Lawyer-turned-actress starring in NCIS: Los Angeles reveals her health routine

It takes a special someone to be compared to Angelina Jolie but Australian-born Natassia Halabi was told she was a ‘Middle Eastern’ version by her acting school classmates.

Her father, who is Syrian and Lebanese, has gifted the talented starlet her exotic good looks but it’s her own passion and drive that saw her ‘breeze’ through university studying law in Sydney before turning her attention to Hollywood.

And the hard work has paid off with Natassia landing the role of Agent Eliana Sapir in Season 11 of NCIS: Los Angeles.

It takes a special someone to be compared to Angelina Jolie but Australian-born Natassia Halabi (pictured) was told she was a 'Middle Eastern' version by her acting school classmates

It takes a special someone to be compared to Angelina Jolie but Australian-born Natassia Halabi (pictured) was told she was a 'Middle Eastern' version by her acting school classmates

It takes a special someone to be compared to Angelina Jolie but Australian-born Natassia Halabi (pictured) was told she was a ‘Middle Eastern’ version by her acting school classmates

And the hard work has paid off with Natassia landing the role of Agent Eliana Sapir in Season 11 of NCIS: Los Angeles (pictured)

And the hard work has paid off with Natassia landing the role of Agent Eliana Sapir in Season 11 of NCIS: Los Angeles (pictured)

And the hard work has paid off with Natassia landing the role of Agent Eliana Sapir in Season 11 of NCIS: Los Angeles (pictured)

‘Law school came naturally to me. I flew through the degree, it was a breeze. Everything appealed to the logical side of my brain,’ she told FEMAIL from her home in Tinseltown.

There was no specific reason why she walked away from contracts to pursue a career in acting but once she’s decided to ‘go for it’ there was no holding back.

‘When I first started auditioning I had no idea how to act for the camera. All my experience was on stage and they are world’s apart. But I had the confidence and I was keen to learn, and fail,’ she said.

Natassia was part of a few short films in Australia before she starred opposite American actor Ethan Hawke in Born to Be Blue. 

Natassia was part of a few short films in Australia before she starred opposite American actor Ethan Hawke in Born to Be Blue

Natassia was part of a few short films in Australia before she starred opposite American actor Ethan Hawke in Born to Be Blue

Natassia was part of a few short films in Australia before she starred opposite American actor Ethan Hawke in Born to Be Blue

She's fighting to stop a war in the Middle East alongside Chris O'Donnell (pictured) and David James Elliot on the show and found working with the NCIS legends 'surreal'

She's fighting to stop a war in the Middle East alongside Chris O'Donnell (pictured) and David James Elliot on the show and found working with the NCIS legends 'surreal'

She’s fighting to stop a war in the Middle East alongside Chris O’Donnell (pictured) and David James Elliot on the show and found working with the NCIS legends ‘surreal’

‘He was very praising of my work. In fact his words got me through a patch where I thought about quitting,’ she said.

Most days Natassia can be found grabbing a cup of coffee first thing in the morning – she always checks the roasting date to make sure it isn’t stale – before settling into pitching her most recent written comedy, How To Be A Freedom Fighter.

‘If I have an audition I’ll walk around my neighbourhood with my headphones in, running lines. I probably look crazy, talking to myself dramatically, often with a Middle Eastern accent but hey who cares,’ she said.

‘Then I might head to an actor friend’s place to run lines, or get one of my non-actor friends to run the lines with me, which they do because they’re graciously supportive. 

Most days Natassia can be found grabbing a cup of coffee first thing in the morning - she always checks the roasting date to make sure it isn't stale - before settling into pitching her most recent written comedy, How To Be A Freedom Fighter

Most days Natassia can be found grabbing a cup of coffee first thing in the morning - she always checks the roasting date to make sure it isn't stale - before settling into pitching her most recent written comedy, How To Be A Freedom Fighter

Most days Natassia can be found grabbing a cup of coffee first thing in the morning – she always checks the roasting date to make sure it isn’t stale – before settling into pitching her most recent written comedy, How To Be A Freedom Fighter

What are things most people don’t know about acting in Hollywood?

