• I think there is a problem in France that anyone who is not European, you want to know where they come from and why do they come from somewhere or why they speak English or why they are human. That's the big barrier for all of us that are coming from some far, far away countries. But at the end of the day, we are all artists.
  • I have scars from every film I have made. There is nothing to protect actors. They treat you worse than a dog. You work like a slave, and you know, I like it. That is the way it should be. Every film should be like your last.
  • Exile is my power.
  • The Iran I'm dreaming of maybe doesn't exist anymore.
  • I had to tell people I was not born with a scarf because I came out of Iran. People think you came out of your mother with a scarf; they can't imagine that the scarf is not stuck to your head.
  • Independent cinema is more thoughtful, delicate. While Western blockbusters can have their own kind of delicateness, it's not delicate enough. You have to be ready to compromise to enter that field. I will do so only if it's worth it.
  • For me, Iran was paradise, and I believe it's a paradise still, but only if you don't have political problems. If you have a political problem, paradise turns into hell.
  • In my life, my parents wanted me to be a musician, I was supposed to go to Vienna to study piano. But this train wanted to go in another direction.
  • The subjects that I am working are movies that say something. They are shouting or criticising something. I would hate to play a princess waiting for the prince to come and give her a kiss.
  • I was born into an artistic family, and they understood me. But they were really worried, because some of the stuff I did was dangerous. If I'd been caught without the veil with a shaved head, I don't know what would have happened.
  • Exile is like death. You cannot understand it until it happens to you.
  • There's an expression in Persian, "Tto play with the lion's tail". I wasn't what Iranian society wanted me to be--a good girl. I played with the lion's tail.
  • If you want to do what you want to do, you cannot work. So art is going to be finished, and this is the will of the Islamic republic: to not have any artists or art and close the doors of all the cinemas and music and everything.
  • Paris is a city that liberates you as a woman from all your sins that you think you are guilty of; it washes away all of that, and you are free.
  • I don't regret anything and what I have done in my period of my life. Everything happens for a reason, and that's why I am here.
  • Iranian parents can't stop their children. They're just wild--they want to party, they want their rights, they want to paint, they want to dance. No one can stop these new generations coming. That's why Iran has to open up: it's like a pot full of hot water, vapor and steam.
  • I'm coming out of the belly of Iran. It was the only place I was free. It's funny--when I say that, everyone is like, "What? Freedom?". But the freedom I felt in Iran I've never felt anywhere else. Freedom of mind, freedom of time, of spirit. But after a while, you're so wounded that if you continue thinking about Iran, it will kill you.
  • I don't believe I could live in Iran again. A tree, once uprooted from the earth, is very difficult to plant again.