An Interview with Bahara Golestani

TV Series Hub was thankful to have a chat with a new upcoming star that’s been making a splash this year. Bahara Golestani has been gaining roles that are powering, mostly in this current season on This Is Us. Plus she’s in the upcoming new movie with Ryan Reynolds on Netflix. Check out our conversation and read why the TV series”Friends” played a big role in your life. 

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Photo Credit Russell Baer

What was your inspiration getting into acting?

“I grew up in a very artistic household and I always had a  passion for storytelling. I finally decided to move to LA and took a tour of the schools and I fell in love with Stella Adler. I graduated three years later and it’s been an unforgettable journey ever since.”

 

Was there a specific actor/actress you idolize growing up? If so, who?

 “I’ve always admired Kate Winslet. I love how honest and truthful she is with her work and that’s something that I aspire to do as well.”

 

 

I’ve read that you were born in Afghanistan and that at the age of four, you and your family were forced to flee and became war refugees in Moscow. Could you remember at that time and how did that change or inspired you into the person you are today?

“Of course, those memories are very relevant to me. It was a very difficult time for my family and I, adjusting to a new country and learning a new language on a regular basis was a part of my upbringing. Those circumstances as a child have impacted me as a woman today and I am extremely grateful. It taught me a lot, especially hard work ethic, and embracing my differences.”

Did that moment in your life give you inspiration into your role in this season of “This Is Us”?

“Absolutely. I have watched strong Afghan women like my mother my entire life fight tooth and nail for justice, freedom, and stereotypical ideas of what an Afghan woman should be. I have also as a child witnessed the unimaginable conditions that Afghan people face each day.”

How did you receive that role on the show and what was it like working with Jennifer Morrison?

“I went through the typical audition process and working with Jennifer Morrison we both had such empowering stories to tell. I loved being in her presence there was so much honesty and empathy. She played Cassidy beautifully.”

Before taking on the role, were you a fan of the show?

“Since day one, I was a fan of the show and truly appreciated the relatability of the characters. I truly admire and respect Dan Fogelman and what he has created with ” This is Us”.

What does it feel like not only working on one of the most popular shows on television with “This Is Us” but also on Animal Kingdom and Madam Secretary?

“Humbling I’ve had my share of experiences in LA and most of them have not been easy. I chose a profession I love so much and every single day that I get to do what I truly love is a blessing. I’m just so grateful.”

So I have to ask, which character was your favorite on the show?

“It will be so tough to pick one character because I truly love them all but I really admire Jack Pearson. When I watch him, he sometimes reminds me of my dad and that makes me so emotional.”

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Photo Credit Russell Baer

You’re in an episode of the upcoming season of Dirty John and a new Netflix movie 6 Underground with Ryan Reynolds and Director Michael Bay. Could you tell me who you play and what was it like working on both projects?

 “Working alongside Christian Slater, Amanda Peet, and the entire team was surreal. I hope to work with them on future projects, I can’t reveal too much but what I can say is what we have in store is definitely enticing. It was an absolute honor to work with Michael Bay and I just can’t wait for everyone to see the film.”

You also do voice over work for 6 Underground? What was that like?

“As an actress, I really enjoy doing voice over work because it allows me to tap into my creativity in a different way. I was specifically chosen given my ability to speak five different languages and various dialogues. It was wonderful working with the entire ADR team and giving all of these characters a voice.”

 

 

You were in a movie called “An American Funeral,” playing Sayda Sanchez. Was that your first movie role and what was it like working on this film?

“There were projects that I worked on prior to An American Funeral. This specific role was a staple for me. It was a great experience working alongside Gaby Mellado.”

Your father is an artist and your mother is an actress, would you say that they combine their love for the arts to you?

“Absolutely. My Dad was such a versatile artist. From being a musician to his creativity with painting, I grew up around music, art, and films. I definitely think it inspired me in so many ways. Also, my parents always allowed me to express myself in a creative way.”

Like parents in the arts and entertainment business were they full supportive of you making this as a career?

“Being from Afghanistan, I respect and appreciate my culture so much since pursuing a career in the arts is not exactly traditional for a woman. I’ve had my share of backlash while also receiving an immense amount of support from my immediate family. One of the reasons I truly love the art of storytelling is being able to portray a woman like Dr.Asmaan. She is such powerful character.”

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Photo Credit Russell Baer

When you came to the United States you didn’t speak a word of English but a TV show helped you learned. What was that tv show and how did it help?

“I am the biggest fan of “Friends.” I watched Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe, and Joey as they were in my living room almost every day after school. It definitely helped me learn English because I understood nothing in the beginning. As I continued to watch, it tremendously helped me learn English faster. I’m also the biggest Simpsons nerd .”

Besides Friends, what other television shows or movies did you idolize growing up?

“My mom is always been a huge TV person and in Russia we used to watch Melrose Place, Dallas and Santa Barbara. I loved watching these characters and visualizing what America was like and how people spoke and carried themselves. It was so different and I would imagine coming to the US one day. That’s the beauty of film and TV. You can daydream through the stories and characters.”

Besides acting and modeling, in your free time you find fitness workout to be your craft, why?

“I’ve always been amazed with how much our body can endure, go through, recover, and what it’s capable of doing. When I started competing, I became so obsessed with bodybuilding, lifting weights, and transformation. I find it fascinating how much we can transform our bodies through nutrition, physical, and mental health.”

What kind of fitness workouts do you do?

” I love being outdoors, anything from riding my bike or hiking, combined with strength training and yoga.”

Which one is your favorite?

“I would have to say strength training.”

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Photo Credit Russell Baer

What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of going into acting or in arts?

“For me acting has always been an outlet and I found so much joy in the art of storytelling. When it comes to the industry, it’s extremely difficult although if the arts is something your heart desires, be prepared for one hell of a journey. It could end up being immensely rewarding.”

If you had a chance to talk to your four-year-old self what would you tell her about what lies ahead and advice that you have learned?

“I think every little girl should always be encouraged to live in her power regardless of what cultural background she comes from. I would have loved my 4-year-old self to know where I would be today and be able to enjoy life to the fullest, to not take certain aspects too seriously. Maybe that would have impacted my childhood in a positive way that would have given me peace of mind growing up. Ultimately I’m grateful for my journey and experiences I have been through because of who I have become today.”

Are there any other future projects in the works that you would like to talk about?

“What I can say is that there are some very exciting things happening and I just can’t wait to share all of that with you guys sometimes next year. Thank you .”