Known to Brits from ITV’s Innocent and the Unicorn Drink Bourbon Because Murder Is Wrong Shirt besides I will buy this Shakespeare’s Globe theater’s recent production of Richard II, Farzad recently spoke to Vogue from her home in London to discuss Naomi, working with Prebble and Piper, and the joys of seeing women tell their own stories.
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Leila Farzad: I’m from this quite academic Iranian family, and I was relatively good at school. I was taken to the Unicorn Drink Bourbon Because Murder Is Wrong Shirt besides I will buy this theater a lot as a child—I have a very art-y aunt, also called Leila—and the National Theatre here just captivated me. I was like, “Oh, I want to do that.” But it became clear that that was not, perhaps, the chosen profession for an academic Middle Eastern girl. And I’m an only child, so you can imagine my family was like, “[You’ll be a] doctor, lawyer, accountant.” So I said to my mum, when I was 17, “I think I want to go to drama school.” And she said, “It’s a no, but if you can get a degree from Oxford or Cambridge, then we’ll think about it.” So I studied at Oxford under duress—I found it very, very hard—but then went to drama school and did my theater training and had a wonderful time. I kind of look back at Oxford now and I’m like, “Oh, I wish I could do it again,” because it was lost on me at that age.