Posted at 8:45 AM on November 9, 2007
by Euan Kerr
Homyon Ershadi was blown away by the radios.
When the "Kite Runner" star came into the MPR studios the other day he stopped and waxed rhapsodic about the collection of antique wirelesses which stand on the second story atrium. He said he loved the art deco design on a couple of the models.
Ershadi's reaction makes sense when you know a little of his history. An Iranian, he trained as an architect in Italy, and then returned to his homeland to practice. He worked for more than 20 years in the field.
Then one day, driving across Teheran, he stopped at a red light. He says he was just thinking about something when he heard a knocking at his window. He rolled down the window and a man standing there introduced himself as Abbas Kiarostami, and then asked him if he would like to be in a film.
Ershadi knew Kiarostami's work, and the fact that he always works with non-professional actors. So he said yes.
They made "Taste of Cherry" which won the 1997 Palme d'Or at Cannes, and Ershadi has been making films ever since. He says though he can always go back to architecture if the film thing doesn't work out.
He says making "The Kite Runner" was enjoyable, and he hopes it will give people a true sense of the people of Afghanistan who he describes as friendly and generous.
He says the child actors who play the central characters in the film are very talented and smart, and he hopes they will be safe after threats from hardliners in Afghanistan led to them being taken into hiding.
"The Kite Runner" will open in mid-December, and we'll run the interview with Ershadi then. I asked if I could take his picture for the web site, and after we did a portrait, he asked if he could have a snap of him with the radios. Which, of course, he could.