Describing me is pretty easy. I was born in Iran, grew up in the Chicagoland area, went to Indiana University, co-founded the civic-minded art and education non-profit Waterwell in 2002, wrote/directed “The Accidental Wolf,” Broadway actor from Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and The Humans, Obie winner for Guards at the Taj, and most recently, an actor on “Succession,” “Love Life,” Spider-Man: No Way Home and “Inventing Anna.” I'm a Baba of two little ladies and husband to the fiercest woman.


Comments: 130 • Responses: 32  • Date: 

beancounterferg71 karma

Hi Arian! Must say, Stewy is my favorite character on Succession.

What are your favorite tv shows currently airing, if any?

ArianMoayed-Official75 karma

OZARK! Dying over this show. Julia is killing it!

Beautiful-Set386832 karma

I recently went to buy tickets to a Waterwell show and noticed you had a sliding scale ticket price because of need. I also saw the amount of work you put into getting Accidental Wolf picked up, as well as getting the civic minded shows at Waterwell made. What are your thoughts on accessibility in the arts, both for the patron and the artist? What can power holders of theater and film/tv do to help people of all backgrounds/incomes access the arts, as well as get their own work out there?

ArianMoayed-Official46 karma

It has been Waterwell's mission from 2002 to give access to the arts and education to all communities. And removing financial barriers is a huge part of the work we do to make that happens. Our production of The Courtroom was often free to all, because it was important to us to have more people in the immigration community get a chance to gather and discuss with our art...then try to get ticket sales (which are usually not that much anyway!)

The accidental Wolf, when we put it out independently, was free on our own interactive website.

Our education program that teaches the "Artist as Citizen" ethos is completely free of charge and educated 200+ students every where for a decade! Access to the arts is ESSENTIAL for betting of a student's life.

It's huge to make sure that people from all backgrounds/income/immigration status have access to the arts because the arts are a way for us to understand how we are functioning in society.

Thanks for getting a ticket! See you at the show!

emlikethebook21 karma

what’s the best sandwich you’ve ever eaten? also, what was your favorite scene to shoot for succession?

ArianMoayed-Official32 karma

I love a good Tuna Melt.

Tons of them. Croatia/lavender scene was a highlight. And all of the group scenes because we get to hang with the cast and crew more!

acidelectra20 karma

Hi Arian!

Thank you for answering questions today!

Firstly, I was wondering if writing your own show has impacted how you approach your other roles as an actor.

Secondly, I was wondering if you could weigh in on this debate in the Succession community: do you think Stewy was actually at Kendall's 40th, or no, given the current rift in their friendship?

ArianMoayed-Official27 karma

Writing totally impacts my acting. Totally. As an actor, I try to fulfill what the writer's need for my character in the the purpose of having him there. So you can "act" towards what the writing is asking of you. And it helps my writing as well. Making sure that every scene is needed and necessary.

I don't think he was there. I have a feeling that Stewy would think that the party was lame? But I don't really know the answer to your question. Maybe he was there?

joeexotics4thhubby14 karma

What was the best/most comfortable/most lux piece of clothing you got to wear on Succession? Any $2000 ballcaps for Stewy?

ArianMoayed-Official31 karma

That black leather jacket is fire. Paul Marlow made it. stunning. Love love love it.

JeffRyan114 karma

Can you compare the experience of holding onto Succession spoilers vs holding onto Marvel spoilers?

ArianMoayed-Official25 karma

I kinda wish I didn't have to hold onto spoilers because I want to discuss with everyone! Like Tom at end of S3!

SlushyWx12 karma

First off, huge fan!! You're incredible in Succession.

Here's my question: does the Succession blooper reel exist?

ArianMoayed-Official18 karma

Ha! I don't think so? I'd like to see that.

clarmo11 karma

Arian, hi! First of all, wowhugefanyouareamazing. Incredible job on the Accidental Wolf- you have created something very special and it's so great to see you behind the camera :))

Secondly, haha- I wanted to ask about your perspective on Stewy's role in the fourth season. We know that Stewy hasn't received an explanation from Kendall on why he up and left during the takeover bid... and understandably, he's salty. Do you think he'll trust him again, coming back into the fold to help them navigate the GoJo deal and subsequent fallout?

ArianMoayed-Official20 karma

Thanks for the love for The Accidental Wolf. Tell your friends. We'reproud of it and Season 3 wraps up soooooo much of the story. Can't wait for you to find out.

