My first question is about your skill to become a domestic drama in a kind of Greek tragedy. Did you do the same in A separation, The past and now in The Salesman. How did you know that you are in front of your next story?
I had do a film in Iran came up, I started collecting all these scattered notes I had been taking over the years. Besides that, I have always wanted to do a film that takes place in the world of theatre. I did theatre when I was younger, and it meant a lot to me. The story was ideally suited for the theatre milieu. So I started developing a scenario about characters putting on a play.
Talking about the casting of The Salesman, what is the process of finding the right actor to make a great performance?
It varies from film to film. With The Salesman I knew who would be playing the two leads while I was writing the summary. In general terms there is usually one or two parts I know which actors will play them. This helps me a lot in entering the world of the film. On the set I am more comfortable, too, because we know each other’s tastes.
Emad is my favorite character because he looks like an ordinary person, put himself in another face of his mind: is angry and he wants revenge. Tell me about your job in terms of building the character in script and your approach with actor.
I have one in mind for each of the characters you see. The actors go and build their own backstory, sometimes we end up discussing them, and sometimes they are quite different. Where those differences do not affect the character in any major way, I let that stand. Anywhere where it does change the character in any major way, I will ask them to change it. I remember when I was talking to Taraneh Alidoosti, she asked, “Why does not she live with her family?”. In the story that I had in mind for her, this girl’s family lived in a different city. When I told her this, Taraneh said, “Now, I have to go and work differently on this character because she’s from the provinces.” The characters were simply created so that the viewer doesn’t have the feeling this couple is any different from many others. It’s an ordinary couple with its own characteristics. They’re both in the cultural sphere and act in the theatre. But they find themselves in a situation that reveals unexpected aspects of their personalities.