TEHRAN — American actors Steve Buscemi and John Goodman have been offered prominent roles in the Iranian government’s planned remake of Ben Affleck’s Oscar-nominated Argo, which chronicles the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. The project’s director, Ataollah Salmanian — who has attacked Affleck’s film as “distorted” and “ahistoric” — announced his casting plans on Al-Jazeera yesterday, indicating that, if hired, Buscemi and Goodman would, between them, play all the American characters in the film.
“Americans are too often depicted in film as beautiful, sexy idols” Salmanian said. “This decision is about artistic integrity, about pulling away the veil. We Iranians know that Americans come in exactly two types: nauseating, cadaverous ghouls; and obnoxious, heavy-breathing whales. Finally a film will reflect this truth.”
“We think Mr. Buscemi’s pallid, fish-eyed mien and vacuous affect will be particularly — and appropriately — disturbing to audiences,” Salmanian added.
Buscemi and Goodman have appeared together on screen before, notably in the 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski. This would be their first combined effort in a film produced by a foreign government openly hostile to the United States, however.
Mr. Goodman’s publicist indicated the actor has not ruled anything out. “Ever since he saw Dr. Doolittle, John has wanted to play multiple parts in a single film. Yes, these circumstances are unique, but John believes this project may be the perfect showcase for his vast and versatile artistic abilities.”
Mr. Buscemi has yet to publicly comment on the role, but Salmanian said that he and his producers are doing everything they can to court the star. “We even sent flowers to his wife—that is, once we got over the shock of discovering that someone had actually married that creature.”