By Song River
For Vents Magazine
Necar Zadegan is an elegant lady who is the epitome of the classic modern woman. Sexy, intelligent, self-assured as she embraces everything that is feminine to behold.
It was great spending sometime talking with her about the loves of her life; her dogs, and her family. We touched on politics, and modern feminism, and how all of her life has blended so well as it compliments her role in the television series, A Girlfriends Guide to Divorce. Without a doubt there are multiple components being brought together to create this person who is very comfortable with who she is.
Song River: Good morning Necar. Are you all finally getting some much-needed rain over their in the Southern California area?
Necar Zadegan: Good morning and yes we are! We are in need of it so badly.
SR: Will you be taking family time this holiday season?
NZ: Yes, with my family just up the coast I am thinking of driving, its been too long since I've driven up the coast. I just need to pack up my dogs and go, they love riding in the car.
SR: What kind of dogs do you have?
NZ: I have a Norwich Terrier, she was a rescue and I have a pug/bull-dog mix. They are so cute and I used to have a little chihuahua, but I had to put her down this year and it has been so hard.
SR: Congratulations on the rescue dog, that is so awesome and so sorry on the loss of you other little one. Our pets really do become family.
NZ: They do and they are so innocent. I've never had to do it before, but it's so hard to tell, because they try to be strong for you. They are so cool, they're just awesome.
SR: I think they at times become your best friend. Sometimes, I wish human beings would behave more like our pets. And if you think about it really, you must have relationships with others who get the whole idea of having pets.
NZ: I know that is so true. I'm obviously working on a show about girlfriends and I really think your doggie friends are just as special as those human relationships. Even in the show we've had this storyline come up before about relationships with others and their animals.
SR: Necar as I was looking over your bio and doing my 'background detective' work, I found a fan-site completely dedicated to you. Did you realize there was such an in-depth fan-site about you?
NZ: Yes, I don't know who runs it and they do a beautiful job with it.
SR: I found my information on you from your fan-site than I did anywhere else. How does that make you feel? As a person who has been at the forefront of leading roles, and a wide diverse calling of acting scenes (Theatre, Film, TV, Commercials), to have such devoted fans?
NZ: I think when you're doing theatre, and performing live, it's like musicians performing, there's an immediate connection. This immediate connection with the audience is so prevalent in theatre, and that is where I come from, you understand this art is an exchange. Without the audience there isn’t an exchange and no connection. So, when you aren’t doing theatre there are other ways to reach and connect and I think this can be one way to do this. It doesn’t always have to be someone making a site or writing an article- it's all connecting.
SR: Input whether good or bad is necessary to honing our passions, don't you think?
NZ: I know when I was younger I didn't care, it didn't matter to me what anyone thought about what I was doing. If everyone liked it, that meant to me then we weren’t doing our job. Like is such a useless word. I think it's more of understanding the character. Liking the character isn't what it's all about, it's bringing the audience in to understand the character, then they will follow. You want your audience to connect this way so that they want to follow it.
In our show, A Girlfriends Guide To Divorce, it is about relationships and whether they are going to live or die in those relationships. You see the friendships change how decisions are made. We all have friends who are on the wrong end of a relationship. The show may leave the audience not always liking what a character is doing, but it does at least lead you to understand them.
SR: Do you feel then that the writing and casting have to necessarily go together in order for people to identify or understand the characters?
NZ: Writing for sure, it's all about the writing. If the audience doesn't see it, feel it, it's not there. If the story doesn't affect you, then it hasn't done it's job. The story has to be told in a way that helps you understand it.
In terms of casting, well yes, casting is very important, but I don't know if that helps you understand the character more. I think it help tell the story though in a specific way. It's a bit different in television though I'd say as there ought to be a certain point where the writers are watching us (actors). Sooner of later the character isn’t the character in the writers room, the character is the character I am portraying. Writers should be watching what the actor is doing so they can write into what is being portrayed. It really should be hand in hand.
Where We Come From
SR: Backing up a bit Necar, when looking at your nationality, your place of birth in Germany, where you were raised in San Francisco, and the passions you've pursued- you really are the epitome of the modern-day woman.
NZ: Yes, I would agree with that. I feel it. I went to college, traveled, studied, make my own choices. You could say I have checked off all selected boxes of a modern woman. My parents are incredibly progressive and are both intellectual professionals, so yes, with all of it together. My background is officially Iran. I was born in Germany, because my dad had a job there and my mom had grown up in San Francisco. I was born at the time of the Iranian Revolution. It had just happened. I was born, then my sister was born. And then the world changed. This change has affected what we are seeing in the world today. Of course that is a whole different conversation, but...
SR: I'd love to talk with you about that as a whole sometime as well off the record. It would be fascinating.
NZ: It is. I find it fascinating and heartbreaking. I tell you though, just as a general statement, that the people who have the responsibility of running the world can't escape their own greed and strategical goals. Meantime the innocents who are trying to operate a life are caught in the middle. I am a huge believer in that if you keep fighting the good fight things will pan out.
Anyway, my parents moved back to California area as a result of what was happening in the world. It is true what they say about the U.S. and all of us being created equal. I know there are still issues, and it doesn’t feel like it all the time, but it's still the best country in the world to immigrate to as a foreigner. Even with all the bullshit Donald Trump is spewing. You know over in Europe they're still accepting refugees' but it's going to change now, because of what is going on. Even though I was born in Germany, they wouldn't let me be German. Even if we became German, they would treat us as refugees. My parents didn't want that, they wanted to be a part of the society they were living in and supporting, so we moved to San Francisco.
