VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Shila Vosough Ommi Reveals How Glenn Close Mastered Farsi For ‘Tehran’
Tehran follows the story of a young and brilliant Israeli National who specializes in hacking computers. She embarks on her first mission which includes disabling an Iranian nuclear reactor as she navigates the dangers of her job, her identity and love.
Actress and filmmaker Shila Vosough Ommi who plays Nahid, the wife of an Islamic Revolutionary Guard investigator, recently sat down with uInterview founder Erik Meers to discuss her character and how co-star Glenn Close picked up the Farsi language for her role.
“I am a neglected wife because as much as my character’s husband loves her and would give his life for her, he is a mythical Iranian,” Ommi revealed. “We actually have a mythical character in Iran called Rostam. Rostam is a warrior and he’s someone who gives his life to his country and to his king because his king represents the thriving of the women and children of his country. Nahid’s husband is a Rostam character. His purpose is to protect Iran and to protect the people of Iran. Nahid, at the beginning of the season, has a brain tumor and she’s going to Paris to have brain surgery. When you see the two of them together, you realize that she is neglected. He’s supposed to go to Paris with her but he finds out that the Israelis have sent an agent into Tehran so he needs to stay and protect the homeland. Even though Nahid’s a wife, she’s not an ornamental character. She’s very intricately involved with the story in season one and much more so in season two.”
Ommi was born in Tehran but her family fled to America at the onslaught of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Although she has lived in America for most of her life, she was more familiar with some of the show’s topics and language than her other co-stars. Iconic actress Glenn Close, who plays a British agent living in Tehran, had a bit of a learning curve which included learning the Farsi language.
“Iranians speak in metaphor a lot. It’s not an on-the-nose language, you never just come out and say something,” Ommi explained. “When you do, it’s viewed as not very sophisticated. The Farsi in season two gets better and better. She [Close] didn’t have any background in Farsi. I loved her enthusiasm. So many times the director would say, ‘No, just say this line in English,’ and she would say ‘No, no I have it in Farsi.'”
Season 2 of Tehran is now streaming on Apple TV+.