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Entries in acting (2)


The Healing Power Of Drama

We had returned in the midst of the Iran-Iraq war and I was inconsolable, pining for my friends back in Spain. Then acting happened and the effect of theatre and film in my life was more potent than any imaginable potion. It kept me afloat, gave me hope, the motivation to carry on until I’d see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Once I had traced back my father’s steps in the Stanislavski system and rigorously completed an acting program, I was offered a part in what came to be the biggest blockbuster after the revolution. Even though I was never to conceive, from that point, I was destined to play mother after mother even at an age when this would not have been plausible.

This photo was taken by Goga Bayat (unrelated to me) on the set of "The Little Bird of Happiness" (directed by Pouran Derakhshandeh, produced by Sirous Taslimi) with Homa Rousta and Amin Tarokh.  

Fun fact: My friendship with Homa Rousta was not born out of our first film, but later on the set of "Tigh-e Aftab" in which we played mother-daughter and shared a suite in Esfahan for three months.




Thoughts on Casting (Waiting for Kiarostami)

At the age of 17, I played the role of a mother to a 9 year old in the big blockbuster “Little Bird of Happiness” (“Parandeye Kuchake Khoshbakhti”) directed by Pouran Derakhshandeh. At the time, I had little emotional resources to relate to the feeling of a mother. I was a teenager with a strong Stanislavsky training under my belt and an immense natural motherly instinct, but none of these got me closer to the truth in those scenarios. Roles that followed were not dissimilar. Playing the mother of a ten-year-old in Rajab Mohammadin’s confiscated “Flower” (“Gol”) was no different. Yes, I could love the boy, care for and about him, but I couldn’t get closer to the feeling of a real-life mother. The same went for the little boy who was my son in the also confiscated “Buye Khoshe Ashenai” directed by Reza Sharifi.

It wasn’t until my recent on-screen acting revival in the family drama “Waiting for Kiarostami” directed by Hossein Khandan that I finally felt it from a place of truth. Being a mother in fiction. Decades of life experience and reaching a certain emotional maturity got me closer to the role and the make believe factor that I could be the mother of the two teenage girls cast as my daughters. An added bonus was that the mother figure in this feature drama became somewhat of an acting coach for her daughter who in the story is being considered for Kiarostami’s upcoming film in China (a project that never came to be due to the cineaste’s unexpected passing on July 4, 2016).

Here are some snapshots of moments during which we bonded as mother-daughters.