We are very fortunate to have lots of family living everywhere. Some in Paris, and I was lucky enough to study there for a while, then went to the University of Santa Barbara and then finished and have operated out of Los Angeles ever since. I have had a very modern and international modern life. I think it's a lucky thing as it helps give you perspective. There is no education like seeing the world.
SR: Perspectives are our biggest challenge. Nationally, locally and abroad. Even in the realm of politics.
NZ: I know who I feel would make the best candidate and maybe it is coming from the idea of needing a female perspective to come in and create that change.
Change Flowing Softly
SR: At this point I am not sure anyone feels that anyone is trustworthy that carries the letter “P” at the beginning of their career choice. Can any of them running possibly relate to you, I or the person sleeping on the street? They are all so far removed.
NZ: It does feel like that, doesn't it? The corporations have us by the throats and they have my unborn children by the throats too, that is just a fact. It would seem as they get higher and higher in their political direction they leave what their job really is. I feel though that in time there will be this tipping point. And it doesn’t have to happen aggressively, it can happen quietly and softly. Like water, direction change flowing softly.
SR: To quote the bible: “A soft answer turns away wrath.” I think that plays on what you're saying. It doesn’t have to occur in a drastic fashion, in order to make change. Sometimes soft touches and turns. Like us talking like this.
What about the time when Margaret Thatcher was leading?
NZ: That's beautiful, there are such beautiful passages in the bible. That's why its such a great book, but during that time when “The Iron Lady” was leading she was having to come at it through a strong domineering male side surrounding her. I just see it being difficult with the far leaning right for there to be room for women and the softer approach to things. I don't know if Margaret Thatcher's time was the right time for that. It is all about timing. She was just leading a charge of men with a real fist. I think though that times have changed. You know it was during the 70's that women were competing with men and who wears the pants in feminism. I think today's modern-day feminism though is different from that. I don't think it is now about competing with men, it is something greater, higher. We are in a time when strong and sexy is feminine.
SR: Is that how you would describe modern feminism then now?
NZ: Yeah, I think I would if I had to use those few words to describe it.
SR: Your character role that you play on A Girlfriends Guide To Divorce is really a modern feminist isn't she?
NZ: Yes. My character I think is really the only one that becomes the person she always wanted to be and she is totally self-made. And my character being a lawyer, when she goes into the courtroom wears a dress. And women know that when she wears a dress she is holding her own power of sexuality. It isn't worn for sexuality- it is worn to hold that sexuality as only a woman can do. When the discussion for my character, Delia, was being discussed we wanted her to hold her femininity And to have power that way.
Compare Hilary Clinton to Sarah Palin. Hilary wasn't as feminine as Sarah was. Sarah played up her femininity, not that I am a fan of Sarah, but she used it. Hilary was a little off-putting, we want a woman to be a woman not a man anymore. That is the difference in today's feminism.
SR: To be anything other than yourself, you are going to wear yourself out. How close do you relate to many of the female roles you've had?
NZ: It is really easy for me to relay to most characters. I think when you’re an artist you are a very compassionate person especially in order to see and walk in their shoes. When you find out what took someone down a certain road you get it, even if it's not something you would do. You have to find a way to relate.
SR: Communication: Probably more listening than talking.
NZ: Really that is the art of acting too. It takes more listening, to know how to react.
SR: Can you expound?
NZ: When you are in a scene and in that moment, you can't react if you aren’t listening. Any time a character acts or speaks it is a reaction to something else. So, if you are really listening, you don't even have to try, it comes naturally. If you’re really listening to what is being spoken and directed towards you.
SR: I think that is what separates good acting from bad acting.
NZ: That is a big one.
SR: Season 2 has now begun for A Girlfriends Guide To Divorce. What are we looking at in this next season that you divulge? And are you looking forward to this next season?
NZ: I am very excited about this next season. We had a wonderful season last season, we were a new show and introducing new characters to have a story develop. Now in the second season here we are and we can jump into the story. My character got her proposal last season and this season has me planning the wedding. It's such a traditional event, and people's emotions are running very high. I think my character is very much against the idea of marriage and she wrestles with it. What is marriage for? You don't have to compete economically, we have jobs of our own. What is it we are doing this for?
This years girlfriend relationships develop closer and closer this season too.
SR: It sounds like this Season 2 has really let relationships develop even deeper. How about outside the shows acting, do you develop relationships with the other actors you work with?
NZ: Yes, definitely. We have dinner together, hang out. Some of these girls have really become some of my favorite people.
SR: Series really help develop that time together. Whereas a film set might be over and everyone goes their own way at the end of 8-12 weeks of filming. Was acting always your pursuit?
NZ: Yes, it always has been. My parents have been supportive of it along.
SR: I was reading you play guitar, classical violin, and are vocalist in the alto range, along with combat arts! I didn't read though if you could cook.
NZ: (laughed) Yes, I can cook. Just don't get too often enough due to travel.
SR: With a BA in literature have you ever thought about writing and producing yourself?
NZ: Actually I finished a script last year. And yes I have worked on my “Great American Novel” for I don’t know how long. (laughed). I mean I think everyone should write, even if it's just journaling.
SR: I think being creative has our fingers everywhere and our spirits soaring. This life is a grand experiment and it's to be cherished while we leave our own thumbprint on her.
NZ: I remember I heard Dolly Parton once say something like this, ““If you have one leg in the past and the other in the future, you'll be "beeeeeeping" all over the present so do it all today because you ain't promised tomorrow” And it is so true. Everything is changing every single second. It doesn’t have to be the same path as before.