Here’s how real this just got…. Argo, the movie Amitis Frances Ariano starred in, won the Academy Award’s Oscar for Best Picture and i’m thinking the award is due in large part to the participation of this actress that we here at the Bar None scored an exclusive interview with. Read on, believe it, then thank me later.
From Amitis’s mouth to your ears: The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
[Press 'Play' for a song that comes straight from Amitis's dance card]
Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the pot luck that is my life. Not only do i get to see a movie as good as Argo but then i’m fortunate enough to interview not just one but two of the actresses in this Oscar nominated film, and to top all that off they both are as sweet as they are talented and beautiful. i got so much luck spilling out of me, i’m about to get some of it on you.
Amitis Frances Ariano plays a Persian Dancer in Argo and she did this so well she was even the poster child for the film, meaning she herself is on the poster to the whole freaking movie. Who else can you say that about? OK, who else can you say that about not including Ben Affleck? That Amitis would be so generous as to appear on the poster and still stop by the Bar None despite how famous she’s becoming (and she’s very becoming, believe you me), blows the mind, beats the heart and saves the soul.
Sit back and enjoy the ride of her life.
There i was, feeling guilty in the court of public opinion, my development arrested, about to throw up on the mercy of the courting when an angel of mercy came to my defense. Amitis Ariano international defense attorney, stellar actress and beautiful human being both inside and out stood before me.
“Amitis! You’ve got to help me. i’ll do whatever it takes for you to get on my case.”
i pleaded innocently with her, presented my defenses and begged her to examine my briefs. Finally she agreed to an interview where she would tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Al K Hall: Now that you’re my official councilor, i need to know what i should call you. “Amitis Frances Ariano” is hugely beautiful but kinda long. Where does it come from?
Amitis Frances Ariano: My name is Persian from the time of Great Persian Empire. My mom wanted me to have a pure Persian name so she named me after Amitis, who was queen of the Persian Achaemenid Empire and the daughter of Astiak (Shāh of Mād, the Median King), wife of Cyrus the Great (the 1st Persian Emperor and the writer of the first declaration of human rights in the globe, named the “Cyrus Cylinder”).
Al K Hall: You’re lucky, my name just means “booze”.
Amitis: My mom also loved Princess Diana so named me Frances, as it was Princess Diana’s middle name.
Al K Hall: Yeah, my parents just loved booze. Do you have a nickname?
Amitis: I’ve got many nicknames my friends create for themselves, but the majority of people call me “Amitis” because, after all, that is my name.
Al K Hall: True ‘dat. So, Amitis, I see you live in Southern California.
Amitis: I was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Calabasas, CA.
Al K Hall: Calabadass! What a cool name! Do you have fun in Calabadass?
Amitis: I always have fun, no matter what I do.
Al K Hall: If i looked like you, i would too. But what’s your secret? [AlKHallism: These interviews work better if we don't pay too close attention to my questions.]
Amitis: All my friends will say that I’m definitely one of the most fun people you’ll ever come across. But I keep it classy, as every lady should. :-)
Al K Hall: Tell that to Lindsay Lohan. What do you do on a boring evening?
Amitis: Ever since I started law school, there is so much work and reading that you have no choice but to sit and read the books one at a time. The material is not boring, but when you have to read and do all this work, your freedom is taken from you, so I guess it could be boring.
Al K Hall: Kinda like you’re condemned to Law School. Doesn’t sound like much of a party.
Amitis: Law school changes you. All the things you were able to do on a daily basis no longer exist so, on those rare evenings, I either go out or stay home and relax with my beautiful princess Yogi (my dog).
[Here's a tune Amitis picked from the juiced-box and dedicated to Princess Yogi: Maxi Priest - Wild World]
Al K Hall: Are you leaning towards prosecutor or defender? Give ‘em the key or throw it away?
Amitis: My passion is to practice criminal law. Criminal defense is my heart’s passion, but the District Attorney is the one with the power, and what I seek in life is Power, not money. Regardless of where the road takes me, or where I start, I will finish with criminal defense!
Al K Hall: Sounds good to me—i’d rather have you on my team than against it. But can you act and lawyer at the same time?
Amitis: I would love to be both (famous actress and lawyer), but right now I choose to pursue law school. I am dreamer and don’t want to limit myself to just one goal, but I have to focus on pursuing one goal at a time so I choose to first complete law school. Education has a higher priority for me above all else. What is beauty without brains?
Al K Hall: That was exactly my next question. How do you deal with being more beautiful and smarter than pretty much everyone on the planet?
Amitis: Ha ha, thank you! :-) I want to be known for something. I want to be an influential person, a positive role model for others to follow.
Al K Hall: I’d follow you anywhere. Even if you were a lawyer.
