of 24". BuddyTV. 2007-02-26. Retrieved 2013-02-04.
  3. ^ Marisol Nichols Questions Archived 2008-03-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Marisol Nichols is Having One Hell of a Day
  5. ^ a b Steinberg, Lisa. Starry Constellation Magazine. MARISOL NICHOLS: COUNTING DOWN
  6. ^ Reddy, Mrinalini (2007-11-11). "Muslims on TV, No Terror in Sight". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
  7. ^ a b Caballero-Li, Rosa. "Marisol Nichols Will Keep Your Secrets". Latina. Archived from the original on 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
  8. ^ Meza, Jon. "Popular show, 'negative stereotypes'". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Archived from the original on 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
  9. ^ Oxfeld, Jesse (2008-04-24). "The '24' Absurd-o-Meter: It's a Scheming Bureaucrat's Prerogative to Change His Mind". New York (magazine). Retrieved 2008-02-17.
  10. ^ Tucker, Ken (2007-01-12). "Tooth or Consequences". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
  11. ^ Special: The 2007 ALMA Awards!