SOLYMONE BLOG

IRANIAN FARAHANI TURNS HOLLYWOOD HEART THROB


Sitting eating breakfast with her husband, Amin Mahdavi, in a luxury Doha hotel, Iranian actor and musician Golshifteh Farahani smiles as she talks about her career.
  • Farahani is in Doha promoting Asghar Farhadi's About Elly; a film that may be the last she makes in her country of birth.
  • At 26 years old, Farahani is Iran's leading actress but her sights are now set on Hollywood.
  • She landed her first role in a Hollywood feature film last year when she starred as Leonardo DiCaprio's love interest in Ridley Scott's Body of Lies.
  • Farahani says she is grateful to Scott for taking the risk of casting somebody from the "axis of evil" in the film.
  • "It is hard. I was a king of a lake and now I am a fish in an ocean," Farahani says in her newly learnt but almost flawless English of her new career direction.
  • In Iran all decent film scripts would come to her but outside of Iran she must fight for each role.
  • The challenge, she says, is worth it because Farahani is the first Iran-based actress since the 1979 Iranian revolution to act in a Hollywood film.
  • Born into a family of actors, Farahani was discouraged from following them into the film business.
  • Her father, Behzad Farahani, is a renowned actor and theatre director who knew it was a career choice that would pit his daughter against the Iranian government, regardless of whether or not she was political.
  • Farahani was studying music and hoped to make her career as a classical musician, when at the age of 14 she landed her first role in Dariush Merjoui's The Pear Tree.
  • Her career blossomed and by the time she was 22 she was Iran's most recognised actor.
  • Known for her down-to-earth style, Farahani takes pride in never behaving like a diva.
  • "One of my aims was to introduce another way of behaving like a star. I love the Taoist philosophy very much," she says excitedly.
  • "There is a saying that one has to live like the ocean. It is the biggest body of water but it is at the lowest point on earth, all the streams and rivers flow into it. I have always tried to live by that philosophy."
  • Now that Farahani's career is moving to the West, she realises that the eyes of all Iranians are on her and that this means she must be careful about the roles she chooses.
  • "If I fail they will fail and if I am successful it is their success too."
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