Iranian actress faces legal problems after Hollywood movie

Iran Materials 21 August 2008 03:53 (UTC +04:00)

An Iranian actress faces legal problems back home after she played in a Hollywood movie and sought to leave for California to shoot a new film, official news agency IRNA reported Wednesday.

Golshifteh Farahani, who played beside Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott's Body of Lies, was on Tuesday leaving for Los Angeles to negotiate a new film role, an unnamed official told IRNA. But the 25-year-old was banned by the police from leaving Iran, the source said without giving further details.

IRNA speculated that she might have been stopped because she decided to hold negotiations with Hollywood without the prior obligatory permission from the Islamic guidance and cultural ministry, the local watchdog for writers and artists.

Another reason could be that Farahani was seen in the film's trailer online without the obligatory Islamic dress code, including a scarf and long gown to hide her hair and figure. Body of Lies is set to be released in October in the United States and many European countries.

Farahani and Shohreh Aghdashloo are the only Iranian actresses, who have ever played in big Hollywood productions. Aghdashloo was nominated for an Academy Award as supporting actress for the 2003 movie House of Sand and Fog.

Last March Iranian cultural authorities closed down nine magazines for having reported about the private life of Western celebrities and for printing pictures and details of "immoral" foreign artists.

The local press commission further warned 13 other publications to avoid such stories or risk being closed down as well.

The ban has however had no impact on the youth as they continue to follow the same news on the internet, including on Persian-language sites run from abroad. ( dpa )