An actress who has starred with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe has been banished from her home country of Iran - because she posed nude in a French news magazine, the Daily Mail reported on Thursday. Golshifteh Farahani says she has been contacted by the Iranian government, telling her that she is no longer welcome in the country and advising her not to return home.
The offending photo - a black-and-white 'art shot' featuring the 28-year-old Farahani posing against a black backdrop with her hands strategically placed over her breasts - was first published in Madame Le Figaro. The image was then posted on her Facebook page, drawing visitors from around the world - including Iran and the Middle East.
While many criticised her 'indecency', others praised her for 'the courage to remove a taboo among the women in Muslim countries'. Iran's anger at the image is not just because of Farahani's nudity - she has also made it known that her decision to pose is in protest against restrictive Islamic codes.
Indeed, it is why the now-Paris-based actress left Iran last year. Farahani has had a mercurial relationship with her home country. She began acting in theatre at the age of six and her first film, ‘The Pear Tree’, earned the then 14-year-old the Best Actress award at Iran's annual Fajr Film Festival.
She immediately became a leading actress in her home country, yet her performance in the 2007 film ‘Santoori’ has never been seen in Iran and is still banned. She starred in ‘M For Mother’, which after a huge success in Iran was chosen to represent Iran for the Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards in 2008.
Farahani's role as a nurse in Ridley Scott's ‘Body of Lies’ made her the first Iranian to act in a major Hollywood film. As a result she was banned from leaving Iran, and - now that she has left the country and is living in Paris - she appears to be banned from returning.