In an exclusive interview with ifilm, Iran top comedian Akbar Abdi talks about comedy as the most difficult genre.
The ‘Era of Constitutional Revolution’ actor, Akbar Abdi (born August 26, 1960, Tehran), has taken part in an interview conducted by ifilm Farsi in which he speaks about some interesting issues related to his favorite genre and roles.
The actor has appeared in more than 120 movies and series among which ‘In the Eye of the Storm’, ‘Era of Constitutional Revolution’, ‘Passion to Fly’, and ‘Imam Ali’ have gone on air by ifilm.
Below is a rough translation of selected parts from the interview conducted by ifilm in Persian.
ifilm: Why did you choose comedy as your main field of interest? What is your justification for this selection?
Akbar Abdi: Once another interviewer asked me the same question. But, here I want to clarify it by giving more specific details in my response.
In fact, comedy is the most serious genre. If the comedian does not live in comedy and if he does not play his role seriously, no one believes his role. If the comic actor does not play his comic role seriously, no one can laugh. As a matter of fact, the actor who chooses to play a comic role must perform it in such a sophisticated way that it makes the viewer laugh at the role.
I want to give you an example about the importance of being serious in comic role playing. For 30 years, one of my friends wants to tell me a joke, but he hasn’t yet because whenever he wants to begin he is enveloped in laughter. By this example, I wanted to tell you that one cannot even tell a simple joke unless he is serious enough to do so.
When the comic actor plays his role with high seriousness the perfect comedy is born. Comedy is a very difficult genre. That’s why the number of real comedians anywhere in the world, at any time, and any culture is so few. There are just a handful of professional comic actors because comic roles are very difficult to play.
ifilm: In addition to playing the comic roles, you play the role of women artfully. You have received great awards for this skill from the most important film festival held in Iran. Can you tell us how you accept to play the role of a woman?
Akbar Abdi: I will not accept the roles which are suggested to me unless they have logical justifications for me. I started to play the role of women in ‘Snowman’ directed by Davood Mir-Bagheri. It was afterwards that I received lots of offers for playing the role of women, but up until today I have only accepted four of these offers. I agreed to play the role of a woman in ‘Snowman’ after reading the script of the flick and finding the story very attractive.
Besides, playing the role of women is so exciting to me. It is an opportunity that must be grasped because it’s a rarity that a man is so fit for such a role.
I quit playing the role of women because after my success in this issue I received lots of offers for this role from different filmmakers. It is dangerous because it provides a situation for the actor to be engulfed by repetition. Gradually you are molded in that role in a way that the viewer does not expect to see you in any other role but a woman’s role.
ifilm: You have played almost all of the roles that you wished to. Hasn’t acting become repetitive or boring for you?
Akbar Abdi: No actor can reach to the end of the world of acting. Neither acting nor any other form of art has an end point. Artists and actors never get bored of their jobs.