Tehran’s Shila Ommi and Shaun Toub Talk Naahid and Faraz’s Incredible Season 2 Arc
Tehran Season 2 plays like an extended summer blockbuster on Apple TV+.
Shaun Toub plays an Intelligence Officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Shila Ommi plays his wife, Naahid. They’re intricately involved in an elaborate cat and mouse game with the Mossad, which is thrilling to watch.
We had a chance to chat with them about their characters’ incredible arcs.
It is so nice to meet both of you. You have such an incredible arc on Tehran this season. I love it.
Shaun: Pleasure. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.
I like it even more than season one. Go figure!
Shaun: I know that because, in the business, they always say the first season is amazing, and then the second is going to go down, but the third one is going to be great.
So did you both watch Faraz’s Choice?
Shaun: I watched it before, you know, but I was actually watching it last night. I wanted to rewatch it because I’m a fan. It’s crazy that I actually watch it as an audience.
You don’t see the full picture when you’re acting. So seeing it all come together has to be satisfying.
Shaun: Yes, it is. Yes, it is.
Shila: Absolutely. And I’m watching it as the episodes come out. I didn’t get a chance to watch them before. So I’m watching them as each episode comes out. And I’m very excited. I tell you, it’s hard for me to watch myself on screen. But I love the show so much. It’s so well done.
And you’ve got such a big role this season. So you better just enjoy watching yourself as the rest of it unfolds.
Shila: Thank you.
So Shaun, starting with you, let’s start with Faraz’s love for Naahid. He loves her so deeply that he went against everything he believed in, everything his gut told him, and let Marjan help her.
What do you think was his thought process? Was it his love that let him get that feeling out of his head and hope for what Marjan could do for Naahid?
Shaun: Exactly, you know, Faraz is an Intelligence Officer, you know? And he’s smart. And he’s been in the business for a long time. So he sees the problems, and the first time he sees Marjan, there is an easy feeling that he wasn’t quite sure about. A foreign woman is coming to my house, and it was kind of weird, you know?
And the love that Faraz has for Naahid. I really she is his world. Naahid is his world because they don’t have any kids or anything. And it’s all about her. But at the same time, he also loves the country. So he loves his job and really loves the country, and wants to make sure that everything is okay.
Shila, Naahid has progressed so much this season. She went from being frightened to opening up and really seeing a new side of herself. She’s got a lot going on. And why was it so easy for her to open up to Marjan and not for her to open up to Faraz, for example.
Shila: So I think it’s important to understand that Marjan has been a therapist for 40 years, I’d say. And her husband, who has passed away, was a very incredible therapist, and part of Marjan’s storyline is that she loves the country of Iran. It’s her country.
But she loved her husband so much that his legacy was very important to her. So the two of them are incredibly brilliant therapists and very good at what they do. And so, I don’t want to give away too much, but the reason why she took on this other job that was secondary to her therapy and her incredible talent as a therapist.
So after Tehran Season 2 Episode 7, I wonder how Naahid will reconcile the fact that the woman she trusted so much held the key to Faraz’s near-death experience and blackmailed her to get him the antidote. How is that going to change how Naahid sees all the progress she’s made so far?
Sheila: It’s a huge obstacle to her progress because, throughout Season 2, she’s been working on gaining her self-confidence back after the catastrophe that happened to her in Season 1. So it’s a gigantic setback.
But this is a very exciting show, and things keep changing. Things keep changing. So we’ll just have to wait and see.
That is true. And Shaun, twice this season, Faraz made decisions about Tamar that weren’t as expected. He let Tamar go, and he let her family member live. What’s going through his mind about Tamar? What’s going through his mind? Why the dance? They both do it. Is it mutual respect, or what’s going on there?
Shaun: No, I don’t think it’s mutual respect. As you saw in the second season, Faraz was not the same as he was before because he was shot. Mentally, he wasn’t there. And also, what happened with his Naahid? You know, she was his wife. He’s an Intelligence Officer, and he loves the work and everything.
But at the same time, he needs to figure out why, all of a sudden, he had to let Tamar go. Because Faraz got a call from Marjan, she was basically saying stand down. And in a moment, he has to make a decision, he has to weigh the options, and that’s why he let her go.
He wasn’t quite sure what he could do at that moment because he was afraid that something would happen to Naahid, and he loves his wife immensely.
So letting her go, regardless of the reason, kind of put him in the hot seat again. Ali was pretty much taking him in, and then he was accidentally killed. Now, what happens? What does he do now? How many people other than Ali knew what was going on up to that point? Nobody, right?
Shaun: Nobody knew. And also, it was very difficult in that scene because he’s his protégé. He loved Ali. They’ve been together for a long time. And now, he has to figure out what he can do next.
Yeah, it’s a dance, and that’s why people love this series because there is something else coming along. And oh, you think you know, and all my friends go, “Oh, I know what’s going to happen,” and then boom. They don’t know.
They certainly don’t see what’s coming in the final two episodes. So I’d like to talk a little about that. Wow, wow, wow, what an amazing penultimate episode leading into the finale.
Shaun: There is so much going on in the last two episodes that it is just mind-boggling. There is so much going on.
Shila: Such a and you know, one of my favorite episodes to this day is Episode Seven, even though the character of Naahid is not very much in it. But when I read it on the page at the end of the episode, my mouth was just physically open. Like I had to physically shut my mouth from the twist that had just happened.
It’s a blockbuster.
Shila: Yeah, it’s just, it’s I’m just so grateful. So grateful to be on this show. And also can I say the fact that Apple TV+ crosses continents. So we get to have a global audience and watch this amazing show.
Because I’ve been very heavily involved with in-person theater, I know how it feels to have two people in the audience. What I do so is amazing. Not that it was always two people, but you know what I mean.
Sure, well, some TV series have that issue, too, right? Yeah, this one does not.
Shaun: Yeah, I got to tell you, you know, the last two episodes are just amazing. And yeah, people will love it.
And knowing what I know of the finale, there just has to be a third season.
Shila: My hope, if there was a Season 3, is that Tamar would come to us. Come to mommy, Tamar. [laughs]
That would be an interesting turn.
Shila: Niv Sultan is such a delicious, sweet human being. Just as a person, and I really love to have scenes with her. She’s lovely.
What about you, Shaun? What do you hope happens?
Shaun: I, honest to God, I don’t know. Because they always surprise me. You know, they always surprise me. And I was talking to Dana Eden, and he tells me you know a little bit about that. First of all, we are hoping that people will love the second season. And then we’ll see, we’ll see.
Shila: It’s just such a wonderful show. It’s such a complex narrative. And what I love is that this show opens people’s hearts and minds and is a conversation starter. I just feel so fortunate to be on such an important show that is so fun to watch and exciting and white-knuckling.
Shaun: It’s a show that speaks to collective humanity. It’s very complex, but at the same time, that’s why people are watching it because it’s different. It doesn’t show that Iran is bad or that Israel is bad. That’s why it’s such a great show, and people are watching it.
Right, the lines are blurred.
Shila: I was going to say it’s like a thrilling roller coaster ride. But to get on the ride, you have to be able to read some subtitles. But if you read subtitles, you’re going to get so much more back.
Shaun: Yeah, because the characters are very complex, you know? Every character is really interesting. It’s been amazing.
Episodes one through seven of Tehran Season 2 are available on Apple TV+, and the finale will premiere on Friday, June 17.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.