I recently got the chance to talk to Bahram Khosraviani about his role in Ben Affleck’s award winning film, ‘Argo’. Here, Bahram talks about how he got involved in the project and what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set…
Hey Bahram. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your role in ‘Argo’.
My pleasure, thanks for having me!
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
‘Argo’ is based on a blacked out CIA operation that was released to the public in an article in 2007. It loosely follows the story of Tony Mendez who rescued six Americans from Iran during the hostage crisis of 1979 using a fake movie named ‘Argo’.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play a revolutionary guard inside Mehrabad airport, at the final security checkpoint that the six U.S. diplomats have to pass to exit Iran, right at the tensest part of the film.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I always look for and research films involving Middle Eastern people, and heard something about ‘Argo’ very early on and had told my manager to keep an eye out for it. Once they started casting, I was called in to read for Lora Kennedy, then a director session with Ben Affleck and Grant Heslov a week later.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
This film is unique because it is based on a true story and deals with a situation that hardly anyone knew about. It stirs emotions within you as you watch it, and that’s how you know you have a great work of art.
The film stars Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Scoot McNairy and Rory Cochrane – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
The cast and crew of ‘Argo’ were spectacular! Ben Affleck is the best director I’ve ever worked with, being that his attention to detail and passion for the art (in front of and behind the camera) is remarkable. As with the rest of the cast they were all fantastic, each one brought so much to levels of tension and desperation of the story, not to mention humor.
*Spoiler* – one of my favourite scenes to shoot was when our characters had found out that the passengers we held were actually U.S. diplomats and not a Canadian film crew. We broke the glass and ran down the entrance to the tarmac screaming and yelling for someone to open the door and shaking the fence with pure rage. They let that scene go on for a good while before Ben called cut, as we walked back into the airport, Ben walks up and gave Farshad and I a hug and says “My heroes”. It was very memorable for me; ultimately they cut most of it to make the film flow.
Let’s talk a bit about you Bahram. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
The creation of it all, I love creating a character, drawing your emotions out and using true feelings to make words on a paper really come to life. Living in someone’s shoes that I had created is thrilling for me. Also I love the process of creating a film, the magic behind it, all the actors creating characters and coming together to bring words on pages to life for an audience to enjoy.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Have no doubts and work hard. You really have to be committed. The only person that can limit you is yourself and in this industry there are no days off.
You’ve been in a number of different films – which actors/actresses have been your favourites to work with and why? Any good stories?
The entire cast of ‘Argo’ was full of phenomenal people. I also really enjoyed working on the show ‘In Reverie’, I’ve become very close with the entire cast from that show and we’re all friends that hang out on a regular basis.
While shooting an episode of ‘In Reverie’, we were on my friend Drew’s rooftop for the filming of the fraternity scene on 9/11/2011. There was some shouting involved in the scene and I guess it startled some of the neighbours, and before we know it there’s a helicopter with a spotlight over the roof. The lighting was perfect for another take haha, but then the police officers stormed up to the roof to make sure nothing serious was going on. We cleared things up and finished the scene; it was one of the more comical experiences with the police.
What’s currently on your I-Pod right now?
I listen to a little bit of everything, but the song playing right now is “John de Sohn ft. Andreas Moe – Long Time.”
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Jesus, Moses and Muhammad, I would love to see the way they interact and how they would speak to each other. Religion is very misunderstood and used as a weapon sometimes; I wonder how they actually intended it.
If you could choose a literary character to will into existence, who would you choose and why?
John Galt, from Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’, I feel that his inventions and philosophy could do a lot of good for our society.
What’s coming up for you in 2013?
An exciting pilot season and waiting to hear back on some prospective projects! I’m also working on writing a script that I am really passionate about, like ‘Argo’, it is based on a true story and provides a lot American history that no one knows about, unfortunately I can’t tell you more at this time, but it will be a good one!
Thanks for the interview!