We recently spoke with Farid Yazdani, one of the stars of Tehranto, a new film about love and family in the divided Iranian diaspora of Toronto. Tehranto hit theatres this month, and is streaming on VOD this week. Enjoy this conversation with Farid, and don’t miss Tehranto!
ACTRA: Tell us about Tehranto. What made the film intriguing to you?
Farid: I was lucky enough to witness the process of Tehranto from the beginning. The film’s writer and director, Faran Moradi, is a good friend of mine and when he pitched the idea to me, I told him he had to do it. What makes Tehranto such a brilliant film is that Faran tells the story of love, not just between two people, but between a person and their culture. Even though the film is about Iran and the history behind it, a viewer of any race, creed or background will learn to love and appreciate their roots and history after watching the film. Faran does all this while keeping the film “light.” So often we see films with a message use intensity to drive that message forward. Faran has effortlessly used storytelling and even comedy to make the viewer feel and be aware of what is going on in the world around them without pushing his agenda. Personally, being a part of this film was important as I don’t get to represent my heritage through film and television often. Ninety-nine per cent of everyone involved in the film are of Iranian descent and, though it was challenging, Faran made sure that was a mandate in place.
ACTRA: What drew you to the role of Som? What makes the character interesting to you?
Farid: First of all, I got to eat all the Persian sweets in the world throughout the film. Easy sell! But, the most interesting thing about the role was that I had the task of connecting the narrator to the audience. Throughout the film, Som is the only one who can actually hear what the narrator is saying, which was challenging, but rewarding at the same time. During the filming process, we actually had no idea who was going to be cast in the role. I have to give credit to Navid [Negahban, the narrator], he did an amazing job in the role and hopefully we can actually meet in person soon so I can congratulate him and say thanks!
ACTRA: What does being a member of ACTRA mean to you?
Farid: There’s a sense of accomplishment when you become a full ACTRA member. It means you have started on the path of being a professional actor. It means acting can be your main and even only source of income. It means you’ve auditioned with the best there is and are among some of Canada’s finest actors. I still have my ACTRA Performers magazine, which has the list of new ACTRA members. I even got to grace one of the covers a few years back, which was an absolute privilege and honour. Being an ACTRA member has a lot of pros. It means a safe word place, fair pay and protection.
ACTRA: What’s next for you? Anything interesting on the horizon to share?
Farid: We’ve just finished filming Season 3 of Moonshine on which I have had the pleasure of being a series regular. Season 1 is available on Netflix and seasons 1 & 2 are available CBC Gem and Season 3 should be released later this upcoming year. Moonshine has been a life changer for me and I think it’s an amazing series. We actually have multiple Canadian Screen Award nominations and I think we’ll have more in the upcoming year.