I have no idea what will happen but I'm sure Jesse Armstrong will make something amazing. I kinda am intrigued of where Stewy is going to go next! (One guarantee: he'll have cool clothes. Hahaha!)

paradoxwatch8 karma

I know absolutely nothing about you. How would you like people to think of you, and how do you think it differs from the view others hold?

ArianMoayed-Official18 karma

An artist as citizen.

joeexotics4thhubby8 karma

On the acting side, what parts do you never get called out for that you would LOVE to play?

ArianMoayed-Official16 karma

I would love to do a comedy. I really thought in my 20s I was going to do more comedies but I ended up doing tons of dramas. COMEDY!

sofiawol10 karma

You in a rom-com would just be PERFECT. Or a comedy in general actually.

ArianMoayed-Official13 karma

Yes. Would love a rom-com.

AgeLow53498 karma

Arian, 1) Discovering your work through Succession, and from that what you do with Waterwell and then to see your career skyrocket has been so damn cool. 2) What was it like doing two movies, two tv shows while running a nonprofit and teacher last year? Do you have any advice for people who want to do multiple artistic projects at once while maintaining a personal life? Also, you once sent me and my friends a Cameo and it was by far the best video we could have asked for

ArianMoayed-Official10 karma

Thanks for the love!

I strive in working hard on numerous projects. I love teaching at Waterwell's Education Program at PPAS. And those are the pieces that fill me up emotionally and spiritually. Which make the acting work easier and removes pressure off of me! It's not easy and I have great support and I truly believe in the work!

My advice: Just do it. Just do whatever it is that you want to do. No one knows what they're doing out just go for it! Make it happen!

Cameo: Hilarioussss!

rokuogan7 karma

Hi, Arian! Thanks for doing this, very excited to watch Inventing Anna later this week! :) My question is, what do you do to prepare for roles both when you're just working through the script and before the actual scene itself?

ArianMoayed-Official8 karma

Great question. It changes to role to role, and set to set.

Inventing Anna was unique because Todd is real person. And right before auditioning, I did 12 days of Grand Jury Duty so that was an education for Todd. Also, with my work with Waterwell's The Courtroom ( which was working with exclusively with transcripts...I had a chance to do that digging again, when I read the transcripts of the actually Delvey case. Ann that informed what Todd Spodek was for me.

All of this to say: It's all unique to the job and I just kinda go with it.

sofiawol7 karma

Have you seen Ted Lasso? If yes, who do think would win in a "fuck off" battle between Logan Roy and Roy Kent?

ArianMoayed-Official37 karma

A Roy will definitely win this one.

T0BYs_Grundle6 karma

Arian! I discovered you through Succession. Great work!

What's your favorite filming location for Succession and why?

ArianMoayed-Official6 karma

Croatia was amazing.

kravinmorehed5 karma

What experience do you think made you turn to sadomasochism?

ArianMoayed-Official9 karma

When I was performing in Guards at the Taj at the Atlantic Theater in NYC, I fell and broke my ribs TWICE in that show. That was painnnnful.

succ__throwaway4 karma

Ariannnn! As someone working at a nonprofit cultural organization myself, I would love to know:

  1. What attracted you to the nonprofit world?
  2. Do you have a lesson or two you've learned during the process of founding a nonprofit?

Thank you! I've loved you in everything I've seen you in!

ArianMoayed-Official8 karma

  1. out of necessity really. In 2002, we knew we wanted to make a civic minded art and education company, and the only way to do it was thru the non-profit.

  2. There are way too many to list but the thing I love about the non-profit world is the passion and empathy that most have for their 501c3. That passion leads to really exciting opportunities and makes you so resilient.

teshigaharas3 karma

Hi, Arian! I’m a huge fan of your work. Your evocative style of expression has always filled me with awe and encouraged me to follow your projects closely – from Succession to Love Life to The Accidental Wolf and now, I can’t wait for Inventing Anna!

What I’d love to ask is what inspires your writing process? Is there any advice in regards to writing & directing that you were given and how did it guide you? Is there any piece of media or an experience from when you were younger that shaped your style of writing?

Sending lots of love from India <3

ArianMoayed-Official6 karma

This is so kind! Thanks for the love.

August Wilson says that GREAT art has to run on three cylinders: Interpersonal, Global and Spiritual. So when I write, I have to make that I'm filling all of these cylinders with my perspective on the world. And hontesly, that's how I chose my acting jobs as well! It needs to have these cylinders.

And...I'm fine with writing something for 6 months and realizing that it won't work and putting it away. I don't think of that as a waste...I think of that as part of the process. (Also relieves pressure!)

