'Jimmy Vestvood' Rejects Hollywood Iranians

03 June, 2016

Iranian-American funnyman Maz Jobrani has made a movie about an Iranian who moves to the United States and becomes a hero.

The movie is called "Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero."

In the film, people from the Middle East are good. This is just the opposite of many Hollywood movies, where Middle-Easterners are bad or evil.

"We wanted to do a movie where the guy who saves the day in the end of the movie is of Middle-Eastern descent, because, as you know, nine times out of 10 when you see a Middle-Easterner in an American movie, he's saying ‘I will kill you in the name of Allah.' You know, it's usually a terrorist or some bad guy."

Jobrani says the script for the movie was written over 10 years. But the movie was filmed in Los Angeles in 18 days. He says no major production companies would make the film, so he and his partners made it themselves.

"Hollywood does not know that there's an audience for this type of film yet, but I know through my standup comedy that there is an audience that wants to see Middle Easterners in a positive light and in a fun light. Not just Middle-Easterners, but also Americans who come to my shows who want to see a different side of Middle-Easterners."

Jobrani believes Americans will understand and like some of the jokes in the movie.

"I think that Americans are very smart, and I think that we underestimate a lot of Americans. There's a lot of Americans who are more internationally-minded -- they are curious about other parts of the world. And I know that because of my shows.

"When I do live shows, I look out in the audience -- it's, like, 50 percent just white Americans, black Americans, Asian-Americans, other Americans than Middle Easterners."

I'm Christopher Jones-Cruise.

Sama Dizayee reported this story for VOANews. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

Hollywood – n. where the American movie industry is based

descent – n. the people in your family who lived before you were born; your ancestors

script – n. the written form of a play, movie, television show, etc.

audience – n. the people who watch, read or listen to something

standup comedy – n. a performance in which a comedian stands in front of people and says and does things to try to make them laugh