International actor Ashley Tabatabai has benefitted immensely from his worldly background and time spent in an array of countries, surrounded by exotic and varied cultures, languages and people. Born in the UK to parents of English, German and Iranian descent, he was raised in Spain, and picked up an American accent during his years in International school. All of this lends to Tabatabai’s mysterious aura enhanced by a grasp of dialects which make him an invaluable asset for casting directors. But it’s his raw talent as a performer that forms the keystone in the illustrious career he’s built for himself.
Tabatabai has been extremely active in the industry for years. First and foremost he is an actor, delivering powerful performances in several television series including “Color Me Grey” and “Have I Been Here Before?,” as well as in films such as “Digital You,” “Louis: Lost In Motion,” and the upcoming drama “Falsified.” His love of acting, however, stems from his passion for storytelling. That’s why the extensive list of credits he’s accumulated includes not only his myriad roles as an actor, but also his work as a writer and producer on an array of acclaimed projects.
“I operate on two fronts. One as an actor, auditioning for and booking great roles, and the other as a storyteller and producer who creates his own content. I believe the two to go hand in hand,” Tabatabai said. “I’m a huge advocate of creating original work and telling your own stories.”
Last year Tabatabai assumed the role of undercover cop Johnny Clemence in the first episode of the upcoming series “Color Me Grey.” Surrounded by mobsters and in too deep to get out, the constant risk that Johnny will be found out grows more and more imminent. As the suspense grows to a crescendo, viewers will find themselves glued to the edge of their seats. Though everyone in this series leads a double life, this is especially true for Johnny.
“Johnny is a really enigmatic character, quietly observant and always processing and calculating,” Tabatabai said. “This is a guy who has gone undercover to infiltrate a criminal organization, whose own members lead double lives to help do their underhand business. So in essence Johnny is operating multiple covers at all times.”
Another of Tabatabai’s films, the early 20th century period piece “Louis Lost In Motion,” blew audiences away in 2014 with its imaginative approach to storytelling. Filled with intrigue and mystery, the film focuses on two key figures in early filmmaking — Louis Le Prince and Thomas Edison.
“[This] is a film based on the conspiracy theory around Louis Le Prince, who is famed as the first person to ever record moving images on his single-lens camera. He mysteriously vanished after boarding a train, before ever getting to patent his invention,” Tabatabai said. “To this day, no one knows what happened to him or why.”
Often, it is particularly difficult for actors to play real people, contemporary or historical. When the opportunity to arose for Tabatabai to do so, he jumped at the chance.
“The period costume as well as hair and makeup really helped me to drop into the body of the character. Being immersed in the actual locations where he actually spent time was a great way to picture what his experience might have been like,” he said. “There is always a sense of pressure involved when portraying a real person, especially someone as iconic as this.”
Check out the trailer for “Louis Lost in Motion” below:
Most recently, Tabatabai stars as Javier Baena in “Falsified,” an upcoming film about the reunion between a father and the son who was stolen from him at birth. Tabatabai also wrote and produced the film, which is based on a frighteningly real epidemic of infant thefts that occurred over the course of 50 years.
“It’s very much about the dynamic between a parent and child, and in particular a father and son,” Tabatabai said, describing the stirring drama. “On another level I feel it’s important to raise awareness of the scandal that happened in Spain.”
The vast range of roles he’s portrayed speaks volumes to his talent and reputation as an actor. Eager audiences can catch Ashley Tabatabai in “Falsified” later this year, and in the upcoming film “Digital You,” which is set for release in 2017.