In a striking showcase of elegance and allure, French-Iranian actress and singer Golshifteh Farahani adorns the front cover of the June 16th edition of Madame Figaro. The cover image, helmed by the talented Bojana Tatarska, portrays Farahani in a Mother jean shirt complemented by an exquisite Cartier necklace.
The fashion narrative weaved by stylist Véronique Tristram extends throughout the cover story, with Farahani donning glamorous creations from fashion powerhouses such as Chloé, COS, and Stella McCartney. The artistic vision is completed by the expert contributions of Massanori Yahiro for hair styling, Eny Whitehead for make-up, and Huberte Cesarion, who took charge of the manicure.
Golshifteh Farahani, a muse of auteur cinema, has recently transformed into an action heroine in the Hollywood blockbuster, “Tyler Rake 2“. Known for her refusal to be pigeonholed and her ongoing fight for freedom in Iran, Farahani, an exiled actress, shares her journey with candor.
Born and raised in Tehran, Farahani grew up in an artistic household. Her parents, both artists, introduced her to the piano at the age of five, with her mother envisioning a future for her at the Vienna Conservatory. However, Farahani’s path took a different turn. She began her acting career at the age of 14 and left Iran a decade later. Her departure was precipitated by her participation in Ridley Scott’s “Body of Lies” (2008), alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. A red carpet appearance in New York without a headscarf led to her being ostracized in her home country. After seven months of interrogations, she fled Iran at the age of 24.
Farahani’s arrival in Paris marked the beginning of her exile, but it also opened doors to a flourishing acting career. She delivered a powerful performance in “The Patience Stone” (2012) by Atiq Rahimi and became a vocal advocate for the emancipation of Iranian women. Her filmography includes collaborations with renowned directors like Jim Jarmusch, Marjane Satrapi, Louis Garrel, Christophe Honoré, and Alain Chabat. She has also starred in two series, “Invasion” (AppleTV+) and “VTC” (Canal+), and was recently seen in “Brother and Sister” (2022) by Arnaud Desplechin.
Despite her success, Farahani carries the weight of her Persian heritage and the pain of her exile. She describes herself as a “handicapped soul“, having lost a part of herself when she left Iran. “In exile, you really lose something of yourself, you have a wound that will never heal, you carry it within you until the end of your life“, she says.
Farahani’s activism continues to be a significant part of her life. She has raised her voice against the injustices in Iran, particularly the tragic fate of Masha Amini, a young Kurd killed by the police for improperly wearing her veil. Farahani’s voice resonates powerfully, both on social media and beyond. In October 2022, she joined Coldplay on stage in Buenos Aires to sing the anthem of revolt, “Baraye“, in front of 60,000 fans, a performance that garnered worldwide attention.
In her recent project, “Tyler Rake 2“, Farahani showcases her physical prowess. She describes the filming process as highly demanding, with rigorous training in martial arts, boxing, kung-fu, and jujitsu. Despite the physical toll, Farahani performed all her stunts without a double, a testament to her determination and commitment.
Reflecting on her journey, Farahani expresses a desire to slow down and live in the moment. She has spent over two decades working relentlessly and now yearns for a change of pace. “I have always been in the doing, I now want to be, and I think I deserve to be the earth“, she says.
Despite her accomplishments, Farahani remains an outsider, both in Paris and in her homeland. “I am a foreigner in Paris, a foreigner in my own country. It’s the tragedy of exile, we are from nowhere for our entire life”, she reflects. Yet, she finds strength in her vulnerability, turning her trauma and uncertainty into resilience. “Our weakness becomes our strength. This trauma, this lack of confidence in the future, in everything, means that we are ready to die at any moment. We have understood that life is finer than a hair“, she concludes.