I was born in St. Louis Missouri, grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, and went to Columbia in New York City, and basically stayed in New York City, with a few years in LA as well. I love my family, my friends, acting, actors, and storytelling in all mediums.

Que pasa?

Victoria's helping me get started, AMA.


Comments: 161 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

brandonsonnier22 karma

Amir, It's Brandon S, a writer on the show. Just watched the dailies for 214. You're killing it!!! My question: How much to you LOVE the episode you're shooting right now?

AmirArison18 karma

Ha ha. What are you doing on reddit? Don't you have a script to be punching up?

p.s. Of course I love it!

annieplovers14 karma

What is one thing not many people know about you?

AmirArison37 karma

I'm a Warner Brother-approved Scooby Doo voice!

I think I'm one of five or four.

whatsuplolol14 karma


AmirArison13 karma

All I'll say is: I feel for those Seahawks.

heisenfoxes10 karma

If you could come back for a season of American Horror Story -- even if just for a single episode -- would you?

AmirArison9 karma

I WOULD ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO. What an incredible series!

josephine_amos19 karma

Good evening Amir, I love you on The Blacklist, you're my favourite charcater, great job!!! :) Fun question, are you ticklish anywhere? If so, where?? :)

AmirArison12 karma

I'm very ticklish, but I can't say on the internet!

gayhomophob39 karma

After this AMA, do you think you will regularly get on reddit?

AmirArison11 karma

I think I'll be back:)

AmirArison9 karma

Okay, this was fun, and informative! Thank you for the questions. i'm on twitter @amirarison and also recently got instagram going too @amirarison Don't forget new timeslot, this thursday at 9pm, part two of "Luther Braxton" - The Blacklist Returns!! Ciao for now, Amir

heisenfoxes8 karma

Ok be totally honest -- were you intimidated by James Spader when y'all first started filming?

AmirArison21 karma

Not intimidated - more like "excited." But also, with a great deal of regard. So I just wanted to come in and be absolutely on my A-Game. And then when we had our first scene, it was a blast (when he held me at gunpoint). James is an absolute gentleman, and a consummate professional, with laser focus.

beernerd7 karma

How much do you really know about computers?

AmirArison11 karma

I get by! :)

AussieBoyJon7 karma

Hey Amir, how tall are you, what's your shoe size, and what's your best feature, physical and otherwise?

AmirArison8 karma

Six one, twelve and a half, and I'll let others decide!

Pattoe896 karma

Do you think your Israeli descent has had any impact on your career in this industry so far, negative or positive?

AmirArison14 karma

Well, I was born in the States, and am only fluent in English, but because my name is "Amir," people have always applied various ethnicities to me, and because i'm a character actor in my heart as well, I like to take on each role, regardless of ethnicity, with as much detail and honor as I can.

gayhomophob36 karma

Have more people recognized you since you joined the cast of the blacklist?

AmirArison8 karma

Yes. Gradually, I have noticed that there are fans all over for THE BLACKLIST, and I've been recognized more for this job than any previous in my career. And it still blows my mind.

LANewman996 karma

You played Scooby Doo IN the costume or you did the voice? (Thursday I'm going to shutmy eyes when you talk & see if I can hear Scooby!)

AmirArison8 karma

i actually was the voice, and i also did the costume work. when we toured the country, i did radio interviews as scooby to sell the show. they were as silly as this sounds.

LANewman996 karma

Do you write Arams Notes on the nbc.com website?

AmirArison8 karma

"Aram" writes them;)

gayhomophob36 karma

What are the best locations that you have gone to for filming?

AmirArison9 karma

Funny enough, my character rarely leaves the war room, so I'm usually on our main set.

page_matthews5 karma

Amir, here's a couple of questions:

  1. What makes you laugh?
  2. Do you have any guilty pleasures? What are they?

AmirArison14 karma

1.) What makes me laugh? Irony, truth, Steve Carrell movies, Rob Corddry movies, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., my sister, my mom, my best friend Aaron.

2.) Frozen yogurt / ice cream.

Bruce_Wilsdorf5 karma

What is your relationship with coding/computers? How does that transition into the show? And how did you get your job/role on the Blacklist?

