The family later relocated to Charleston, South Carolina, where her three older brothers lined up to attend The Citadel. Meanwhile, Mena was entertaining dreams of becoming an archaeologist, astronaut or doctor, when a modeling agency stopped by her all-girls school, Ashley Hall, to offer classes. By the time she started acting, she had been modeling for the New York-based Wilhelmina agency for five years.
Suvari made appearances in television shows such as Boy Meets World and ER at the age of fifteen and sixteen respectively. In 1999, she starred in the Oscar-winning American Beauty and the popular American Pie. Suvari was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, for her role in American Beauty.
She followed these movies with roles in such movies as Loser (2000), The Musketeer (2001), and Spun (2002). Suvari also became a recurring character in the fourth season of the critically acclaimed HBO serial Six Feet Under in 2004, as lesbian performance poet and artist, Edie. Suvari was nominated for a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for "Favorite Actress - Newcomer (Internet Only)" in 2000 for American Pie.
In 2006, Suvari performed the voice role of Aerith Gainsborough in the Square Enix/Disney video game Kingdom Hearts II and the English-language version of Square Enix's Final Fantasy VII Advent Children.
Suvari has collaborated with Echo Design to launch a limited-edition three scarf collection. The project features her own nature-inspired photography, digitally screened on silk and silk chiffon as wearable art. The collection depicts trees in three stages of foliage from fall to winter; a portion of the proceeds from sales will go to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
She is also active in female empowerment issues. She is involved with several charities whose cause is breast cancer, the "End Violence Against Women" campaign, and tours high schools as a "Circle Of Friends" spokesperson, encouraging teenagers to quit smoking.
In July 2008, Suvari became engaged to music producer/concert promoter Simone Sestito, who proposed during their vacation in Jamaica.
Mena Suvari: Take a chance on me Cheerleader, drug addict, 'angel' next door: Mena Suvari's played them all. Andrew Gumbel meets a Hollywood risk-taker
Sep 17, 2004; Mena Suvari has a fine, full-lipped mouth, which was certainly one reason why Marc Evans, the director of the new psychological...