1. I’ve never seen an overnight success. No one goes to sleep a non-actor and wakes up with a starring role in a hit show. It’s a misconception. 99.9999% of us have been gruelling, and getting rejected and making audition tape after audition tape. It’s just that no one broadcasts that whole process because it’s not sexy. If you want to be in Hollywood you better be ready to thicken your skin, it’s the Olympics of talent, both in-front of and behind the camera.

2. You get two days to prepare six pages of dialogue and be ready for the casting room. And they often tell you the bare minimum, so you have to look for clues in the writing style, the team involved, the network etc.

3. Yes, Australians are notorious for being great with accents, but your American accent better be perfect.

4. Use Training Mate for your workouts – it’s Aussie owned and the trainers will crack Aussie humour jokes while you workout; it’s tough but the laughter helps you persevere.

5. If you’re on Instagram you’ve probably seen people posting pictures of Runyon Canyon – the famous hiking spot. Don’t attempt to do it between 9-11am on the weekends. I just don’t attempt it at all.

‘If there’s an accent involved I’ll visit my accent coach so she can finesse it, or if it’s a standard American accent I’ll make my American best friend send me a voice recording with all my lines.’

When she needs to unwind she’ll head to the gym for a workout, mixing her regime up with weight lifting, yoga or even skipping.  

Watching shows on Netflix after dinner is usually a must for Natassia, but given it’s part of her job description (and tax deductible) she’s not worried about the screen time.

When it comes to her eating habits she’s ‘very, very particular’ about what she puts inside her body, following a strict plant-based diet that is gluten and refined sugar free.

Watching shows on Netflix after dinner is usually a must for Natassia, but given it's part of her job description (and tax deductible) she's not worried about the screen time

Watching shows on Netflix after dinner is usually a must for Natassia, but given it's part of her job description (and tax deductible) she's not worried about the screen time

Watching shows on Netflix after dinner is usually a must for Natassia, but given it’s part of her job description (and tax deductible) she’s not worried about the screen time

'NCIS LA is the best show. It has got heart, soul, action and awesome stories and characters with a socially-conscious tone,' she said

'NCIS LA is the best show. It has got heart, soul, action and awesome stories and characters with a socially-conscious tone,' she said

‘NCIS LA is the best show. It has got heart, soul, action and awesome stories and characters with a socially-conscious tone,’ she said

‘On the beauty front, I don’t brush my hair unless I’m in the shower and it’s lathered in conditioner,’ she said.

‘I don’t go to the hairdresser. If I need a haircut it gets done by the hair team on a set. I don’t wear makeup unless I have to.

‘In the day I wear Vitamin C, B, Hyaluronic Acid, Rosehip Oil but read the ingredients, you don’t need added chemicals or artificial preservatives. I also wear a ridiculous amount of sunscreen and a large brim hat.’

Wanting to protect her assets – and her livelihood – is important for Natassia, who is beyond thrilled to be working behind-the-scenes on NCIS.

'CBS released pictures of my character Eliana in an embrace with Chris O'Donnell's character Callen and some of his fans on social media were like "You better not break his heart!" Respect, that's awesome, I love that, they care,' she said

'CBS released pictures of my character Eliana in an embrace with Chris O'Donnell's character Callen and some of his fans on social media were like "You better not break his heart!" Respect, that's awesome, I love that, they care,' she said

‘CBS released pictures of my character Eliana in an embrace with Chris O’Donnell’s character Callen and some of his fans on social media were like “You better not break his heart!” Respect, that’s awesome, I love that, they care,’ she said

‘NCIS LA is the best show. It has got heart, soul, action and awesome stories and characters with a socially-conscious tone,’ she said.

‘I actually did my own stunts which was a great experience. I worked with retired NCIS agents to learn how to operate my character’s firearm in the gun range so when you see it in the show, it’s real, except for the bullets.’

She’s fighting to stop a war in the Middle East alongside Chris O’Donnell and David James Elliot on the show and found working with the NCIS legends ‘surreal’.

‘CBS released pictures of my character Eliana in an embrace with Chris O’Donnell’s character Callen and some of his fans on social media were like “You better not break his heart!” Respect, that’s awesome, I love that, they care,’ she said.

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