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Kathreen Khavari Headshot

The Reason I Played 11 Different Characters in My Own Version of Homeland

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A while back my previous agent insisted I could only audition for terrorist roles, and in spite of my repeated protests, she almost exclusively sent me out for these roles (one of my personal favorites was a terrorist undercover as a prostitute).

I'm an actor, and as most actors will tell you, we like to play. It's why we got into this unstable profession to begin with, and I was yearning to play. I knew that the only way I'd be cast in roles that nobody would ever think to cast me in was to create those roles for myself. And so I did.

"Brain of Terror" is about a woman who binges on episodes of Showtime's popular series Homeland, then dreams that she's terrorist, prompting her subconscious to panic. The film explores issues surrounding stereotypes, media propaganda, self-identity, and government surveillance through the voices of eleven off-the-wall characters.

And so while I gave myself a chance to play, I also intended to show the world that identity is shaped by so much more than ethnic origin or the country in which one's parents were born. Identity is complex, fluid, and can be ever-changing. Pigeon-holing a person or a group of people is not only damaging to humanity, but it's beyond boring. Hopefully we'll figure that out eventually.