AmirArison7 karma

We have 2 technical monitor operators / advisors, and I spend almost as much time with them as I do with the rest of the cast members. And I got the role by auditioning! What was fortunate is that at first it was to a guest star, and they only auditioned once - usually you don't get to be a part of a series with one audition.

IAMDaveMetzgerAMA5 karma

Blacklist writer Brandon Margolis asks, "in the Blacklist fantasy football league, how did it feel to be in first place all season, and then blow it in the playoffs?"

AmirArison10 karma


Stop rubbing it in my face.

I'll see you next season.

IAMDaveMetzgerAMA4 karma

"That's messed up."

AmirArison6 karma

Brandon wrote that line.

embf1031915 karma

Thanks for the AMA! Can you give us 2 lies and a truth about the rest of the season? Thanks again!

AmirArison16 karma

I love this question, but I don't wanna lose my job. Those are both truths.

JustinPone4 karma

Good Evening! When you were given the chance to join the blacklist, what first appealed to you about the script? You have some great 1-liners every time you are on.

AmirArison9 karma

I was first hired in the 3rd episode of the first season, and the part wasn't really fleshed out, and the show hadn't come out yet, but I liked the casting director, so I said "If I'm gonna be the Computer Guy, I might as well just go in and have fun" and since it's an FBI character, I thought there might be a chance for the character to come back. And then the director was so great and so encouraging, I threw in my own one-liner at the end of the scene, and ever since, the writers have been writing to that character we created on that first day!

JustinPone2 karma

That is awesome! Thanks for the reply! Love the show and every twist and turn. As a fellow computer guy I certainly understand

brandonsonnier6 karma

True story! We saw those dailies and said "we have to have this guy back. And he kept coming back up in the room so eventually we decided to make him part of the team. It all started on that first line that Amir knocked out of the park.

AmirArison6 karma

Dude. So where do i send the check?? so nice.

wanderingblue4 karma

Hi Amir. Big fan of the show. Pissed the SeaHawks lost.

How cool is James Spader? He seems like a really intelligent human being.

AmirArison9 karma

James is extraordinarily intelligent. He is aware of everything happening in a room, and it's a joy to be around. I try to absorb as much as I can when I get to work with him.

LANewman993 karma

Love all your work!!! Total self-serving question; what cologne do you wear / prefer? #theblacklist

AmirArison6 karma

I just ran out of this awesome cologne I got in London called "Armani Sport Code."

If anyone knows where I can get that again, it seemed to work.

AGallagher4103 karma

What's your favorite ride in Disney?

AmirArison5 karma

Gravitron as a kid. But then, after I hit puberty, I couldn't do rides anymore.

IAMDaveMetzgerAMA3 karma

Amir, on the Blacklist you often have dialogue with a lot of technical phrases, and you always manage to make it sound natural. How do you approach lines like that, so they don't sound stilted or confusing?

AmirArison7 karma

THANK YOU so much! Practice!

gvanice3 karma

Were you one of the sharks in Katy Perry's half time performance last night?

AmirArison5 karma

Funny you should say that. I was looking at those sharks, wondering what they were thinking - probably thinking Please don't trip, please don't trip, please don't trip!

OctaneBoost3 karma

I've never seen the blacklist how would you sell it to me?

AmirArison6 karma

if you haven't seen it, Google "the blacklist" - so many good descriptions by so many writers/journalists/fans etc.

jpbeaton332 karma

I love your character. What was the very first thing you ever acted in and at what age?

AmirArison6 karma

I was 8 when I did a school play. I had 2 lines, as a pirate. But I really caught the bug, when I was in 6th grade and I was 12. I played a doctor who invented a robot. I must be good at those "Science-y" parts!

burritofountain2 karma

You’re definitely one of my favourite characters but I love you all equally. I seriously love your character though… so adorable.

I have a bunch of questions, so answer what you want!

What was your favourite episode of The Blacklist?

How is it seeing yourself on TV?

