HANIEH TAVASOLI: Many times I have consulted the “I Ching” on whether I should accept a role [in a movie] or not. I didn’t really want to take it, then I was told that I might regret it, so I decided to take it.
Interviewer: Like the movie “Thesis” that you refused and then regretted it?
HANIEH TAVASOLI: No. I mean the movies that put you in a real dilemma.
–And you were not in a dilemma for the movie “Thesis”?
HANIEH TAVASOLI: No. Of course not!
HANIEH TAVASOLI: I read the script and didn’t like it. There are many movies whose scripts you don’t like.
–Then why so much talk about it?
HANIEH TAVASOLI: I really don’t know. Perhaps it was God’s will. I read the script. The assistant called me, asking if I accept it. And I said no. He asked for the reason. I didn’t give any. Then the director called and insulted me for half an hour. And it went on. But I really didn’t do anything. I just refused the role.
HANIEH TAVASOLI: It is totally wrong if we say we’re not political. Whether we want it or not, we are political.
–By we, you mean we Iranians, or people all over the world?
HANIEH TAVASOLI: I mean people all over the world. Unless we’re talking about some tribes in Africa or in some jungles. Even there, the tribes have some rules that need to be followed. When we want to follow the law, when we are in the framework of society, we naturally become political.
Some people are very carefree, and do not know that they too are affected by politics. From the most basic things, such as high prices, to larger issues, people are affected by politics. We, who are involved in arts and culture, should naturally be sensitive to political issues.
Because any decision which is made will affect our work. For instance, I got an offer for a role in a movie I loved last year, but the movie did not get a permit to be made. Movies do not get permits due to certain policies. Those policies are decisive for me. I might lose a role in a good movie because of a policy. So, yes we all need to be somewhat sensitive. But as for being an activist, that’s another story. That can be optional.
–Is it good or bad?
HANIEH TAVASOLI: I don’t know. This is one of those questions to which I have no answer. You cannot say if it is good or bad.
–But I generally mean…
HANIEH TAVASOLI: You know; some people do something for their own benefits only. They are called opportunists.
And we all know them. This is really bad. This means that you’re an opportunist who support, promote, and bootlick those who are in power now in order to enjoy some privileges. Once those in power are gone and replaced by new ones, you do the same thing for them. This is really awful. But it is different when you have a certain political manner or personal belief that you promote.