The first two episodes of “Tehran‘s” highly anticipated second season premiered on May 6. Aside from following up where the first season left off, the Apple TV+ series added another talent to the already star-studded cast.
Joining the team is Glenn Close as Marjan Montazeri, a British lady who speaks a mix of Farsi and English and oozes authority and viciousness.
She is also calculative and suspicious, and given the unpredictable nature of “Tehran,” it is still too early to know if Close’s character has any dark motives that have yet to be revealed.
However, one easy takeaway from Close’s feature is her superb delivery of portions of her script in Farsi, an Iranian language. Despite the fact that it might have appeared to be a simple task, the actress recently revealed the challenges she had learning the language for her part.
Glenn Close Says ‘It Was Very Challenging’
Speaking with Entertainmen Tonight at the New York premiere of the Apple TV+ hit series, Close shed light on the difficulty of learning Farsi for her role as a foreign agent and detailed the nuances that separated the language from others around the world.
“It was very challenging. It has a different sentence structure. It’s more like German, with the verb at the end,” she said. “You use your mouth differently. It has certain sounds that we don’t have in English. But I had a phenomenal coach in Anna Bayat, who worked with me on Zoom three times a week.”
The actress went on to say that her learning process was gradual and steady since it was critical to properly pronounce the words as well as memorize the necessary sentences and speak at the required speed.
She added, “It’s just a lot of — you start with one word at a time, then sentences, then repetition, repetition, and then you have to learn the proper intonation, and then you have to say it faster than you think you ever can say it.”
Close Called It “A New Experience”
Farsi has an estimated native speaker population of 70 million people, which is a significant figure. However, as Close correctly said in her interview, the subtle differentiation and variance in the pronunciation of words are rather problematic for a novice learning the language.
Learning the language was just out of the many experiences the actress faced for her role in “Tehran.” For Close, everything she saw felt new to her, citing that this was her first TV role since appearing in the last season of the legal drama “Damages” a decade ago.
“It was just such a new experience. Everything was new,” the actress confessed. “Filming in Athens was new. Playing an agent was new. Learning Farsi was new. Working with a multi-lingual cast and crew. Meeting with a lot of Iranian refugees.”
“It just — it was a challenge and territory I never explored before,” she added.
Hiding In Plain Sight
While Close’s true purpose in “Tehran” is as a CIA operative, this aspect of her character’s life is hidden under a cover as a psychiatrist who operates a clinic with her husband in the show’s war-torn setting.
“My character is a very distinguished psychiatrist, and the backstory was that she and her husband had started this clinic for returning vets from the Iran-Iraq war, for people with terrible PTSD, and everything that we have come to know is what happens when one has to go to war,” Close explained further in the interview. “She’s hiding in plain sight.”
Having to play a mental-health-related part is one of the many factors that drew Close to taking on the role of Marjan. Beyond her acting career, the actress is a well-known mental health advocate and the chairperson of Bring Change to Mind, a US movement to end the stigma and prejudice associated with mental illness.
Glenn Close’s Relationship With Niv Sultan
Despite only seeing two episodes out of a possible eight, fans have responded well to the second season of “Tehran.” Niv Sultan once again plays a Tamar Rabinyan – a young Jewish lady born in Iran but raised in Israel. Her character reprises her role as a Mossad operative and computer hacker on clandestine operations in the Iranian capital to prevent the government from gaining and employing nuclear weapons.
Tamar, played by Sultan, is a Mossad agent, while Marjan, played by Close, is an undercover spy. Because both characters are formidable ladies, it was inevitable that they would meet paths, causing some conflict owing to their age disparities and relative allegiance.
However, a look at the first two episodes sees that their relationship, which starts almost with animosity, gradually gets warm as Marjan becomes a sort of mentor for Tamar and shares her wealth of experience in the espionage field.