There was a point there in the late 90s to early 00s where Mena Suvari was everywhere.
Mena had that perfect girl next door look about her and her roles often saw her switching between innocence and seductiveness with ease. Starting off her career as a model, Suvari made her film debut in the 1997 film 'Nowhere'. However it was her roles in the 1999 films 'American Beauty' and 'American Pie' that launched her into stardom.
In 'American Beauty', Suvari plays Angela Hayes, the best friend of Jane Burnham (Thora Birch). Jane's dad Lester (Kevin Spacey) has a massive crush on Angela and often imagines her naked, surrounded by red rose petals. The dream sequences provided the film's most iconic imagery, with Suvari front and centre (though interestingly, that wasn't her on the poster).
In 'American Pie' and 'American Pie 2', Suvari plays Heather, Oz's (Chris Klein) girlfriend. She even popped up again later in 2012's 'American Reunion'. Her career had somewhat faded into obscurity at that point, but between 1999 and 2000, it seemed like Mena Suvari was in everything. She starred in the film 'Loser' opposite 'American Pie' co-star Jason Biggs. She also featured in the music video for Wheatus single 'Teenage Dirtbag'.
In the years that followed, Suvari starred in 'Sugar & Spice', 'Trauma', 'Caffeine', 'Factory Girl', 'Rumour has It' and 'Stuck' among many others. She even had a stint on the series 'Six Feet Under'. The movies failed to launch, however, to the popularity and acclaim of her previous 'American' titles. Thus it seemed that Suvari had disappeared, but really she was working consistently.
The 2010s continued the trend of roles in movie flops like 'You May Not Kiss the Bride' and 'The Opposite Sex'. In TV, Suvari had better luck, including a six-episode arc in 'Chicago Fire' and lead role in the short-lived 'South of Hell'. She also appeared as herself in a 2016 episode of 'Inside Amy Schumer'. Suvari loaned her voice to the animated series 'Clarence' between 2014 and 2018. In 2011, she was cast as Elizabeth Short in 'American Horror Story: Murder House', a role she reprised in 'Apocalypse'.
Anything with 'American' in the title seems to be good luck for Suvari. Last year she landed a leading role in the show 'American Woman', which is hailing a major comeback for the actress. Fellow late 90s star Alicia Silverstone from 'Clueless' plays posh single mom Bonnie, who's struggling to raise her daughters in 1970s Los Angeles. Suvari plays best friend Kathleen, who has issues all her own.
Suvari has loads on the horizon too between the upcoming 'The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson', in which she plays Nicole, and horror movie 'Apparition'. Next year she'll star in the thrillers 'Paradise Cove' and 'Viscous', 'Don't Tell a Soul' with Jack Dylan Grazer and Rainn Wilson, and biopic 'Grace and Grit' which co-stars Irish actor Stuart Townsend.