EXCLUSIVE: Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian director of the Oscar-nominated foreign film The Salesman who decided to boycott the Academy Awards ceremony due to President Donald Trump’s initial travel ban from seven predominantly Muslim countries, is expected to make his first public appearance at the UTA rally this afternoon. Deadline hears that arrangements are being made for the director to either be Skyped in or speak via video from Iran for the rally that will bring together high-profile Hollywood names and politicians as a show of unity to speak out against policies that promote marginalization and exclusion.
Farhadi’s film is about two young actors living in Tehran and performing in a local production of Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman; their relationship starts going south after they move in together. The film won critical raves at Cannes last year and won not only Best Screenplay for Farhadi, but also Best Actor for Shahab Hosseini. The film is considered a front-runner to win the Best Foreign Film Oscar.
Should Farhadi win, he has already asked two Iranian-American NASA scientists — Firouz Naderi and Anousheh Ansari — to represent him at the awards show.
Those expected to speak at the rally today include California Lt. Gov. and gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom, Jodie Foster, Michael J. Fox, Reza Aslan, Keegan-Michael Key, Cynthia Erivo, Wilmer Valderrama, DJ Cassidy, David Garibaldi, Sam and Casey Harris of X Ambassadors, International Rescue Committee President and CEO David Miliband and ACLU executives Hector Villagra and Michele Moore. The rally starts at 3 PM outside UTA’s Beverly Hills headquarters.
Others expected to attend include Sasha Alexander, Jai Courtney, Ted Danson, James Franco, Juliette Lewis, Minka Kelly, Bill Nye, Emily Ratajkowski, Retta, Seth Rogen, Mary Steenburgen and Aisha Tyler.