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11/11/2014 05:57 pm ET Updated Nov 11, 2014

Why Jon Stewart Cast A Mexican Actor To Play An Iranian In 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart stopped by HuffPost Live on Tuesday to talk about his directorial debut, "Rosewater," and his choice to cast a Mexican star as the film's Iranian lead character.

"Rosewater" tells the story of Maziar Bahari, an Iranian reporter who was detained, interrogated and tortured in Iran after joking around about being a spy during an interview with "The Daily Show" correspondent Jason Jones in 2009, according to Rolling Stone.

Gael García Bernal, a famous Mexican actor, was cast for the role of Maziar. When asked about his decision to cast Bernal, Stewart said it came down to who had the best audition.

"He brought that agility and a sense of being nimble and the only concern we had, and Maziar stressed this, is 'can he dance as well as me?'" Stewart told HuffPost Live.

Stewart said that in the beginning he took a purist approach, but the real-life Maziar urged him to embrace his "inauthenticity." After all, Maziar argued, Stewart isn't Iranian.

"That gave us an ability to expand and make the story more universal," Stewart said. "Because there was a concern that it could be seen as purely an Iranian story and we didn't want that."

"Rosewater" will be released in the U.S. on Nov. 14th.

Watch the full interview with Jon Stewart here.

HuffPost

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