Body of Lies
Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani is widely known to American audiences as Aisha, Roger Ferris' (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) nurse in Jordan, in the action film “Body of Lies” (2008), which was directed by Ridley Scott. Starting out in Iranian theater when she was 6 years old, Farahani was shot to fame at age 14 with her Crystal Simorgh-winning performance in her motion picture debut, “The Pear Tree” (1998). She went on to give noteworthy performances in such movies as “Boutique” (2003), “Tear of the Cold” (2003), “The Fish Fall in Love” (2005), “M for Mother” (2006), “The Wall” (2007) and “There's Always a Woman in Between” (2008). Recently, she returned to Iranian cinema after making her Hollywood debut in the Berlin International Film Festival Award winner “About Elly” (2009).
Farahani is an active environmental supporter. She has been an ambassador for fighting tuberculosis in Iran. She speaks French, English and Persian fluently and also knows some Arabic.
Since 2003, Farahani has been married to Frenchman Amin Mahdavi. Her husband was an assistant director on “Bab'Aziz” (2005) and “Niwemang” (2006) and served as a producer on the French movie “Niloofar” (2008).
Childhood and Family:
Golshifteh Farahani was born on July 10, 1983, to actor/theater director Behzad Farahani and artist Fahimeh Rahimnia. Her sister, Shaghayegh Farahani, is also an actress. Golshifteh began studying piano and voice when she was five years old. By age 12, she had entered music school full time and was later accepted into the renowned Vienna Conservatory.
In 2003, Golshifteh married director and producer Amin Mahdavi (born on December 6, 1971, in Nice, France).
The Pear Tree
Golshifteh Farahani began doing theater at age 6, but was not discovered until age 14 when she was cast in the lead role in the flashback sequence “Derakhte Golabi/The Pear Tree” (1998), which was directed and written by Dariush Mehrjui. The film was handed the Silver Hugo for Best Film at the 1998 Chicago International Film Festival. For her acting job, Farahani won the Crystal Simorgh for Best Actress from the International Section of the 1998 Fajr International Film Festival. The win subsequently made her a star in Iran, an honor that prompted her to choose acting over music.
Farahani resurfaced two years later to star in Farzad Motamen's “Haft parde” (2000). She then appeared in a title role in Hamid Reza Salahmand's “Zamaneh” (2001) and opposite Siavash Lashkari in Mamad Haghighat's “Deux fereshté/Two Angels” (2003). The latter film was nominated for an International Jury Award at the 2004 São Paulo International Film Festival.
Still in 2003, Farahani enjoyed her next big success with her portrayal of a poor girl named Eti in the Hamid Nematollah-directed “Boutique,” which won the talented actress the Prix d'Interpretation Feminine award at the Nantes Three Continents Film Festival in France. She gained further recognition the following year with her starring role of Ronak in Azizollah Hamidnezhad's “Ashk-e Sarma/Tear of the Cold,” which premiered at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival on November 13, 2004. Along with her work in “Boutique,” the role brought Farahani the Best Actress honor at the House of Cinema Festival in Tehran. She also won the Best Actress Award at the Kazan International Film Festival and was nominated for the same category at the 2004 Fajr International Film Festival.
Farahani next played Touka in “Mahiha ashegh mishavand/The Fish Fall in Love” (2005), a drama from filmmaker Ali Raffi that was shown at the Aubagne Film Festival in France in April 2006, and Nour in “Bab'Aziz/Bab'Aziz/The Prince That Contemplated His Soul” (2005), which won the Golden Dagger for Best Picture at the Muscat Film Festival in Muscat. For her work in the first film, she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 2005 Fajr International Film Festival. Farahani then starred as Habibeh in the Fajr International Film Festival award winning “Be name pedar/In the Name of the Father” (2006), which was directed and written by Ebrahim Hatamikia, and Niwemang in Bahman Ghobadi's “Niwemang/Half Moon” (2006), which won the FIPRESCI Prize and the Golden Seashell at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival.
However, it was not until she was cast as Sepideh in the late Rasool Mollagholipoor's “Mim mesle madar /M for Mother” (2006) that Farahani was back in the saddle again. Delivering a brilliant performance, she received the Best Actress Award at both the Kowsar Film Festival (Mashhad) and the Kazan International Film Festival, and the Special Prize for the Best Actress at the Roshd International Film Festival (Tehran). In September 2007, the film was selected to represent Iran in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2008 Academy Awards.
In 2007, Farahani was reunited with filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui in “Santoori,” for which she costarred with Bahram Radan, and starred as Setareh in director Mohammad-Ali Talebi's “Divar/The Wall,” from which she was nominated for Best Actress at the 2008 Fajr International Film Festival. The next year, she appeared in “Shirin,” opposite Niki Karimi and Juliette Binoche. Directed by master Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, the film debuted at the 65th Venice International Film Festival. She also played Mariam in “Hamisheh Paye Yek Zan Dar Miyan Ast/There's Always a Woman in Between” (2008) and Aisha in Ridley Scott's “Body of Lies” (2008). The spy film, adapted from the David Ignatius novel of the same name, received mixed reviews. Among her costars in the film were Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, and Vince Colosimo.
Recently, Farahani portrayed Sepideh in Asghar Farhadi's “Darbareye Elly/About Elly” (2009). The film won the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Director at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival and the Crystal Simorgh for Best Director and Best Sound at the 2009 Fajr Film Festival.
Kazan International Film Festival: Best Actress, “Mim Mesle Madar/M for Mother,” 2008
Kowsar Film Festival (Mashhad): Best Actress, “Mim Mesle Madar/M for Mother,” 2007
Roshd International Film Festival (Tehran): Special Prize for the Best Actress, “Mim Mesle Madar/M for Mother,” 2007
Kazan International Film Festival: Best Actress, “Ashk-e Sarma/Tear of the Cold,” 2006
House of Cinema Festival (Tehran): Best Actress, “Ashk-e Sarma/Tear of the Cold” & “Boutique,” 2004
Nantes Three Continents Film Festival (France): Prix d'Interpretation Feminine, “Boutique,” 2003
Fajr International Film Festival: Best Actress from the International Section, “Derakhte Golabi/The Pear Tree,” 1997