Iranian actress exiled over nude photoshoot

Jan 20, 2012, 09:17 IST | Agencies

An actress who has starred with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe has been banished from her home country of Iran -- because she posed nude in a French news magazine

An actress who has starred with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe has been banished from her home country of Iran -- because she posed nude in a French news magazine.

Golshifteh Farahani says she has been contacted by the Iranian government, telling her that she is no longer welcome in the country and advising her not to return home.

Raising eyebrows: The nude photo of Farahani drew both criticism and
praise from around the world. pic/getty images

The offending photo -- a black-and-white art shot featuring the 28-year-old Farahani posing against a black backdrop with her hands strategically placed over her breasts -- was first published in Madame Le Figaro.
The image was then posted on her Facebook page, drawing visitors from around the world including Iran and the Middle East.

While many criticised her 'incedency' saying "This is more discriminating to the women than the compulsory hijab. I am very much disappointed with Golshifteh, but she is free to do whatever she wants", others praised her for 'the courage to remove a taboo among the women in Muslim countries'.

Iran's anger at the image is not just because of Farahani's nudity -- she has also made it known that her decision to pose is in protest against restrictive Islamic codes. Indeed, it is why the now-Paris-based actress left Itran last year.

Services not needed
She said, "I was told by a ministry of culture and Islamic guide official that Iran does not need any actors or artists. You may offer your artistic services somewhere else."

Farahani has had a mercurial relationship with her home country.

She began acting in theatre at the age of six and her first film, The Pear Tree earned the then 14-year-old the Best Actress award at Iran's annual Fajr Film Festival.

She immediately became a leading actress in her home country, yet her performance in the 2007 film Santoori has never been seen in Iran and is still banned.

She starred in M For Mother (2006), which after a huge success in Iran was chosen to represent Iran for the Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards in 2008.

Farahani's role as a nurse in Ridley Scott's Body Of Lies which also starred Hollywood big-hitters DiCaprio and Crowe made her the first Iranian to act in a major Hollywood film.

As a result she was banned from leaving Iran, and -- now that she has left the country and is living in Paris -- she appears to be banned from returning.

The publication of the photo coincides with the Iranian film A Separation being awarded a Golden Globe and a crackdown on the industry, which has seen the authorities shut the House of Cinema institute in Tehran.

Iran blames 'Western' influences
An Iranian state news agency has attacked Golshifteh Farahani, the actress who posed nude in a French magazine, for slipping from the modest respectability of Iranian cinema to the vulgarity of Western culture.
Fars News Agency said that result of her decision to seek fame outside Iran was that she fell into the corruption associated with Hollywood.

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