Amitis: Talk to me in about 2 more years and then you can call me a lawyer, after I pass the bar.
Al K Hall: The Bar should be a cinch, you should see some of the crap i’ve passed. It’s a date, though! i’ll be here 2 years from now and i’ll call you whatever you want me to. Even a cab. Which reminds me, what’s something i wouldn’t know about you until i got drunk with you?
Amitis: I don’t get drunk, so what you see is what you get.
Al K Hall: Whao! Just like me. Except with me, what you get is usually contagious. But tell me something i don’t know.
Amitis: I have a big heart… I’m a big dreamer with lots of determination and compassion. I also really care about those who are less fortunate, disabled and those who are suffering.
Al K Hall: That’s true, I did not know that. Hold on a sec, i’ve got just the right tunes for this.
[Press 'Play' for mood music]
Al K Hall: Cool, go ahead.
Amitis: Prior to law school, I used to feed the homeless frequently. I would make little lunch bags filled with water, burgers, chips, cookies, candy, fruits, gum, French fries and I would drive around for hours and find homeless people and give them food. The impact that I had on their lives was the best feeling in the world. They would cry and were so thankful and shocked to see someone young as myself, just doing an act of kindness and taking the time to feed them. The best part of it all was when they would tell me that what I did gave them hope and restored their faith, and showed them that good people really do exist. My purpose here on earth is to help those and to give back to those who need me.
Al K Hall: And i need you now more than ever. Just like i need you to tell me about how you got your foot in the acting door.
Amitis: I always wanted to pursue acting, but I never really gave it a try. I did a lot when I was younger, and was offered to be on a TV show on the Disney channel. It was an amazing opportunity but my parents ended up getting a divorce at the exact time this came my way. As time progressed, I just put all my focus into school and did exceptionally well. I put off acting but it has always remained a big interest that is still with me today.
Al K Hall: i saw you’re studying acting at the Playhouse West Acting School in Hollywood…
Amitis: Playhouse West was amazing! Jeff Goldblum was the one the founders of it and you have actors who started there from Ashley Judd, to James Franco, to Jim Carrey, Michelle Pfeiffer and the list could go on.
Al K Hall: If you see Michelle, could you ask her if she dropped the charges? Wait! You’re an almost lawyer! You could go give her a writ and—
Amitis: —Unfortunately, my time was cut short for I was only there for exactly one month! I got accepted to Law School and had to make a decision, pursue acting or law school? I made the right choice.
Al K Hall: Was that after you got the role of “Persian Dancer” in Argo?
Amitis: This is where it gets interesting.
Al K Hall: Uhm, meaning?
Amitis: Argo just magically fell into my lap, out of nowhere. I had no agent at the time and was taking my sister for an audition. I wasn’t planning on even taking my sister, but my mom told me to go and take my picture. So I listened, and I’m so happy I did.
[Another of Amitis's selections from the juiced-box: U2 - Beautiful Day]
Al K Hall: You should always listen to your mother.
Amitis: I arrive there and it was like a zoo, filled with tons and tons of people. This was an audition for all Middle Eastern girls. So I take my sister, and I just leave my picture. Three days later, I get a call from a lady and it was the best phone call I have ever received in my life. She tells me that “Ben Affleck himself choose you out of all the hundreds of girls to play in his movie.” I was beyond ecstatic when I heard that he choose me to play in his movie! :-)
Al K Hall: Hell, if you ask me, he’s the lucky one.
Amitis: I went to Warner Brothers the next day, and went for the costume fitting. I was to portray Ornella Muti, who was voted #1 sexiest sci-fi actress/costume.
Al K Hall: Babe, anything you wear would be voted sexiest costume.
Amitis: I actually turned down the part at first because the costume was a bit too sexy, and got a phone call back saying that “Ben only wants you to play this part”, so I took it.
Al K Hall: So who was there to appreciate the sexy?
Amitis: My scene was with Ben Affleck and John Goodman. It started at the rooftop of the Beverly Hilton Hotel and if you look in the trailer, I am walking Ben inside the hotel. John Goodman is very funny guy, has the “I don’t give a shit” kind of attitude. I would say he’s kind of the typical Hollywood Star, nothing special about him. He was kind of an asshole to some people.
Ben Affleck and the producer came up to me on the second day of filming and handed me a script which consisted of about 6 lines that they wanted me to speak. I had about 15 minutes to look it over and my speaking scene was with John Goodman.
Al K Hall: Watch out, i heard he can be kind of an asshole.
Amitis: I was so nervous when the camera came to me. There were over 100 people in the room, with Ben and John and the producer and everyone else just staring into the camera that was on me. I spoke my lines back and forth with John and the robot you see in the poster and two other characters. However, during filming I messed up the continuity in that I kept switching my gold snake from my left to right arm, which was why my speaking scene didn’t make the cut. What can you do? You live and you learn.
