As he approaches 85, Iran acting legend Ali Nasiriyan has remained a method actor with no intention of giving up acting. His career encompasses so much more than 50 films and TV series.
Below is an English version of ifilm exclusive interview with the veteran actor, where Nasiriyan discusses whether he is worried about losing his desire to act and an upcoming project with Dariush Mehrjouee.
ifilm: To begin with, how was your first experience in cinema?
Ali Nasiriyan: The situation in Iran was not suitable when I was initially making my way into cinema. People mostly favored Persian Film (Film Farsi). We started off with ‘The Cow’; a movie packed with deep content. We preferred to produce something meaningful and thoughtful. Against what, you think? A monster like Film Farsi.
I loved the screenplay of ‘The Cow’. And believe it or not, I received nothing to play in the movie. I played the role with all my heart. After ‘The Cow’ and on Mehrjouee’s recommendation, I wrote the screenplay of ‘Mr. Naive’ which made my second feature film. ‘Mr. Naive’ was my first experience in scriptwriting. I did not pursue scriptwriting because of my passion for acting.
ifilm: What do you think of the TV series you played? Do you like to appear in TV or cinema?
Ali Nasiriyan: I played in many TV series. Some series such as ‘Heads on Gallows’, ‘Hezar Dastan’ and ‘Neighbors’ were popular series in its time. But I am not very much biased as to appear in either TV or cinema. It all depends on what comes up. And if I am offered good role, I will go for it. An actor should be always active. It does not work for an actor to be inactive for a long time.
ifilm: You made an appearance in popular series ‘Dear Brother’ which was screened during the holy month of Ramadan; and like always people felt passionate about your acting.
Ali Nasiriyan: ‘Dear Brother’ had ethical themes. This was what made me encouraged to take the role. I accepted the role after the series shooting had begun with some scenes already being captured only because I liked it. I also picked the role of Agha Bozorg in ‘Shahrzad’ just like that. I am an actor and I would like to play various characters.
ifilm: If you are offered a role for a TV series again, will you take it?
Ali Nasiriyan: If it is a good role, I will surely accept it. Why not? TV is an important part of my country and I am working for my country as well as the people of my country. But it needs to be a good role. I better like the character and it should have the room to act on; not simply someone who gives advice and then leaves the scene - someone who is a man of action rather than words. Basically, I do not like characters that are stable and do nothing.
ifilm: What are you up to these days?
Ali Nasiriyan: I have been offered good roles in cinema this past year. I am to play in ‘A Minor’ by Dariush Mahrjouee. This is going to make my fourth collaboration with Mehrjouee after 40 years. This is very pleasing for me to once again get the chance to work with Mehrjouee.
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