Niv Sultan and Shervin Alenabi spoke to The Natural Aristocrat about Tehran’s unforgettable scenes ahead of the Season 1 finale on Apple TV+.
Interview with Niv Sultan and Shervin Alenabi (Transcript):
The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: Right before Karim is shot, there’s this moment where it feels like Tamar is going to follow in her aunt’s footsteps. You know, she’s going to fall in love with a man in Iran and maybe stay there.
And then all of a sudden Mohammed barges in and the whole fantasy breaks. Tamar remembers that she’s still an agent. I was wondering what that scene was like for both of you?
I know for you Shervin, Milad looked especially broken. You were looking down at the floor there. It’s a big twist.
Shervin Alenabi (Milad): Yeah, we said when we were on set that this was one of the most challenging scenes… Because everything changes from there.
I went outside with the director and had a chat and I think me & Niv had one as well. Because in a way the honeymoon period is over and now we have to get on with what’s really at stake and what we’re really there for.
So yeah, it was a bit of a heartbreaking scene. Not just for the characters but for us as well!
Niv Sultan (Tamar Rabinyan): Yeah, absolutely! I felt so bad. I remember seeing Shervin as he was on the floor, and he was devastated. It looked so bad.
I felt sorry for him. Like, I felt sorry for him as Niv, as an actress. I was like, ‘What am I doiiiinnng? What am I doing?!’
But I think that’s the beauty of Tamar and this complexity of the story. There isn’t one side, there isn’t good or bad. Tamar’s not only a Mossad agent and she’s also not only young woman who falls in love. She’s everything together!
The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: One of the things I love about this show is that it’s so hyper realistic. Morality is pretty ambiguous.
And I also feel that Tamar is not presented as invincible. She’s not taking down 30 people at once but she is capable and strong. I was wondering how you felt about this determination to keep Tehran as realistic as possible?
Niv Sultan: For me, that was what I love most about her. I mean, she’s a real person, as you said, she’s not the cliche of super hero, Mossad agents saving the world. I mean, I always focus on saving her like a real, real person.
Yes, she’s brave but she’s also scared, makes mistakes, falls in love, and misses her dad. And I think that’s the beauty of her.
The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: What was it like shooting the scene where Tamar’s cousin sends her friends to brutally beat her?
It was such a hard scene to watch especially when Tamar is getting kicked on the ground.
Niv Sultan: Yeah, it wasn’t easy. It was at the middle of the night and we did, I think a million takes over and over! I was also nervous because action scenes & fighting skills are always very challenging because you want it to look real.
To look like I’m really getting hit and it was cold. The floor was cold. But I mean, I love that scene!
The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: Did you use any kind of emotional recall technique when Tamar received that photo text message of her father’s kidnapping?
You were absolutely bawling there… I’m very interested in the acting side of portraying such intense crying.
Shervin Alenabi: I’m interested in that as well! How did you do that?!
Niv Sultan: I have to say the fact that I was acting for so long and hadn’t seen my family, I hadn’t been in Jerusalem, and I missed them so much… It was helpful.
I just, I thought of my dad. I hadn’t seen him for I think one and a half months. And it’s unusual for me. Usually for me, every weekend I’m at my family’s house.
So, it was like everything was just here! (places hand over heart) It was just in time!
The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: (in Hebrew) Thanks a lot to both of you this season was excellent. I really enjoyed the season finale.
Niv Sultan: Toda Nir!
Shervin Alenabi: Thank you!
Be sure to watch Tehran’s epic Season 1 Finale starring Niv Sultan and Shervin Alenabi over at Apple TV+ on Friday, October 29th. It’s an episode not to be missed!