Saturday, August 01, 2009

Shohreh: Smart, Stunning, Sexy, Sophisticated

This is RC from StrangeCultureBlog.
It's no secret that actresses, particularly middle-aged actresses, have a challenge finding great roles in our current movie system. Stories tend to be male heavy, and even younger females seem to have better odds at a gig with teen films, horror flick, and chatty rom-coms.

But where is the dramatic meat for a woman? Some years predicting supporting actress nominations takes heavy devotion to even try to figure out what films have viable roles for supporting actresses.

But end of rant, let's turn to praise, for an actress I consistently enjoy, who not only is a middle-aged woman (57 years old) but also is Iranian.

Who do I speak of, but the lovely and talented Shohreh Aghdashloo.

Aghdashloo's name is probably most known for her Oscar nomination for the foreclosure meets cultural challenge film The House of Sand and Fog, where Shohreh was deservedly nominated for an Oscar for her exceptional performance. (Oddly enough, she soon reprised the Sand and Fog role with her on-screen son Jonathan Ahdout in season four of 24 with a very similar relationship.)

Shohreh's filmography is apt to make you think she will take any role that's offered, and might just be the ideal type-cast for any middle-aged middle-eastern woman, whether Elizabeth in The Nativity Story, or an archaeologist in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.

Aghdashloo has a prestige film in circulation right now, The Stoning of Soraya M, about a true and tragic story of a stoning in modern Iran. I hope with the success of Slumdog Millionaire, there will be a desire to tell more stories that play on modern international themes, and perhaps Shohreh won't just have to settle for roles in films like American Dreamz, and X-Men: The Last Stand, but instead could use her artistic skills to inspire.

I can think of few actresses today that are as smart, stunning, sexy, and sophisticated as Shohreh Aghdashloo. Now she just needs to find the right roles in the right films.

22 comments:

Liz said...

I absolutely love this woman and also hope she gets some better roles than she normally does. She's such an inspirational female figure. In a recent interview with the New York post she spoke about her brother getting arrested because she took part in a demonstration in MAerica and her niece being jailed for owning a Micheal Jackson record!

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Anonymous said...

I really hope Shohreh became the dark horse in best Lead Actress race this year. Even when the film has many flaws, Shohreh's perofrmance is mezmerizing and human. She should be the first ASIAN (and Middle Eastern) actress nominated in the Lead Category at Oscars in history...

Popcorn and Cigarettes said...

I couldn't agree more.

RC said...

Anon 5:22 comment makes me wonder what Asian actresses have been nominated for supporting actress...

obviously Shohreh's performance in House of Sand and Fog, and Rinko Kikuchi from Babel -- who else?

And what about men -- I can think of Ken Watanabe supporting nod for The Last Samurai, but I can't think of any others -- surely there's more????

Patrick said...

Miyoshi Umeki won supporting for Sayonara way back in 1957.

For the men, Haing S. Ngor won supporting actor for The Killing Fields, and Pat Morita was nominated for Mr. Miyagi. Mako was nominated for The Sand Pebbles, and Sessue Hayakawa for Bridge over the River Kwai.

And thats about it, give or take a Ben Kingsley or Jennifer Tilly.

ZiZo said...

She is really great, her Cameo in Will & Grace was one of the most funny episodes ever! She was also great in a comedia role

JoFo said...

Her voice could melt butter in seconds.

Peralta said...

Ben Kingsley is British... not Asian...

Emma said...

She's beautiful and very talented. As you say, she just needs the right film roles to come along

Arkaan said...

Kingsley was born in the UK, but his father is Indian, so you can certainly make the comment that he's an ethnic Indian (half). Whether or not that fits within any particular criteria remains in the air.

Matt Mazur said...

I had the extreme good fortune of interviewing Ms. Aghdashloo and talking to her about The Stoning of Soraya M. -- she is such an interesting performer, with much to say, who is constantly bringing to light the experiences of a specific type of woman (ie -- Middle Eastern) that is virtually non-existent in Western cinema.

I implore everyone to check her newest film out -- it is such an eye-opening, important story.

She deserves to be remembered at year's end, no question, but I somehow suspect stuffy old Academy voters will find it terribly hard to sit through the 'stoning' portion of the film. it is positively harrowing.

RC said...

It's interesting with so much news attention to the war that more middle eastern stories are not being told --

to be honest, I feel like most middle eastern themed movies are trying to attack the purpose of why American forces are there, or deal with the struggle of American forces, yet few of these films really attempt to try to tell interesting and meaningful stories.

Maybe that's too general.

@ Matt Mazur - of course, I'm jealous of your opportunity -- I'd love to interview Shohreh.

(and thanks Patrick for responding to my question -- i forgot about some of those, I really enjoy the Killing Field --- another interesting and important story).

Flickhead said...

If 57 is middle-age, does that mean she'll live to 114?

I gotta know, because I'm close to 57 and I don't want to live to 114.

RC said...

@ Flickhead -- nice -- well you must admit, Shohreh could probably play many roles that are younger than her real age --- she certainly doesn't look like she is 57. She could play 30-60 in my opinion. But 60 might be pushing it. She's stunning.

Styx said...

It wasn't really a reprisal of roles between "HOSAF" and "24". They were two totally different women with different mentalities, only joined by the woman playing the both of them.

Martin said...

She could win the Emmy next month for House of Saddam.

Anonymous said...

There were rumors regarding a READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN movie adaptation starring Shohreh. what a pity that the project stalled, that could be ideal role for her: a brave and brilliant teacher who fight for her students education during the revolution years...an inspirational story (based upon a true one!)...it could be also the good occasion for an Academy Award nomination in the Leading Role Category.

Anyway I wish the Best for Aghdashloo, hoping she will win the Emmy and she will receive more and more offers in many (better) movies.

mirko s.

Branden said...

I am glad that you spotlighted Shoreh. She is nominated for an Emmy for "House of Saddam". Rooting for her.

She was FANTASTIC in "House of Sand and Fog". She should have won instead of Renee.

Dorian said...

Too bad Shohreh's category is one of the ones that the Emmys are cutting from the main show this year and "time-shifted" to a edited down segment to air sometime during the show. So even if she wins out there, we might get to hear her say a sentence or two with no clips or real thank yous or any impromptu moments. Damn fools.

Anonymous said...

God bless you man! She's great. I'm half-Persian and I'm so proud of her.

Karen said...

Exactly! It would be a real treat if she got cast in more films.