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This actor martyrs Imam Ali (AS) in memorable series

Iranian actor Karim Akbari-Mobarakeh talks about the villain role of Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam Moradi in ‘Imam Ali’ series.

The actor who martyred the first Muslim Imam in the series ‘Imam Ali’ and played the villain role of Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam Moradi talks with local media on his artistic portrayal in the memorable Iranian series.

Karim Akbari-Mobarakeh took a massive risk by appearing as the murderer of the first Muslim Imam in the series chronicling  the life of Imam Ali directed by Davoud Mir-Baqeri.

In conjunction with the sad occasion of Imam Ali’s (AS) martyrdom anniversary, the actor portraying the atrocity of ibn Muljam in the best vein talked about details that may well interest ifilm audiences.

* Almost everyone saw you in the series ‘Imam Ali’ (AS). What did you do after ‘Imam Ali’ series?

Actor: I mostly worked as an assistant director. After ‘Imam Ali’ (AS), I joined the s series ‘Rooted in the Soil’ and ‘The Heir. Before that, I worked on as a series in the early days of the revolution.

* The role of ibn Muljam Moradi made you more visible to the audience. Do you remember that role?

The filming of this series and the episode of Imam Ali's being struck by Muljam’s poisonous sword was set during the month of Ramadan, and I was at Qottam's house when Mr. Mir-Baqeri told me, "Karim, I want to leave this sequence for the 19th night of Ramadan so that you can feel it." I told him if I could play that night, I would go crazy for sure. He said I was joking and left while still laughing. It took me two months to shoot for the scene in which I struck with my sword.

* An actor knows for what they have signed up. They know acting is their job. You played the role of ibn al-Muljam Moradi. Someone who martyred the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), who is very, very dear to everyone, both Muslims and non-Muslims. Was this challenging for you?

In history, do we know anyone struck with sword in prayer while not facing the enemy? Imam Ali would always go into battlefields face to face, yet Moradi attacked when he was not looking at his murderer for being in prayer there in the mosque. So, I was going to play the most wretched person in history. It was very hard. Mr. Mir-Baqeri and Mr. Sharifiania helped me a lot. I swear by God that I could not slept or had been worried for three nights before we began the first sequence of martyring Imam Ali (AS) with sword strikes.

* Many still keep remembering you by that role.

Because it's a special role. I also played in ‘Mokhtar Narrative’, which was also very popular, although my family said that we hated this role because I caused the death of Abu Amra Kaysan (played by Reza Rouygari). Everyone wants me to play a positive role. Even when Mr. Mir-Baqeri gave me that role, I was surprised. It was a difficult role. I did my best to show the suffering of Imam Ali (AS) with one role, and that was the role of ibn Muljam Moradi.

* I also talked to Mr. Daryoush Arjmand and they said that it has been many years since then, but people still see me as Malik Ashtar. Are you also called Ibn al-Muljam?

Yeah, from time to time,  I hear this about me. All actors have played positive and negative roles.

* One of the good characteristics of an actor is his facial expression. Nothing can be done. There are many who cannot play a good role, that is, their facial expressions are like this. That includes Jamileh Sheikhi, who would always say I played very positive and negative roles, but when I go for a negative role, my face is so good that no one remembers my positive roles at all. 

These days, after the end of a series, part of behind-the-scenes is released for people to see that the cops and robbers are friends as they are both actors, but this was not the case in our time. The first day after the broadcast of the last episode of ‘Imam Ali’ (AS) series, I completely shaved my face, but on the same day, someone tapped on the shoulder on the street and said, "You worked very well in the series. God bless." I realized that he knew me. I hope that there will be a situation where people have their kind look equally at all types of roles that actors play.