Meet Kimia Behpoornia from Abbott Elementary: 4 Things to Know About the Actress

By Klein Felt Posted:
Abbott Elementary Kimia Behpoornia

Kimia Behpoornia has been turning heads on Season 3 of Abbott Elementary, so here are some fun facts to get to know the actress. 

The hit ABC comedy, created by star Quinta Brunson, just returned to air following the continued exploits of the teaching and administrative staff of an underfunded Philidelphia school. 

Behpoornia joined Season 3 as Emily, a good-hearted school district rep who has been making appearances at local schools to make the district more personable to the teachers and students they serve.

[ Full Cast of Abbott Elementary Season 3 (2024) - Every Main Character & Actor Who Appears (Photos) ]

Get To Know Abbott Elementary's Kimia Behpoornia

Kimia Behpoornia in Abbott Elementary
Abbott Elementary

Behpoornia Got Her Major Acting Breakthrough in Brie Larson’s Unicorn Store

While fans may recognize Kimia Behpoornia from her work in hits like Netflix's Atypical and the Hulu comedy Reboot, the California native got her breakthrough acting alongside a Marvel superhero. 

Behpoornia broke onto the scene for the masses in Unicorn Store, Brie Larson's 2017 directorial debut. 

The film stars Larson alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Joan Cusack, and many more, telling the story of Kit, a 20-something who finds meaning by being offered to chase her dreams of being an artist. 

In the cerebral Netflix epic, the five-foot-four actress played Brittney, a nature-loving member of Kit's parents' outdoor group who is seen on a camping trip with Larson's young dreamer. 

Behpoornia's Unicorn Store appearance may be short, but it was memorable.

Promoting the film on her personal Instagram, the comedian joked "I'm in this movie just long enough" for audiences to "tell that I have little to no camping experience:"

"'Unicorn Store' is out on Netflix today! I’m in this movie just long enough for everyone to be able to tell that I have little to no camping experience."

Behpoornia Has an Extensive History as an Improv Comedian

Before being a star of the big and small screen, Behpoornia cut her chops working as an improv comedian. 

Since she was a teen, the Abbott Elementary star has been working stages and cracking up rooms full of people all without any prepared material. 

Her first improv gig came by way of the LA Second City Theater, where she was a member of the Teen Troupe. 

From there, she would go on to join prestigious improv and comedy groups like ComedySportz LA and Upright Citizen's Brigade (which she is currently a member of). 

She has also been a member of Westside Comedy Theater's Mission Improvable show as well as the Stardom Improvised Dance Drama at ComedySportz LA.

In a 2023 interview on Classic Conversation with Jeff Dwoskin, Behpoornia revealed it was her dad's idea to get her into improv, hoping that a class in the fourth grade would help her overcome some extreme shyness:

"Everyone was just like, 'That's Kimia, she doesn't talk just leave her alone.' And then my dad signed me up for an improv class after school in the fourth grade, because the little parent booklet that they send you home with said, 'If your child is shy, this is a great class for them.' And he signed me up and was like, 'Wow! This is amazing.'"

The actress gushed about how much she loved improv as a form of performance, joking that her younger self was drawn to the idea of "other people [listening] to [her] do the shit [she does] in her room by [herself]:"

"Other people will listen to me do the shit I do in my room by herself with her cat just making up all this stuff. And so, I loved it!"

Behpoornia Appeared in a Bubly Marketing Campaign

Outside of her TV and film work, Behpoornia is an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, identifying as queer herself. 

As a part of this, the Abbott Elementary star partnered with Bubly for a marketing campaign and fundraising effort in June 2022. This benefitted the Stonewall Inn Give Back Initiative and the creation of safe spaces "where chosen families form and flourish" (via Muse). 

Behpoornia appeared in a short film for the cause, alongside other queer superstars including Naomi McPherson (the lead singer of the band MUNA) and drag artist Eureka O'Hara. 

On the campaign itself,  Zach Harris, VP of water portfolio at PepsiCo Beverages North America, said, "Chosen families are often the ones who truly understand their experience on a deeper level and provide a sense of belonging" and Bubly was "inspired" to help foster that:

"Chosen families are often the ones who truly understand their experience on a deeper level and provide a sense of belonging. Bubly was inspired by chosen families and the safety of LGBTQ+ safe spaces, where they can be their authentic selves. Bubly produced a short film in a LGBTQ+ bar that shows its different patrons and unique chosen families that gather there—from regulars who stop by with their friends every Friday, to bartenders who feel like family, to drag artists who entertain each week, to the person looking to find their people within the LGBTQ+ community."

Behpoornia Is a Known Impressionist

While getting her start on the improv stages of Los Angeles, Behpoornia has also done stand-up comedy and is a known impressionist. 

The UCLA grad's resume specifically calls out she can do an "Ash Ketchum Impression" as well as several accents including, "Southern Accent, British - BBC English Accent, British - Cockney Accent, East Indian Accent, Greek Accent, Persian Accent, Scottish Accent, Spanish Accent, [and] Fluent Farsi."

While she has taken to the stand-up stage in the past, Behpoornia does not feel super comfortable doing it. 

She previously called the medium "less fun" because it is largely a solitary medium whereas improv and TV are usually done in groups (via Classic Conversation with Jeff Dwoskin

Behpoornia has gone as far as to say, "I am scared of stand-up," positing that she did it one summer and that was enough:

"I am scared of stand-up, you're right. I did it one summer and went, 'That's good. That's enough.' If anyone asks if I ever did it, I'd be like, 'Yeah, once. A couple of times one summer. Good enough.' That's it."

How To Follow Kimia Behpoornia Online

Fans looking to keep up with Kimia Behpoornia on social media can follow the actress @ChildClown on Instagram.


Abbott Elementary Season 3 continues on ABC with new episodes dropping Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET. 

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.