Cross-Posted from Backstage
Hello, Backstage! My name is Farshad Farahat, and I want to share my experience in “Argo” as Azizi, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard interrogating the seven escaping Americans in the climactic airport scene.
After three years in the industry, my “Argo” journey started May 19, 2011 in the casting office of Lora Kennedy at Warner Brothers. Lora’s incredible warmth and poise instantly calmed my nerves and allowed me to settle into the subject matter, a topic that resonated with my Iranian-American background. At “Argo’s” second read, I met the director, Ben Affleck, and the producer, Grant Heslov. Once again their open casting environment allowed me to be calm and perform in front of such giants of film. In August 2011, I was cast as a Revolutionary ticket taker in the airport scene.
In the weeks leading up to my first part in a feature film, I felt the need to not only prepare for my role, but also for other Revolutionary roles in my scene, with a keen eye on the role of the main interrogator, Azizi. I watched numerous Iranian revolutionary documentaries, propaganda clips, and re-read books such as Stephen Kinzer’s ”All the Shah’s Men,” to refresh the emotions I had experienced as a child in Revolutionary Iran. I recalled my elementary school yard’s daily 6 am sing-alongs in Farsi, where we were required to sing, “Until there is blood in our veins, Khomeini is our leader,” “Not the East, not the West, only the Islamic Republic.” I could again hear the voices of schoolmates talking of their heroic Revolutionary fathers dying on the frontlines while holding off the invading Saddam Hussein and his Western weapons. Even after two decades of life in California, the war and the revolution were alive again. Continue reading