Talks & Interviews — February 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Iranian actor on working with Ben Affleck, getting into Iran’s film industry (exclusive)

farshad-farahat-argoFarshad Farahat is a graduate of University of Massachusetts Amherst with a major in political journalism. He’s also working on a Ph.D. in conflict resolution.

And yet he’s an actor, who brilliantly portrayed the leader of Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who try to prevent Ben Affleck and other Americans from escaping Iran from Mehrabad Airport in 2012 film “Argo”, which took 3 Oscars.

Basically, “Azizi” (Farahat’s character) and other IRGC members, are the only ones that remain in Tehran who can prevent the Americans from leaving, and they almost manage to do so.

“The role of “Azizi” stood out to me with its pivotal position in the story,” Farahat told BZFilm. “Therefore, I prepared for my “ticket taker” role with that character in mind.”

Farahat then went on to answer whether the 1970’s Iran itself in “Argo” was depicted correctly.

“Obviously, no film can portray historical settings with a hundred percent accuracy, though I thought “Argo” did a great job in depicting Tehran streets and Mehrabad Airport in the late 1970s,” he said.

Speaking about “stereotyped” actors in Hollywood, Farahat noted that every actor chooses whether he wants to become stereotyped or not.

“I believe an actor is responsible for his or her roles. Ultimately, they have the final word in what part they will and will not do,” he said.

Farahat noted that he’s presently involved in both acting and developing various projects, adding that his work lays in journalism as well.

Speaking of other projects, Farahat played lead role and directed a short film “Eviolent”, about a a dictator, who is at first forced to become one by the recently liberated people, and then all is changed by the non-violent civil resistance.

Farahat said he feels that on-violent force, which I call eviolent, evolved force, is the strongest weapon for civil societies.

farshad-farahat-eviolent“Today across the Middle East, and the greater world, the youth can educate themselves from past non-violent movements and evolve its use into their own struggles for greater civil rights,” he said.

After the release of “Argo”, its reception in Iran was mixed – some liked it, others claimed the film didn’t have accuracy of historic events, and Farahat of course got his share of criticism.

He said that after Iran selected Hassan Rouhani as the country’s next preident, he might be able to visit Iran and express his own point of view on “Argo”, and even continue his acting career there.

“Absolutely, diverse perspectives and opinions, whether wrong or right, is healthy for any society. I would love to work in Iran’s film industry,” he told BZFilm.

Last but not least, further speaking about Iran’s new president and the country’s future, Farahat said he believes matters will get better for Iran with a fair deal.

The U.S. and its Western allies suspect Iran of developing a nuclear weapon – something that Iran denies. Iran has on numerous occasions stated that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons, using nuclear energy for medical researches instead. Iran managed to reach a nuclear agreement on Nov. 24, 2013, and has agreed to curb some of its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief.

“Such a deal, that could remove the unnecessary pressure of broad sanctions on Iran’s civil society,” he said. “I believe no country should have weapons of mass destruction, as they are useless in this connected world. I hope to one day see a Middle Eastern Union with bustling respect, trade and prosperity.”

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