Multi-talented actress Vida Ghaffari recently took time from her busy schedule to talk to TVGrapevine about her career, life and so much more.
* Tell me about yourself and career.
I was born and raised in the Washington DC area. I studied Theatre and Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park, which is one of the largest universities in the states. These days, I’m a working SAG-AFTRA actress who is always working on improving my craft and growing as an artist.
* What projects are you working on now?
The year 2019 will be an exciting one for me! I just recently wrapped the final film in the popular Meathook Massacre franchise, the much anticipated horror film Meathook Massacre: The Final Chapter, which was directed by noted cult filmmaker Dustin Ferguson. I play the role of Samantha, who is trying to help her troubled sister, who is the only survivor of the massacre, put her life back together.
I have three feature film world premieres coming up this year: frequent collaborator Ferguson’s sci-fi action film Robowoman where I play the role of Hannah, a dedicated and courageous medical researcher; multi award-winning filmmaker Harley Wallen’s sci-fi film Abeyance (opposite Scout Taylor-Compton of Rob Zombie’s Halloween 1 & 2, Richard Tyson of Kindergarten Cop, Billy Wirth of The Lost Boys, Mel Novak of Quentin Tarantino favorite Game of Death , Kaiti Wallen of Betrayed, and Yan Birch of Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs) where I play Nikita, a brilliant and cutting-edge scientist; and Levin Garbisch’s fantasy mystery film Miranda Veil, where I play Alice Veil, a workaholic mother who may or may not be what she seems.
I’m very blessed to be acknowledged for my work by being bestowed with awards by theCity of Los Angeles, The World Networks, The West LA Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Nollywood Awards, Lucky Strikes Film Festival, the Universe Multicultural Film Festival, the WIND International Film Festival and many others.
*What attracted you to them?
Great scripts, outstanding filmmakers, wonderful ensemble casts, and really meaty roles. I really liked the range of characters I’m portraying. Strong,smart, and independent women. These characters are great role models for young women.
*What do you hope fans like about it?
The strength of my characters and how truly empowered they all are in their own way.
* What are some memorable moments from your career?
I really had a great time working with Mindy Kaling on the FOX pilot of The Mindy Project where I played Nasreen a young, pregnant mom. Mindy wore somany hats (acting, writing and producing the show) and as a minority woman who is also in the arts, for me, it was truly empowering to see. We got along great and talked about fashion in between takes. I ran into her a few months later and she told me excitedly, “You were the most memorable character in the pilot and I really liked your work!” I really love how down-to-earth and encouraging she is to me. I also starred in a hilarious episode of Carlos Mencia’s Mind of Mencia on Comedy Central, where I played a nervous Iraqi housewife Mina. Carlos was super welcoming and very funny. We had great chemistry working together.
Shooting Abeyance was a real experience. It was my first shoot in Michigan and even the summers there are brisk! I had the opportunity to work with some great actors like Richard Tyson, Scout Taylor-Compton, Billy Wirth, Mel Novak, Yan Birch and many others. It was a dream ensemble, and it was really enlightening to work with Harley as he’s such an outstanding director and actor. Also acting in the final Meathook franchise was such a memorable experience. Dustin is such a great artist and an amazing director.
*What was the biggest challenge?
Finding time! In between shoots, rehearsals, auditions, it’s hard to make time for one’s self, and I find self care to be really important.
* What would be your dream project?
I’d love to play a historical figure. I’d also like to be a series regular on a sitcom.
* Who are some people you would like to work with?
Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro…the list is endless!
* What else are you working on?
I have a co-starring role in Ferguson’s upcoming thriller, Los Angeles Shark Attack, which we start shooting later this spring on location with a brilliant ensemble cast consisting of Brinke Stevens, Kelli Maroney, Mel Novak, Dawna Lee Heising, Maria Olsen, Alan Maxson, and many more. The legendary Chuck Cirino will be handling the cinematography, score and. digital f/x. I will also be playing the role of starlet Victoria Crane in Brandy Mason’s Ed and Living Dead later this summer, which is a great period horror piece.
* What is a fun fact that would surprise fans?
I minored in journalism in college and worked as a grant award-winning journalist on Capitol Hill. I was also a reporter and even co-hosted two of my own shows on various (non religious and non political) Persian TV channels. I was born and raised in the US, didn’t speak the language much if at all with my family and didn’t have a lot of Persians to interact with growing up back East, so I basically had to re-learn the language.
* What are you watching on TV these days?
I recently binge watched Love on Netflix.
* Anything else you want to tell America?
I’d like to thank all my fans and followers who have been so supportive of me and my work. I truly appreciate all of you! As legendary actor Chuck. Connors of The Rifleman fame said, “Without your fans, you have nothing!”
Follow yours dreams and never lose faith in yourself and all that you can accomplish!