Abbas Fasaei Claims his Place Among Hollywood’s Stars

Portia Leigh
4 min readMar 1, 2024


It’s often said that life imitates art, but some stories are too incredible to have been imagined. Such is the case with Abbas Fasaei, an inspiring actor from Iran who escaped the political turmoil of his home country in the mid-nineties and went on to make a name for himself in Hollywood, acting alongside stars such as Oscar Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal from acclaimed films such as “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and “Nightcrawler,” and other household names.

Actor Abbas Fasaei shot by Stef Boey

The fateful tale of Abbas Fasaei’s rise to stardom began in 1995. Amid growing civil rights concerns in Iran, Fasaei and his father fled the country as political refugees. The two were welcomed into Belgium, where they sought to start a new life. Despite the challenges of moving to an unfamiliar country, Fasaei found his footing, thanks in part to a school teacher that encouraged him to explore acting.

When Fasaei was 16 years old, his arts teacher suggested that he audition for the role of Charlie Chaplin in the school’s theatre production. Fasaei landed the role, and quickly discovered his talent and passion for acting.

“That first role had a special impact on me,” remarked Abbas Fasaei. “I was so scared to be on the stage, but the crowd’s positive reaction to my performance gave me the energy and encouragement to go on.”

From that point, Fasaei was hooked. But his attention was quickly drawn from theatre to the fascinating world of film and television. Just two years after his acting debut at school, at the young age of 18, Fasaei landed a leading role on “Dr. Max Pool,” an international television series that aired on JameJam, an Iranian TV network that catered to Iranian expatriates living around the world.

This experience propelled Fasaei forward as a professional actor, giving him a solid foundation to build upon, as well as further igniting the flames of his love for acting. This flame burned hot as Fasaei took on a flurry of television and film roles in Belgium and abroad, further honing his craft and building his network. He also sought out mentorship to hone his craft, eventually working with cinema icons such as Michael Margotta (“Drive, He Said,” “Third Person”) and Paul Haggis, best known for writing and producing the Oscar-winning films “Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash.”

Aside from making his name in the film world, Fasaei made a huge mark in the world of TV as a sought after actor in genres ranging from heavy hitting crime to action and drama. Over the years Fasaei has played a pivotal role in countless hits, such as the VTM series “Cordon,” which centers on a virus outbreak in Antwerp, the multi-award winning series “Vermist,” the La Rochelle TV Award winning series “De Dag,” which took home the Best European Fiction Award at the Festival de la Fiction TV, the TV Times Award nominated series “Baptiste” starring three time Primetime Emmy Award nominee Fiona Shaw (“True Detective,” “Fleabag”) and many more.

With such a strong background, it’s no surprise Fasaei was selected to star in the 2022 hit “The Golden Hour” a.k.a “Het Gouden Uur”, a television series about a Dutch detective of Afghan descent who suspects that his childhood friend is behind a terrorist attack in the Netherlands. Fasaei was cast as Faysal Taher, the series’ antagonist, and appears in all six episodes of the first season of “The Golden Hour.” Thanks in part to the impactful acting of Fasaei, “The Golden Hour” was greenlit for a second season.

Poster for “Tehran”

Fasaei also played a key role in season two of “Tehran” (2022), an Emmy Award-winning Apple TV+ series directed by Daniel Syrkin. With intrigue, suspense, and plenty of action, “Tehran” is a thrilling tale of espionage that takes place in the capital city of Iran. Fasaei is featured in five episodes as the character Hossein, leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that tries to capture Israeli spies who have infiltrated Iran to sabotage the country’s nuclear program. Created by Daniel Syrkin and Omri Shenhar, “Tehran” is an epic adventure that received heaps of praise.

“Abbas is a true artist and a very versatile actor,” said Daniel Syrkin, co-creator and director of “Tehran”. “He has high discipline and comes well prepared to the set, and yet you never know what to expect from his performance.”

One of Fasaei’s most acclaimed cinematic accomplishments to date, however, was his key role in the 2023 film “The Covenant,” a Guy Richie film starring Jake Gyllenhaal. In the film, Fasaei’s character Pooya is hired to help escort Sergeant Kinley, who’s played by Gyllenaal, and an Afghani interpreter, out of Afghanistan. In this major role, Fasaei shined brightly alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

In addition to his impressive resume as an actor, Fasaei also finds time to pay it forward by teaching. He founded ACT, the Acting for Cinema and Television academy in Belgium nearly 12 years ago and has impacted the lives of hundreds of aspiring actors, many of whom have gone on to act in major international productions.

Abbas Fasaei’s tenacity is truly inspiring, as is the riveting story of his life, which continues to impress with each new role he inhabits on the screen revealing greater depth and diversity of skill. Fasaei may have come from humble beginnings, but he has already earned a spot among Hollywood’s shining stars. After moving his family to Los Angeles, he plans on taking on bigger and better roles, as well as opening new ACT schools in Los Angeles and Dubai. The future is bright for Fasaei, and he has his sights set high.



Portia Leigh

Portia is a journalist & poet from Los Angeles. You can find her work through №3 Magazine,,, and more.