A STAR IS BORN: Leila Hatami’s Charm Seduces French Media


A STAR IS BORN: Leila Hatami’s Charm Seduces French Media
by Darius Kadivar

Leila Hatami gave a very bold interview on French TV a few weeks ago where she was to promote Asghar Farhadi’s latest movie «A Separation» which has become an unexpected box office hit.

Leila Hatami interview with Laurant Delahousse on France 2 Dimanche ( Sunday Noon Edition) :

Official French Trailer of “Une Séparation”:

I was truly impressed by Leila Hatami bold stance and sincere responses all the more that I was Very critical of her director Asghar Farhadi's politically neutral attitude during the Berlin Film Festival upon receiving his Award for Best film ( See Related Blog). But whatever shortcoming that talented director had as a citizen, Leila Hatami truly compensated it on behalf of a suppressed Iranian film community with her recent bold interview on French Prime Time News. Beyond her breathtaking beauty, EXCELLENT FRENCH (She also speaks excellent German), I Salute her courage. She responded very openly to questions which could truly put someone in prison in Iran today. She was subtle without getting outright political or targeting the regime directly but her responses were clear and unambiguous ranging from support for the youth, her frustrations with the obligation to wear the veil,to Jafar Panahi’s predicament and the lack of freedom when outdoors in the country she loves. She explained that these restrictions prompts people from having to live in their homes and create their own inner schizophrenic lifestyle which contrasts like Day and Night with life outside. She told Journalist Laurent Delahousse ( clearly charmed by her charisma) that the most enjoyable experience for her in Paris was to feel the breeze of the Summer Wind in her hair. I was truly touched to tears by the kindness of her face, sweet smile and non arrogant wit. Truly a Great Lady.

Given all the arrests and intimidation imposed on Iranian actors and female stars in partcular who recently have been arrested (Marzieh Vafamehr, Pegah Ahangarani to name a few ) , my only wish would be that she wouldn’t go back to Iran and would try to work abroad very much like Golshifteh Farahani, Jafar Panahi or the Makhmalbaf family all of whom have been warmly greeted by the French film community.

In my view she would even be far more successful given that she is far more cultured and educated. It truly shows in her attitude. This lady is a Gem gifted with that rare charisma known as 'Star Quality'.

As for Asghar Farhadi’s undeniable talent as a director (Dar Bareyeh Elly, and Chahar Shabbeh Souri) and it’s talented cast, I can’t say that the film filled me with joy or enthusiasm. The subject like most Iranian films tackling with social issues is depressing but definitively does not leave the viewer indifferent. Personally I would just like to see less tears and gloomy faces and depressing subjects dealt in Iranian Cinema than what we have been fed with for the past 3 decades when it comes to my home country … but then I guess if Fiction is the last territory of supervised freedom which allows artists and filmmakers to reflect on the far more gruesome realities of life in Iran today, all we can do is accept their limitations and obsessions as artists.

That said whatever Leila Hatami’s ultimate decision in regard to her own career (to work or not in the current conditions in Iran) and which is respectable in itself what is certain is that as far as French moviegoers are concerned: A STAR IS BORN!

Recommended Reading:

Iranian Pioneers in French New Wave Cinema by Darius KADIVAR

Related Blogs :

Asghar Farhadi Triumphs As An Artist But Fails As A Citizen

BERLIN TRIUMPH: Golden Bear for "Nader and Simin, A Separation"

MON CINEMA: Asghar Farhadi's "About Elly" (2009)

BERLIN: Isabella Rossellini Reads Jafar Panahi's Prison Letter

PARIS BERLIN: European film community rallies behind Jafar Panahi

Other Related Blogs:

RHINOS SEASON: Monica Bellucci and Behrouz Vossoughi in Ghobadi's New Film

Colin Firth Presents Bahman Ghobadi's powerful film

A PERSIAN PRINCESS: Monica Bellucci on Prince of Persia

KINO ACHTUNG ! : An Inside Look With Marjane Satrapi Into Babelsberg Studios


more from Darius Kadivar
Doost daaram pas hastam

Leila Hatami

by Doost daaram pas hastam on

Reminds me of Catherine Deneuve. Something enigmatic and magnetic in the face. 


Faramarz u r so funny :)

by Yana on

shad zee




by Yana on

shad zee



Angelina, brace yourself!

by statira on

Leila is coming to town! I wish she would play in one of Hollywood movies, that will be a great apportunity x her to show her charisma.


Excellent DK as usuall

by comments on

DK, this is an excellent blog.  You are always so informative and up-to-date.  Good for you.  You deserve to charge us for your pieces.  I'll be more than glad to pay you:)  Excellent works.  Seriously.

Anahid Hojjati

Dear DK, perhaps I spoke too soon

by Anahid Hojjati on

Here is Ben Affleck with his new hair style. Looks bad:




by Rea on

Subtle, indeed, in her answers. Courageous, too.

Wish we'd hear more of it in Europe, not just in France. 

Darius Kadivar

Your Welcome Anahid Jaan

by Darius Kadivar on

Glad you enjoyed it.

I am sure female judgment on Affleck's charisma is definitively more experienced than mine



Warm Regards,


Anahid Hojjati

DK jan, thanks for writing about "Leila Hatami"

by Anahid Hojjati on

She is a great actress. Hopefully she will not go back to Iran in these times of imprisonment of actors. Regarding Affleck, many women find him charismatic. 


Darius Kadivar

Faramarz and Vildemose Jaans Thanks

by Darius Kadivar on

Your Welcome.

Yes that's Funny Faramarz Jaan, 

I know ARGO has been a project which has been in the drawers for some time. Initially it was supposed to be called Escape from Tehran and It was supposed to Star George Clooney but ultimately he is only producing. Which is a shame. I could see him in a Ocean 12 style movie set in Iran at the time of the Revolution all the more that he grew up with an Iranian Friend from Shiraz. But I guess he doesn't really want to commit himself to this project anymore except as producer.

I know John Goodman ( Barton Fink, Flynt Stones) is also part of the cast. Still got to wait and see what will come out of it.

Ben Affleck doesn't strike me for his charisma. He has drawn critics as an actor but praises as a film director.

I suppose we will have to expect the same clichés on Iranians and the Revolution and the Shah but then Cinema doesn't always replace a history lesson either ...

Thank you for your interest. 




Iranian Cast Wanted for Ben Affleck's New Movie

by Faramarz on

Thanks for the post DK Jaan and best of luck to her. She looks so charming and intelligent.

On a related topic, last week there was an ad on an Iranian radio from LA, looking for Iranian cast members for Ben Affleck’s new movie Argo (about the Hostage Crisis).

The announcement said that Iranian looking men and women between the ages of 18 and 75 are invited to come to the studio. The only requirement was that the men should grow a beard before coming in and women should not wear any make ups!

Imagine that! In LA of all places!

Mercedes Benzes filled with bearded men and plain looking Iranian women!


Remarkable beauty and

by vildemose on

Remarkable beauty and intelligence...thanks for posting Darius jan.