On a scale of one to ten, how much do you ship (wishing that two people would be a couple) your character and Samar? ;)

Thanks for the AMA! I am so glad yesterday’s episode was played after the Super Bowl. I hope it gets a lot more viewers!

p.s. next time you see megan, tell her my mom likes her fireplace. she saw your pictures, Amir, on twitter last night, and says it's nice

AmirArison6 karma

Thank you for all of these questions!

Well, my favorite episode of THE BLACKLIST - for Aram - probably "Anslo Garrick" parts 1 and 2...

And "The Good Samaritan Killer."

This season, I was really excited to do "The Front" - but as a fan, I really loved "The Mumbasa Cartel" and "The Scimitar." Also, last night's part 1 of "Luther Braxton" after the Super Bowl was pretty darn rad.

I'm a tough judge! I think I'm probably my toughest critic.

Um... well, if you remember Who's the Boss, when Tony and Angela got together, the show ended. So I think romantic tension is always good for a series, no matter which characters it's between.

gayhomophob32 karma

How is working on the show like?

AmirArison4 karma

Intense, fast-paced, there's a lot to get done in a day, and a lot to learn, but an absolute dream come true.

heisenfoxes1 karma

if you could join any current film franchise as any character you wanted, which would you join, and as whom? (i.e. Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Marvel comics, DC comics, etc)

AmirArison3 karma

I think I'd love to do a Lethal Weapon type series or something.

Or maybe a Nutty Professor type series.

That would be a dream come true.

Kanuck_Kyle1 karma

Pancakes or waffles?

AmirArison4 karma


gvanice1 karma

Who is your favorite person to follow on Twitter?

AmirArison3 karma

tough one...toss up between LenaDunham, Bill Murray, Deepak Chopra, and my buddy Aaron.

gayhomophob31 karma

Have you been to Texas?

AmirArison3 karma

I toured through Texas with Scooby Doo live in 2001-2002. And I loved it. I also did a cross-country road trip, and I'll never forget the West Texas drive.

gayhomophob31 karma

What are some of your favorite shows that you watch?

AmirArison3 karma

NBA TV, GIRLS, Walking Dead, Homeland, True Detective, EMPIRE, Game of Thrones, Big Bang Theory, and of course... The Blacklist!

gayhomophob31 karma

Any chance, some of the other cast off of "The Blacklist" will do an AMA?

AmirArison3 karma

My guess would be: probably yes!

Everyone's really forthright and cool.

vulnera1 karma

Hi Amir! Huge fan of your character on the Blacklist. If you could choose one actor and one actress, dead or alive, to work with, who would they be and why? Good luck for the rest of the season!

AmirArison2 karma

Peter Sellers, just to see how he works. And this answer isn't original, but it would be pretty darn great to work with Meryl. Working with Jessica Lange on AHS was extraordinary, and also Lena Dunham last year. But there are so many!

KristenKitty41 karma

Are you ever overwhelmed by the dedication of Blacklist fans? We can be quite passionate. Thank you for doing AMA it's really cool of you.

AmirArison2 karma

I love the dedication. It means the most. I'm really dedicated to this show, and to the role, so when it gets reciprocated, I'm a happy camper.

lena_hamilton1 karma

Would you rather:

  1. Fight one horse-sized duck or ten duck-sized horses?

  2. Travel to the past or travel to the future?

  3. Stand barefoot on an iceblock for 20 min or be tickled on your bare feet for 20 min?

And Why for each? :P

AmirArison2 karma

1.) Fight one horse-sized duck. Because I feel like it'd somehow be more manageable.

2.) Travel to the past. I think the future is best left unknown.

3.) I'll go with tickled. That means I'm hanging out with someone cool.

gayhomophob31 karma

What are some of things that you like to do in your free time?

AmirArison1 karma

Movies. Plays. Excersize. Dinners with great people.

d0uble0h1 karma

I'm stoked for Blacklist to return tonight. I have a habit of starting shows, and maybe sticking with them for a season or two, but they rarely hold my attention. Blacklist has definitely succeeded for me.

  1. How has your ethnicity/cultural background affected or otherwise influenced your acting career (acting style, roles, etc)?
  2. Compared to James Spader and Harry Lennix, the rest of the main cast has careers that are fairly young. What kind of cues/advice do you look for from them when preparing for scenes? What, if anything, have they taught you that you've continued to do?
  3. This isn't a question. Just wanted to say: Agent Navabi. Nice.

