“I’ve always had a passion for explaining our culture and history to people who aren’t familiar with it. In the last forty-three years, unfortunately, most of the times that you see Iran in the media, the news, television, and movies, Iranians as people get conflated with the Islamic Republic. So, people assume that’s our culture, but we have a 2500+ year history that a lot of people don’t know about.”
-Nazanin Nour, episode 316 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
Today, we sit with actor and activist Nazanin Nour. At the top, we discuss the ongoing protests against the Islamic Republic (3:35), her transformative work in meetings with the UN (7:10), and some of the history that has brought Iran to this moment (10:40). Then, she describes her upbringing in Northern Virginia with immigrant parents (15:56), her complicated relationship with home (21:57), and how she connected her two identities through art-making (23:56).
On the back-half, Nour shares her path to Los Angeles (26:10), a piece of advice from actor Marlon Wayans (28:05), and why she turned to YouTube to create her viral ‘Persian mom’ videos (30:24). To close, we unpack her new role in Sanaz Toossi’s “English” (35:42), a powerful scene from the play (41:00), and what she hopes for in the revolution ahead (47:33).
- See Nazanin Nour in English at the Studio Theatre through March 12th.
- Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Watch “Driving With Your Persian Mom” on YouTube.
- Support the Center for Human Rights in Iran.
- For more conversations, hear our talks with Tessa Thompson, Gloria Steinem, Ke Huy Quan, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, and Pedro Pascal.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.
Original illustration by Krishna Shenoi. Reference image by Oscar Vera.
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