Fatima Namazi (played by Medalion Rahimi) made her first appearance on NCIS: Los Angeles in Season 10, Episode 14, in an episode titled: Smokescreen. In this episode, the team partners with the FBI, to locate a terrorist cell in Los Angeles.
Fatima is a talented hacker, and a really good fighter. She became crucial to the team in very little time. She’s one of the first Muslim characters to be portrayed on the show, and she helped to raise questions about the role of traditions within the religious community, and how those traditions can co-exist with Navy life.
But just who is Fatima?
Fatima Namazi is played by Medalion Rahimi. Madalion joined the cast of NCIS: Los Angeles as a guest actress, but as you can see her ability to deliver unforgettable riposte and perform in fight scenes led to her being a permanent member of the show.
According to TV Line she was promoted, officially, on Feb. 5, 2020. She has appeared on every episode of the show, since that promotion.
She had a ton of experience to draw from, having appeared on NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Services, and NCIS: New Orleans before she joined the popular spinoff.
As Fatima, the actress provided great insights into the difficulties of navigating a religious upbringing with pursung a role in the Navy. In the episode titled, “Let Fate Decide”, we watched her and Sam Hanna (played by LL Cool J) head to the mall where they exchaned opinions on the expectations of women in different parts of the world.
“It’s more than that. I mean, these women, they’re all my age, and they’re just living their lives. When they put on their hijab in the morning, they don’t have to…” Fatima tries to tell her confidante in a crucial scene of the episode.
“…worry that they make an overly political statement when all you’re doing is going to In-N-Out for Double-Double?” Sam interrupts her to finish the sentence.
— Medalion Rahimi (@medalionR) March 2, 2020
“Fatima is like me in so many ways, and in so many ways, very different from me,” Medalion explained in a promo video, announcing her role as a permanent member of NCIS: Los Angeles. “I can definitely relate to her in a lot of ways, our culture…”
Medalion thinks that it’s really cool to play a character with such duality. “It cool to play this, the duality of this character, she’s not only tech savvy, but she’s also…field savvy, she’s a fighter…she loves hand-to-hand combat, she’s pretty bad-ass,” she explained.
She stated that she sort of wished she could be like her character, to have all of the things she and her character do not share in real life.
Medalion spoke about the importance of diversifying the casting process, not just once, but on multiple occasions. Before she accepted her current role, she appeared on Mystery Girls, Jane the Virgin, and New Girl. She also played Princess Zara Al-Salim in The Catch, that role in particular was to help draw attention to the traditions and roles of the family unit in the Muslim community.
“She’s very smart and strong-willed. Some might say that she’s actually more fit to rule than her brother, but, because she’s a woman, she unfortunately can’t,” Medalion described what it was like to play Princess Zara Al-Salim in a previous interview with Teen Vogue.
— Medalion Rahimi (@medalionR) February 27, 2020