AmirArison3 karma

1.) When I first got out of school, I was only getting auditions for roles that required middle-eastern accents. So in order to work, I worked on those accents, and slowly made my way. I love it when I get to play a character that is American, and his background is an aspect, not a definition.

2.) I think we're all constantly learning from each other. Everyone has their own process, and you can to be respectful, and if you see something working for someone, try to absorb and learn from it.

3.) Right?!

Frasierfan1 karma

Would you ever like to be on a show like The Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones, or Orphan Black? I think you'll be awesome in a sci-fi/fantasy show!

AmirArison2 karma

Definitely Game of Thrones or Orphan Black. I did a sci-fi web series for Bryan Singer and Warner Brothers, called H+ a few years ago that might appeal to sci-fi fans.

neutronpenguin1 karma

What's your favorite type of cake?

AmirArison1 karma

Probably carrot.

lichorat1 karma

Are you happy? How do you know?

AmirArison3 karma

I feel like this is a constant question. And it's something I try to check in with all the time. And I don't know that I am able to always put my finger on what keeps one happy. But I know that staying busy, staying engaged, staying healthy always helps.

lichorat1 karma

So you're not sure?

AmirArison1 karma

Sometimes I am, sometimes not. who is happy all the time?

courtiebabe4201 karma


AmirArison3 karma

Hard to say, but probably teaching or directing. Or maybe photography. It's probably too late for me to be an NBA player.

abekton1 karma

I see you went to Columbia, so you must be pretty smart :) so let me ask you this: If you could add one mandatory course to a student's curriculum, what would it be?

AmirArison2 karma

Columbia has a pretty intense Core Curriculum. its one of the reasons i wanted to go there, its a built in liberal arts degree, no matter what your major.

People have some choice as to which Colleges they may want to apply too, but they may not neccessarily have a say to which High School they attend, so I'd say mandatory Arts/Music Education, as well as Sports. Every High School should have both.

VitaGuy1 karma

If you got a choice to star in any movie or show, what would it be?

AmirArison4 karma

Well, I certainly love my current job! I love doing comedy, and I'm on a drama right now, so I'd love my next project to be much more a "laugh out loud" type of thing.

LuciferFan11 karma

Amir, some either/or questions: coffee or tea? sleep late or gate up early? sing karaoke or dance? boxers or briefs? socks or barefoot? pillow fight or tickle war? moonlight or daylight?

AmirArison5 karma

Coffee in the AM. Tea in the PM. sleep late, when not working.
my Dance is way > than my karaoke.
both. both. depends with whom. both.

Beth_Baby1 karma

You are really funny on the show. Do you have some input on the jokes?

AmirArison3 karma

Every once in awhile. I've learned now that some of the best jokes get cut, in order to stay within the tone of the show. The more sublte jokes have a better survival rate:)

crindee1 karma

As a wee child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

AmirArison3 karma

Ever since i was 12, wanted to be an actor. when i was younger than that, i just wanted eat and play!

annieplovers1 karma

  • Do you have any pet peeves? What?
  • Do you prefer a mani pedi or a foot-rub? Why?

AmirArison2 karma

Pet peeves - when people are not respectful of others.

I guess foot rub - never had a mani-pedi.

gayhomophob31 karma

Is this your first time on reddit or have you been a lurker?

AmirArison3 karma

First time.

Frasierfan1 karma

If you were a secret agent in real life and someone wanted to get information out of you, what would be the most effective way? :-P

AmirArison4 karma

I'm glad I'm not a secret agent and I only play one on TV. And I think Aram is probably the least secretive of the entire group.

Khadaji10281 karma

I am actually watching back episodes of the Blacklist right now. What made you choose this role, and how much if any input do you have for your role going forward in the episodes and story line.

AmirArison3 karma

I'm certainly not involved in any story-making or storylines, but from time to time, once in a while, I will talk to the creator of the series, if I catch a technical error or if there's an opportunity for a moment that they might appreciate, or a potential joke, but usually I just trust the writers and show up and do the work they've given me.