Actor Marshall Manesh talks ‘Shirin in Love’

Actor Marshall Manesh recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about his role in the new romantic comedy “Shirin in Love.”

In “Shirin in Love,” which opens Friday, March 28, Nazanin Boniadi plays a young Iranian-American who, despite being engaged for years to a successful Iranian plastic surgeon (Maz Jobrani), finds herself breaking loyalty and tradition when she falls in love with a mysterious young man (Riley Smith). As her secret unravels and cultures clash, she discovers what it ultimately means to be true to herself.

Listen to “Breakthrough Entertainment’s” full interview with Manesh by clicking HERE. The following is an excerpt from the interview in which the actor discusses what appealed to him about “Shirin in Love” as well as why he believes he has had such a successful acting career.

Ramin Niami – who is the writer, director and producer of this movie – sent me the script. I read the script and it was totally different from the scripts that I usually get regarding Iranian/Middle Eastern kind of stuff. So I liked this story and immediately said, ‘Yes.’ It is a romantic comedy about an Iranian girl who was born and raised here and is supposed to marry an Iranian plastic surgeon.

She falls in love with another guy, played by Riley Smith, and there is a clash of culture of things that shows the other side of Iranians. Whereas the media shows all of this bad stuff, this says, ‘Hey! Iranian people are like normal people! They have the same families! They have their own problems! They fall in love and, believe it or not, they laugh.’ People do not know that Iranian people laugh, too. But they do. They have fun, they party and they have great food.

Fortunately, I have been doing this for a long time. I started when I was like 10 or 12 years old. I came to America in the mid-70’s and we had our own theatrical group. We traveled all over the world – for like 8 or 9 years. Then my wife said, ‘You know what? If you want to travel, I am not going to be here anymore.’ So I decided to stay.

I have to say that I have been really lucky to make it as a working actor – make a living by doing this, which is really rare in Hollywood. As they say, ‘Preparation and opportunity create luck.’ I believe that you have to be prepared for whatever you are doing. It doesn’t matter if you are an actor or a plumber or an engineer – you have got to know what you are doing. There are a lot of people who have talent. There are hundreds of us. So you have to get lucky. Like Paul Newman said a long time ago in an interview, ‘Whoever doesn’t mention luck is lying through their teeth.’” – Marshall Manesh

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at

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