Amir Jadidi (‘A Hero’) on his transformation after director Asghar Farhadi told him ‘We might have to change every single thing about you’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“It has been a great experience,” admits Amir Jadidi, the star of “A Hero,” Iran’s shortlisted entry for Best International Feature at the 2022 Oscars. “I’m so glad that the whole world connected to this film. I hope that this continues and that the movie gets seen everywhere. I feel that the movie has a very nice message and people can get something out of it.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.

In the Amazon film, Jadidi plays Rahim, a man imprisoned because of a debt he was unable to repay. During a two-day leave, he tries to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint against the payment of part of the sum. But things don’t go as planned. The film was written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, who represented Iran with two Best International Feature Oscar winners before: “A Separation” (2011) and “The Salesman” (2011).

SEE: Asghar Farhadi on writing and directing Iranian Oscar entry ‘A Hero’: ‘If the movie is done right, the emotions translate’ around the world

“My first encounter with Mr. Farhadi was when I was doing another film and my body was very fit and muscular,” Jadidi explains. “I had exercised a lot because that role was kind of like James Bond. When Mr. Farhadi saw me for the first time he said, ‘Oh, I don’t think this role fits you very well because of your body.’ He told me, ‘We might have to change every single thing about you. From your physics, from your body, from the way that you talk, from your attitude. Your voice is too thick.We have to break it down and make it weaker.'”

Jadidi was able to make the physical transformation and eventually grew to appreciate the character of Rahim. “There are some people around the world that we have to be very happy we have here on Earth,” he says. “There are lots of people like Rahim around us, that if people give them a chance, they are very great people. They are very simple people. But because they couldn’t get their rights back they had to change and become somebody else. If people understand them we would live in a better place.”

When asked who his own hero is, Jadidi looks within. “You have to be your own hero,” he says. “If everyone tried to be their own hero and tried to save themselves first, from there they can save others around them as well. You have to try to turn on your own light. Then the world becomes bright. If anybody tries to turn on the light and create a better world, I think they are a hero.”

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