There are moments of great intimacy and familiarity with the young Kian Zarei, how did you achieve this complicity and closeness with him?
Well, I personally create a sincere and friendly relationship with the cast and crew and actors of any project, and it is difficult for me to work in an atmosphere other than this. I had many rehearsal sessions with Kian, and with the knowledge I got from him, I understood that the only way for us to communicate better is to be intimate together.
We played together, we talked together. If he was upset about something or complained about someone, I was the first person he would confided to me. I think this trust and friendship was the most important point of our communication.
You start out happy and hopeful and quickly slide into utter despair with the loss of Omid. How was the acting experience of changing so much emotional intensity in the film?
For me, Afsaneh was a challenging and different character and it was far from my own personality, we worked on analyzing the character in several meetings and we were looking for a feature in this character, and I came to the conclusion with Maryam that Afsaneh’s way of look is the most important aspect of the character. And we knew that if we get to that point, the rest of the character will be created by itself, and that’s how it happened.
How did you approach the performance in the most intense sequence of the film in the cobbled alley when you confess your secrets to Ali Tabe Imam? You seem to avoid visual contact with the actor, staring into space and thinking about dreams and hopes lost until the climactic moment.
I am happy that this sequence has been in your interest, as I said the first thing we achieved was the way of this characters look, I am a kind of intuitive actress, generally after cognition the character I put her completely in the situation and let her to encounter events.
Afsaneh was a strong woman, she had a secret and it was her weak point in front of Bahram and at the same time seeing the images of the child she created in her imagination and she herself was forced to kill.
What was it like working with Maryam Khodabakhsh? How and when did she first show you the idea of the movie?
Maryam Khodabakhsh is a patient, kind-hearted director with good manners and insight. One of the most important things that is her strength in directing is listening. She listens and thinks with all her heart. Currently, our second film is being prepared for festivals. I was also introduced to Maryam by one of our mutual colleagues after reading the script.
How is the life of a successful actress in Iran?
I think this question is completely personal and it can be different depending on each person, but in any case, as a woman, they definitely face a lot of gender discrimination, and I hope that this view will soon change significantly in Iranian and world cinema. ..
What are your future projects?
I don’t know how far you are in the course of the revolution taking place in Iran, Iranian women are causing the most important change in the history of humanity, and it is obvious to everyone why there was not any support for us and this revolution from other countries.
This women’s revolution is considered a serious threat for world powers. We live here in a situation where a protest and civil defiance may cost us our lives, every week a large number of people are killed, arrested and tortured just because of their demand for a free life which is the right of every living being.
Believe it or not, no words or sentences can describe all this courage and magnificence, in such a situation, being with the people was the only way and choice for me and many others. At the beginning of the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement, I thought it was important to be on the stage and, as always, we can speak under the blade of censorship, force and power, but I came to the conclusion that at a time when people are openly present in the streets, the stage is powerless against anything.
There is something right now, I think maybe my absence may help more in the direction of the revolution because the system is constantly trying to normalize the existing conditions in Iran, so I decided not to work in theaters and films until the victory of “Zhina – Mahsa Amini” uprising, because I believe in theater and cinema and basically the essence of art, are freedom, and I decided not to work until I can go on the stage without censorship and without curtains. As long as I have to live under the banner of an ideology that takes away the freedom and lives of human beings, I will put this eternal dream of mine in a safe so that I can embrace it freely in a better time and place.
I sincerely shake your hand. And I ask you to be the voice of Iranian women, men and children in any way you can, and accompany the women’s uprising, but please do not feel sorry for us, because a big event is happening by the people of Iran. Zahra Aghapour , Warm Regards