Christy Grosz is Editor of AwardsLine.
With more than 120 speaking parts and a key scene that required 2,500 Persian extras, Argo couldn’t have struck the right note of realness without showing faces that lived through the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and that meant heading somewhere in the Middle East to shoot. Several locations were on the short list including Jordan and, in Southeastern Europe, Bulgaria), but ultimately Turkey won out for having the right Persian look. (Director and star Ben Affleck jokes that Turkey having a posh Four Seasons Hotel is what really clinched the deal.)
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“In truth, it really was very similar architecture, and it was next to Iran, so I felt like we’d be able to get a lot of Farsi-speaking extras,” Affleck says. “As it turned out, that was a false assumption; most Iranians were afraid to be in the movie because of reprisal against their family, which kind of brought home the seriousness of the real story.”