Al K Hall: Ain’t that the truth. All the things i’ve lived, you’d think i’d have learned by now. But enough about me. What about Ben?
Amitis: I adore Ben Affleck!
Al K Hall: i bet he hears that a lot.
Amitis: He is such an amazing, kind, and humble man. He came up to me and introduced himself (as if I didn’t know who he was!), shook my hand asked me a few questions about myself.
Al K Hall: Kinda like i’m doing here. Well, except for the “amazing, kind and humble” part.
Amitis: That man is brilliant, hard working, creative and really just perfect. I am so lucky to have had such an amazing experience with him. He knows what he wants, how he wants it. He was very precise in the way he wanted things done.
Al K Hall: Wasn’t he always in your face, telling you what to do?
Amitis: The beautiful thing about his style (besides himself) is that he is very open, did not give any direction to me and just had everything flow naturally. He was so sweet! He was business and put fun into it and just so real, that’s very rare today in Hollywood…to find someone as genuine and down to earth as him.
Al K Hall: Did you get to hang with him?
Amitis: I was also lucky because I was in the same trailer as Ben and John for the preparation of filming every day. I had the same stylist they had and got to have my hair and makeup done the same time they did, too, while everyone else was in the hotel. :-) It was amazing!
Al K Hall: Speaking of amazing, you also appear on one of the posters! How did you find out?
Amitis: I had no idea they were going to put me on the poster. I was so shocked! I was in law school when I found out. One of my friends posted a picture of the poster on my Facebook and said that it was right outside their work! I was so excited that they picked me to be on it! I found the poster online and have it framed in my house :-)
Al K Hall: Did you keep any souvenirs of the shoot?
Amitis: Yes, I kept the robe I was wearing over my outfit and I recorded everything on my phone, from pictures to the filming, which I was not allowed to release till after the movie aired.
Al K Hall: You should’ve kept the costume, if you ask me…and i can tell from your expression that you’re most definitely not. How many times have you seen Argo?
Amitis: I only saw Argo once because I was in Law School and had exams coming up, but I will see it again. I was actually with one of my criminal defense attorneys friends when I saw it. I was disappointed that my speaking scene was cut out. But I always dreamed of seeing myself on the big screen and my dream ended up coming true.
Al K Hall: Like me talking to you right now! So what’s the next step?
Amitis: Argo inspired me to pursue acting. I got an agent after that and starting acting school at Play House West, sadly I only got a month to try it but I’ll come back to it one day.
Al K Hall: When you do, what’s the best way for a director or a casting agent to contact you?
Amitis: I am going to pursue Acting when my first year of law school ends, and the best way to contact me is through the information provided on IMDB.
Al K Hall: What message do you have for your many fans?
Amitis: Never give up on a dream! Never let any obstacle in life bring you down. Have faith, believe in yourself, pray (power of prayer is amazing) and have a good heart. There is no such thing as impossible, whatever you truly desire, if you put the work and effort into it, it will come true.
Al K Hall: Yeah, that attitude is gonna come in handy during the Bar None Questionnaire. You know what they say, if you can’t beat them, buy a bigger club. So, what’s your favorite alcoholic drink?
Amitis: I used to like whiskey, however I do not drink anymore. I don’t mind a glass of wine once in a while.
Amitis: Don’t remember.
Al K Hall: Wow, lucky you! Do you smoke?
Al K Hall: Do you swear? A lot?
Amitis: I don’t like to swear.
Al K Hall: Most importantly, what’s your opinion of teetotalers?
Amitis: I have a lot of respect for teetotalers. They are the clever ones because drinking only brings you down, makes you do things you would not do normally, affects your health and causes you to loose control. I’m all for “teetotalers”.
Al K Hall: And we’re all for you, Amitis!
If i was a fat lady, i’d be singing all over the place because this interview is sadly over. Now’s a great time to tell you what you knew all along, that Amitis and i did not meet in a courtroom or anywhere else. This whole interview was done through emails and i fiddled with my bits to make them look more realistic but i left Amitis’s words exactly as she sent them to me because why mess with perfection?
Many are called but few answer when they realize it’s me, so i really want to thank Amitis for her time and effort in putting up with my bullshit. i caught her in the middle of her legal midterm finals and the holiday season and she took time off from both of these to waste it with me, sharing this part of herself with you. She’s a totally professional young lady and i wish her the very best in her studies and the long career that awaits her in whatever path she chooses.
[Another song Amitis picked from the juiced-box and dedicated to her future: The Temptations (with Diana Ross & The Supremes): Ain't No Mountain High Enough]
If y’all are interested in the other The Booze Talkin’: Exclusive Interviews, just click on the link.