Your new movie Seeking Valentina - in a few words, what is it
about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?
The movie is about a writer (Benjamin) who is dealing with the loss of
his wife and although about a year has passed since this loss, it's still
affecting everyone around him. When his new tenant/housemate
disappears, the viewer is left to wonder whether she is a ghost, a
hallucination, a dream, or a runaway.
What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much
of yourself can you see in Benjamin the grieving writer you play?
Imagination is main ingredient I used to bring Benjamin to life.
Fortunately, I haven't experienced a personal loss like Benjamin did so in
that respect, I did not see a lot of myself in Benjamin.
How did you get involved with the project in the first place?
I saw the role on www.lacasting.com
and submitted to it and the rest, as they say, is history.
What can you tell us about your director Armin Nasseri [Armin
Nasseri interview - click here], and what was
your collaboration like?
Armin Nasseri is passionate and talented individual/director and since
him and I were on the same page regarding the character of Benjamin, it
was a seamless and enjoyable process working with him.
Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!
Every single cast and crew member was extremely supportive, friendly,
and worked as a part of one whole team, so the atmosphere was perfect.
If I could work with this exact crew and cast again on a different
project, I would say "yes" in a heartbeat.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
I'm starring in 2 short films right now, but the titles haven't been
finalized yet. I am very fortunate, yet again, to be working with 2
separate sets of cast and crew that are wonderful individuals who are very
committed to the process of making a film.
What got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive a
formal education on the subject?
When I was young, before my teens, I watched some classmates put on a
school play at my elementary school, and ever since then, I wanted to be
an actor. Along with music classes, the most enjoyable classes I
took in college were acting courses so I figured that at some point in the
future (September 2014), I'd become a working actor. I've taken
various courses and workshops throughout colleges in Southern California.
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Seeking Valentina?
All my prior film-work took one day or less to film whereas for Seeking Valentina took almost a week to film. I believe the longer
a project takes, the more challenging it can be. But the more
rewarding it can be as well and so from a creative standpoint and
acting/filmmaking standpoint, this project was much more enjoyable and
challenging than all my previous credits/film-work/projects.
Besides being an actor, you're also a musician, right? So what can
you tell us about Ali Bavarian, the musician, your music, and your project
Paper Sound? And some of your key musical influences?
4 years ago, my friend Shadi Muklashy and I
started a company called Paper Sound and we write music for video games.
It's another medium for me to use my creative juices and so far, the
response from fans and clients we write music for has been positive so I
am thankful for that. Just recently, one of our albums was put on
Pandora - the album that we wrote for the game Hawken. We are
set to release a few more albums, via our website, once the games are
In terms of musical influences, I grew up
listening to a lot of classical music but ever since mp3s and sites like
Pandora came into existence, I've listened to so many different types of
songs and genres that it would be too many to list. I believe that
all songs an individual listens to and all of his/her life experiences
affect what they create in some way, shape or form.
Any other talents of yours you'd like to share?
As if 2 careers weren't enough, I've been practicing as a financial
advisor for over 10 years, and all of my clients are doing very well so I
consider managing their money in an honest and proper way somewhat of a
talent - especially in a business where so many people are taken
advantage of and overcharged for under-perfoming investment portfolios.
How would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of your
techniques to bring your characters to life?
Again, imagination is key tool that I use to bring any character to
life. I'm also a big believer that in any art form, whether we're
talking about acting, music, cooking, painting, dancing - intuition plays
a huge role in providing the fuel for creation. Intuition - where it
comes from, what is it exactly, how to tap into it - is not easy to
describe with words, though.
Actors (or indeed actresses) who inspire you?
Like musical influences, there are too many to list. I love
watching any actor or actress who fully commits themselves to the
character and the story. If I see that an actor is combining
elements of his or her heart, mind, and soul through their work, then I'm
happy as a viewer and I'm thankful for watching their performance.
Your favourite movies?
I don't mean to sidetrack this question too, but there are too
many to list. My criteria for favorite movies is similar to what I
mentioned about favorite actors. Any movie that inspires me to do
something after watching the film or challenges me to think about a
subject in a different way - I love. The soundtrack of a film is
EXTREMELY important for me as well and it can really affect how the
film/actors affects me.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
Films that do the opposite of the films I love is what I dislike.
There are some movies where you get a sense that either the actor(s)
and/or director and/or the rest of the team didn't truly care about the
film or maybe, the movie was created for a really shallow reason (i.e.
strickly to generate income, that's it), and so when you watch the film,
that shallowness is felt by you, and that doesn't feel good. I
believe that when you set out to create something, it's important to care
about what you're creating and the creation should have some sort of depth
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
In my spare time, I like to sing and write music on the guitar so I'm
about to begin recording a singer/songwriter album. There are a few
samples on my personal website www.alibavarian.com
but by mid to late 2016 on the Paper Sound website www.papersound.com,
a full album should be released. I'm also available on Facebook
under the name "Ali Bavarian" for anyone who would like to
contact me via Facebook.
Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten
I would like to say thank you to you, Mr. Mike Haberfelner, for this
interview and your time. I appreciate the opportunity to speak
with you. And I'd like to thank Matt Chassin for introducing you to
Thanks for the interview!