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All you need to know about Shira Haas: star of Netflix show Unorthodox

Have you been enjoying the Netflix series?

unorthodox shira haas© Photo: Netflix
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
May 5, 2020
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Loving Unorthodox on Netflix? Then you'll be familiar with the star of the show, Shira Haas, who plays the leading role Esther Shapiro. Unorthodox tells the story of Esther, a Hasidic Jewish woman, who is living in New York before she decides to leave the US and her arranged marriage behind to flee to Berlin in search of a new life. The series has had viewers both gripped thanks to its emotional story and performances, particularly from Shira. Want to know more about the actress? Here's what we know...

shira haas© Photo: Netflix

Shira Haas in Unorthodox

Who is Shira Haas?

Shira plays the leading role of Esther Shapiro. The actress' emotive and convincing performance has made the 24-year-old Israeli actress a rising-star in the international film and TV world. Shira was born in Tel Aviv, Israel to Jewish parents. She spent most of her upbringing in Hod HaSharon in central Israel. At the age of the three, Shira was diagnosed with kidney cancer but recovered two years later. She began acting in her early teens in theatre productions in Tel Aviv and went on to study acting at Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts in Givatayim, before completing a short stint in the Israeli Defence Forces.

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shira haas info© Photo: Netflix

Shira has received plenty of praise for her performance in the Netflix drama

What else has Shira Haas starred in?

Shira began her career by making her TV debut in the drama series Shtisel in 2013. When she began studying at Thelma Yelling, she was then approached to audition for a role in the film Princess, which got the actress her first international recognition from the New York Times and the Hollywood Reporter. In 2015, Shira made her first appearance in an international film as a young Natalie Portman in the film A Tale of Love and Darkness. She then appeared alongside Jessica Chastain in The Zookeeper's Wife, and alongside Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix in Mary Magdalene in 2018. As well as Unorthodox, other credits include: Broken Mirrors, Harem and The Conductor.

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shira haas unorthodox© Photo: Getty Images

Shira is a 24-year-old Isreali actress

Shira Haas' role in Unorthodox

In Unorthodox, which is inspired by the 2012 autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman, Shira plays Esther who is desperate to get away from her strict Hasidic upbringing. She flees to Berlin in search of a new start, but her past ends up catching up with her. Shira has received plenty of international praise for her performance in the Netflix show, which Shira herself said was a "really emotional" journey in an interview with Indie Wire.

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