Photo credits right to Sia Alipour via for exclusively ouch! magazine
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I was born in Ahvaz, a town in South-West Iran. We moved countries a few times, and cities a few more times, so “home” is an interesting concept. London is definitely my city; it’s where I feel most at home, geographically speaking. However the culture of Iran, the language I speak with my father, the scent of the cooking, the sound of the music…the spiritual ties I have to that place, that’s what feels most like home to me.
I started as a Stuntman. I have been a Martial Artist all my life, and I went into the film industry with that skill and nothing else, and loved every minute of being a Stuntman. The physical aspect of storytelling and screen-fighting is beautiful to me. To cut a very long story slightly shorter, I went to an acting workshop once, and I was extremely not good. Lindsay (my agent and close friend) was a panellist there, and she reassured me that actually…I was super not good at all. But she saw something in me that she wanted to build on, so that’s what we did.
I play Vahid Nemati in season 2 of Tehran, on Apple Tv. Vahid is a typical rich-kid type in the capital of Iran, with family ties that can bail him out of trouble if need be. He owns a beautiful gym, full of beautiful people, in front of which he parks his beautiful Lamborghini. He’s almost untouchable, except of course emotionally, like so many of us. His journey is one of understanding that there are some things that wealth, influence and Lamborghinis can’t control, and ultimately this places him way outside of his depth, in a number of ways. Tehran was filmed in Athens, a beautiful city with a striking resemblance to Iran, and it was such a pleasure to film. So many ethnicities and cultures came together to tell this story, and by the end of it I somehow felt much closer to home.
Actors tell stories. That’s all. On our best day, we invoke emotion. If I can tell a story that helps someone overcome a personal barrier, then I win in my mind. Whether that is by incorporating my Martial Arts into a film, or telling a tale from my father’s old Iranian mythology books, or even writing my own screenplay (something I’m currently into), what I want to do is tell a story that helps someone overcome something, or understand something about the world, or about themselves. Whatever that may be.
When London was in lockdown, the world stopped for moment here. I relished that. In such a busy city I had the time to go (sneak?) into a golf course, which was of course shut, and just spend hours on the grass in the sun, practising my art and being by myself. I spent a lot of time writing and a lot of time with family. For a lot of folks, it was forced upon us to stop pushing forward into the future and take a minute to look around. I also taught my little brother how to throw a good spiral with a football. That might be the most memorable moment.
I’m in this awful habit of not having a strong routine right now, but most days, I take the time to stretch, train, go for a walk, work on writing, maybe study a language. I actually think I’m the exact opposite of Vahid; simple comforts give me the most pleasure. I make sure I do my training and whatever else I need to do to be productive that day, and then the rest of my day will often be spent doing what gives me peace.
I make an appearance in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, for Netflix, as well as an upcoming film called Fair Play, directed by the great Chloe Domont, which I know is going to be an astounding production. All other work isn’t confirmed yet, so I can’t count those chickens, but hopefully I’ll be able to tell some great stories in the next year.
My instagram is @SiaAlipour, I post a lot of Martial Arts and film content. I appreciate the support of everyone who likes listening to my stories, and I appreciate Ouch Magazine for helping me tell them. I think people are going to like these stories a great deal.