Mehdi Soltani- Sarvestani plays the role of Haj Ali Tehrani in the series ‘Father’. Haj Ali is a man who is rich, handsome, religious, owns a Mercedes Benz and has special as well as different relationship with his son Hamed who is the protagonist of the story.
The series is on ifilm playlist these days. ifilm has conducted an exclusive interview with Mehdi-soltani-Sarvestani in Persian selected parts of which has been translated here.
ifilm: The first time that the series ‘Father’ broadcasted, many viewers and critics said that it covers a subject that is a cliché and encourages the viewers to follow religious instructions and criticizes those who are non-religious.
Mehdi Soltani-Sarvestani: Let me tell you that viewers and people are different from critics. The critics, from the start, began to question the series but people wanted to see it and express their judgment about it based on their interest. Let me add that when the critics talk about the series it means that they watch it and it means ‘Father’ attracts viewers.
Let me speak about this point that ‘Father’ represents a model for religious people and those who are after a solution (for their problems). ‘Father’ is for religious viewers.
ifilm: one of the criticisms mentioned about ‘Father’ is that Haj Ali is too rich and basically money and religion cannot stand side by side. Can you explain about It?
Mehdi Soltani-Sarvestani: This is a wrong view that many people have. They think that religious people cannot be rich. In different episodes of the series Haj Ali tells the story of his wealth and the viewers come to know that Haj Ali’s money is Halal money and to gain that he has done no illegal activity. The father of the story, ‘Haj Ali’, deliberately urges his son to make all his efforts to earn this type of money which needs hard working. Islam has no problem with being rich. Islam has repeatedly stressed that to earn halal money one needs to work hard. In ‘Father’ we did not want to showcase cliché religious people but we aimed at showing the other side of the coin and depict that type of religious people who are rich and trustworthy.
ifilm: You played the role of father in different series. Aren’t you worried to play the same role repeatedly with regard to your own personal character?
Mehdi Soltani-Sarvestani: First of all I have to say that in my opinion there are no negative or positive characters and when I accept to play a role I do my best to see the world from the view point of that character. Second, I have never been scared by the role of father. Because the father role that I play has a different world which must be discovered for me as the actor of that role. Every time that I played the role of father, it was totally different from the previous father role that I performed. I accept any father role which is offered to me.
ifilm: If the second sequel to the ‘Father’ series is made, will you accept to play the role in that?
Mehdi Soltani-Sarvestani: Yes. Art is never perfect and ‘Father’ series is not an exception from this issue. The important point is that the director of the series was Behrang Tofiqi. This is an important point because I had worked with him before and I know the quality of his works. If I receive the offer, I will accept it again and certainly if I accept, I'll play the role with higher quality.