Rising Star Mojean Aria Acts Alongside Hugh Jackman in Warner Brothers Sci-fi Film “Reminiscence”
In 2017, Mojean Aria became the first-ever unsigned recipient of the Heath Ledger Scholarship, as well as being the first from a multi-cultural background. The illustrious judging panel consisted of Naomi Watts, Ryan Murphy, Gary Oldman, Bruna Papandrea, and backed by benefactors including the Ledger family, Michelle Williams, Baz Luhrmann, Hugh Jackman, and Nicole Kidman, among others.
In his acceptance speech, Mojean paid tribute to his Iranian heritage and gave appreciation to his mother, who fled Iran after the revolution. His speech was so heartfelt and well-received that Entertainment Tonight exclusively acquired the rights to release it to its audience of over 25 million people.
Directly after, Mojean starred in the limited series Dead Lucky, opposite Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner, Rachel Griffiths. Soon after, he completed Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, a Vietnam war epic written and produced by Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean, Collateral), appearing alongside Travis Fimmel (Vikings). In late 2017, Mojean accepted the GQ Man of the Year Legacy Award representing Australians in Film.
He then starred in the human rights film Aban + Khorshid, which won accolades and received praise at Cannes, Palm Springs, and Seattle Film Festival. Further, the film had the privilege of being screened for The United Nations. Mojean also starred in the highly touted short film The Suitcase, which was one of the first of its kind with sponsorships from, Disney, Universal, and Amazon, which critics praised as, “the most rewarding film to address 9/II.” The film premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
In early 2019, Mojean wrapped production on See, Apple TV+’s epic tentpole for the launch of their new streaming service. See is written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders), directed by Francis Lawrence (Hunger Games), produced by Chernin Entertainment (Hidden Figures), and starring Jason Momoa (Aquaman).
In 2019, Mojean also completed production on The Last Manhunt, an indigenous retelling of Robert Redford’s Tell Them Willie Boy is Here, reteaming once again with Jason Momoa.
In early 2020, Mojean wrapped production on Reminiscence, a Warner Brothers sci-fi written and directed by Lisa Joy (Westworld) and produced by Michael De Luca (Producer of The Social Network and current Chairman of MGM Film Group) Aaron Ryder (Arrival), and Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight), where he plays a prominent role opposite Hugh Jackman.
Mojean is an actor to be on the lookout for. Full of passion, talent, and a story of triumph with so much more to come. I got an exclusive interview with Mojean.
Tammy Reese: What inspired you to become an actor?
Mojean Aria: Growing up, I watched a lot of movies like The Godfather and films with Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro. They became parental figures to me. Their performances had themes and messages that guided my life. Pacino and De Niro being Italian American, had some kind of immigrant flair that I related to, and they could express that and encapsulate many different cultures, which is always something I’ve been passionate about.
Tammy Reese: What are some memorable projects that you worked on?
Mojean Aria: There are so many, but the last film that I did “Reminiscence” which was the Warner Brothers film with Hugh Jackman, director Lisa Joy, and producer Jonathan Nolan was a dream come true. Oscar-nominated actress Marina de Tavira plays my mother in the film. I thought her performance unbelievable.
I’ve always wanted to work with Hugh. He’s been an idol of Australia, and a role model here. He’s from the same city that I grew up in. Working with him meant a lot to me for a number of reasons.
Being a part of launching Apple was something that was very exciting! I was able to be a part of the new streaming service and being on set and learning from people like Tim Cook is something that I’ll always hold dear to my heart.
Also making my own films that I’ve co-written and produced that are in post-production right now means a lot to me as well.
Tammy Reese: How is it for you to be an actor and make your own films too?
Mojean Aria: There are many actors that also make films. De Niro directed a Bronx Tale, Tim Robbins directed “Dead Man Walking”, Sean Penn directed “Into the Wild”. I see my directing career being very limited.
However, producing comes more naturally to me because I’m interested in stories that are not being told. I feel like when I’m the producer of those films, I can help protect those visions of the immigrant and refugee films that relate to my upbringing. Whatever I do and experiment with, I always come back to acting which means the most to me.
Tammy Reese: Let’s talk about “The Suitcase”, you did an excellent job in the film which was based on a true story. What was your experience like working on that project?
Mojean Aria: That was definitely a changing moment in my life. I’d never really done anything that people had seen me in with the English language. That alone was completely game-changing.
I’m really attracted to the kind of characters that are flawed, but redeemable. We’re all flawed, but we can redeem ourselves. I really like the ordinary people who are the heroes because we all can be heroes, to some extent.
The film was a much higher circumstance and working with a young filmmaker who’s as talented as Abi Corbin, and going on to do great things was a collaboration that just flowed.
The film was short but circulated so well in the industry. The good thing about short films is if they’re good, people watch them, even if you have a great feature, people might not have the time to sit two hours to watch your film.
Tammy Reese: You’ve become the first-ever unsigned recipient of the Heath Ledger Scholarship, as well as being the first from a multi-cultural background to receive that epic honor. Please tell us about that moment?
Mojean Aria: That moment was really special for me because Health was one of my favorite actors. He also has an aura and sense of understanding that people come and see films for something more and that there’s always something more to give.
You have to be entertaining first and foremost, but you can also give people comfort and a sense of hope. Heath did that better than most. To be given an acknowledgment in his name, by his family, and his close friends have opened so many doors for me in the industry.
I was the first person to win it that was unrepresented. I didn’t want managers and agents to represent me if I didn’t feel like they were right for me. That led me to have an opportunity to meet some really phenomenal managers and agents and find a really phenomenal team which is very important to navigate in this business.
Tammy Reese: What are you currently working on?
Mojean Aria: Right now I have a feature film in post-production that I’m a producer on. I am working on the project with Chelsea Winstanley.
We’ve been working on a daily basis going through notes for the film, and strategy before we go about the distribution. I am learning a lot from her.
I’ve also been doing a lot of writing with my co-writer Lauren and doing some press for the kind of films that I have coming out.
Tammy Reese: You have such a promising career and have been prestigiously honored for your work and have worked with some major legends in the industry. What advice would you have for aspiring actors?
Mojean Aria: There’s a famous quote: “I choose to live life as an optimist, even if you end up at the end, finding out that you’re wrong. But it’s better than living as a realist.”
It’s a really exciting time in the business in the sense of, there are so many streaming services, but also so much technology for us to create our own content quite affordably. That is something that has never really occurred before.
My advice for people who are not in the biggest cities is to find that kind of filmmaking community and team up with them. Try to flourish your own sort of collectives, and be collaborative.
My other piece of advice is for people to just really know themselves. You can’t really play any characters unless you really can play yourself and know yourself. You can’t tell any stories unless you know your own story and can understand your own story.
I do often see that a lot of people jump into this business before they quite know their voice. It’s good to have that as distinct as possible.
Keep up-to-date with Mojean Aria and his outstanding career journey by visiting his IMDb