May 12, 2014
PLAYING a weathered, middle-aged Iranian criminal with an estranged 23-year-old son in his latest film Healing is a far cry from Don Hany’s first feature film role in The TV Set (2006) as Guy In Mall.
When Community mentions his blink-and-miss him debut alongside David Duchovny and Sigourney Weaver, Hany has a chuckle.
“That was a lucky break,” he said.
“At that point, I was in the USA at the time doing a short film and about to do an EMT course at UCLA, because I have always been interested in medicine, but that break came up.
“It’s funny how these things happen.”
Since those humble beginnings, the in-high-demand Hany starred in a slew of television series, including Offspring, building an impressive resume.
For Hany, tackling Healing’s complex role of Viktor Khadem in a story about prisoners caring for injured wild eagles in a minimum-security prison farm was a no-brainer, even though he almost blew his chance of securing the role with a not-so-smooth audition.
“I nearly blew my audition; I put talcum powder and theatrical make up in my hair to make it grey and Googled the accent, put the audition on tape and when the director Craig Monahan saw it he called me and said ‘I didn’t know Viktor had a Greek accent’,” he said.
“I thought ‘Oh f*ck, it’s over.’
“But the challenge was what attracted me to the role; I didn’t realise how hard it would be to play him and to shed so much of the Arab influence from my Dad.
“I didn’t think of Viktor as Persian, I think he had forfeited his culture and he is confused.”
Healing is in cinemas now.