Sharifinia’s acting yields captivating performances in series like ‘The Pahlavi Hat’ and ‘Hereafter’, but none affected him as deeply as the villainous role of Valid in ‘Imam Ali (AS)’ which was also a big break for him into cinema.
Perhaps the most interesting career related revelation was the veteran actor's comments about playing Valid. "The role was a very complicated one as Valid had all aspects of a human. He was a multidimensional human, and as a matter of fact we had not had a role as complex as Valid’s in our series up until then,” he said.
"Valid was a heavy drinker and everyone told me I fitted the role but I should tell that I have never ever even smoked nor have drunk alcohol in my whole life. So playing someone always drunk in the series was so difficult," Sharifinia added.
Sharifinia also puts on weight to show how committed he was to his role. “I had to gain weight about 10 to 15 kilograms to play that role. In the beginning, they made me look heavy by fastening sponges around my waist but I found it very difficult as it sometimes moved up or down.”
“We postponed the shooting of my parts and instead other scenes were shot until I could measure up to what they had made of me using those sponges,” he continued.
Though Sharifinia has claimed Valid as his most difficult role ever played, among a lengthy resume of intense and developed characters, the actor undoubtedly undertook the role with such strength that it will be remembered for generations to come.
‘Imam Ali (AS)’, produced by Mohammad Beikzadeh and directed by Davoud Mir-Baqeri, hits iFilm TV screen every night (except Saturdays) at 23:00 GMT with three repeats the next day at 05:00, 11:00, 17:00.
The epic series focuses on the life of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib. It covers the events before the caliphate of Imam Ali (AS) to his martyrdom in Kufa, Iraq.