Golshifteh Farahani plays Leonardo DiCaprio's love interest in 'Body of Lies' and fears exile from IranIran
The gorgeous 25-year-old, one of Iran's biggest stars, is the first Iranian-based actress to appear in a Hollywood film since the 1979 Islamic revolution. She wonders about returning to her homeland now that a court there is weighing whether she broke Islamic law by making the film without permission.
"I had a lot of problems because of this movie," she told us at Sunday's New York premiere, where she caught up with co-stars DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Oscar Isaac and director Ridley Scott. "[Iranian officials] took my passport. The intelligence service interrogated me several times. In the end, the judge said, 'We have to see the movie and then decide what we're going to do with you.'"
It's hard to see what would bother them. Farahani plays a nurse who treats DiCaprio's character, but is wary of his advances, insisting that he first meet her family. She won't even shake his hand.
Though her passport has been returned, she doesn't know whether the hard-line government will seize it again if she returns. "I'm on trial," she said, turning down a waiter offering a glass of wine. The actress, who has been living in France with her husband, Amin Mahdavi, said, "I'm totally in love with Iran. I have family there. But now, if they want to see me, they have to leave."
Last month, Saudi Arabia's chief judge threatened to execute satellite broadcast providers who import "deviant" Western movies. It's no wonder Farahani is reluctant to venture even to relatively liberal Dubai, where "Body of Lies" is to be screened at the country's film festival.
"I'm going to stay here," she said. "I lost one opportunity to do a screen test, for 'The Prince of Persia.' I'm not ready for that again."