ArianMoayed-Official6 karma

My Iranian parents and I watched Chaplin, I Love Lucy, Three's Company, Hitchcock, Fiddler on the Roof...I'd say those inspired much of writing today.

ideaoftheworld3 karma

How would you describe Kendall and Stewy’s relationship? Also what’s your favorite snack?

ArianMoayed-Official9 karma

Friends from High School. And they used to dream about running the world and being the biggest and richest names in the world.


SoftwonSurehand3 karma

Arian, big fan! Could you talk about coming up in the industry as an Iranian? And when's the last time you went to Iran? And also have you ever considered being in Iranian movies? I feel like a lot of the more prominent Iranian auteurs are missing someone with your brand of wit

ArianMoayed-Official10 karma

Here is an article from 2009 in the LA Times that kinda talks about your industry question.

Would loveeeee to be in any/all Iranian auteurs movies. Please please please!

I'm writing a bunch of projects about Iran and being Iranian. Hopefully some of those will be seen in the future!

trotskeee3 karma

Are you the only Arian Moayed that you know?

ArianMoayed-Official8 karma

No. I think there is another one actually.

jayshosseini3 karma

hi i already asked a question but completely forgot something else bc i was so excited 😭 how would you compare the worlds of some of your characters who are all big ballers? i’m assuming todd is wealthy because he is a lawyer representing such a high profile case, and then there’s stewy and kian? like do you think any of them would do half of what katie did in the accidental wolf or are they all content with their wealth and lifestyle? love you!!

ArianMoayed-Official13 karma

Love you!

Todd is working class married to wealth. To answer that first thing.

Prior to The Humans which I did on Broadway for a long time, I never played anyone rich. And now I'm playing a bunch of rich folks. Go figureee!

Icanseeyourpixels-2 karma

Heyy! Love your character stewy in succession.

What’s your favourite song currently?

NickMendoza1122 karma

I just want to say that Stewy in Succession is an amazing character , love your work !

I would like to ask you what is the last move that left you speechless/in awe and what are some of your favourite movies of all time ?

ArianMoayed-Official3 karma

I just saw this amazing Iranian movie called The Night with a few friends in it including Niousha Noor and Armin Amiri!

And being at the premiere of Spider-Man: No Way Home...I was speechless the entire time. Sitting with my wife and two daughters...magical!

vampy-rin2 karma

Hi Arian!! What initially got you interested in acting? Any actors, movies, directors, or plays that particularly inspired you?

ArianMoayed-Official4 karma

Big Cassavettes fan. Love Laurie Metcalf. Love Asghar Farhadi (got robbed yesterday for the Oscars, FYI). Just a few!

sofiawol1 karma

I already know this is a long shot but I'm trying anyway... Have you thought about writing/directin (or one of these two) a theatre play? If yes and you don't mind sharing what are your biggest inspirations? - just want to add that I would love to see you act in the flesh, esp something YOU wrote, if you'll ever do an European tour i'll be so happy i could die

lots of love from Italy

ArianMoayed-Official2 karma

Hey! Thanks for this. I've written plays and directed them. I co-Founded a civic minded art and education company called Waterwell in 2002. Engrossing stories tackling complex civic minded shows.

Check us out:

Also: Waterwell's next play is 7 Minutes written by your fellow countrymen Stefano Massini.

pjain3171 karma

Hello Mr. Moayed, thanks for taking the time out for this. I was curious to know if there's any people or popular figures that you looked to for inspiration when thinking of how to portray Stewie for Succession? He's one of the most intriguing characters and your portrayal of him fascinates stands out in every scene.

ArianMoayed-Official3 karma

Thanks so much!

To be honest, I don't really have a person that is an inspiration for Stewy! The closest I can think of are frat boys in college...there entitlement and feeling that they're "on top of the world". And he doesn't like and doesn't need to - that's something I latch onto. And I think that him being of Iranian ancestry gives him a level of respect towards others...that I think is in there as well.

proudeveningstar1 karma

What is your favourite movie of all time? Sending love from the UK!

ArianMoayed-Official2 karma

I love the movie CLOSE-UP by Kiarostami. Chaplin's City Lights. Big fan of Moonlight! The Goonies!

joeexotics4thhubby1 karma

What was the thing that made you think, "I've got to get behind that camera!"? and what was it like leaping from shorts to directing a whole series?

ArianMoayed-Official2 karma

Great question!

To be real, I just wasn't getting any traction trying to go through the normal routes of creating films and/or shorts. So I kinda made it solo with the producing help of Damon Owlia, Gregory Franklin and Jayne Sherman.

The Accidental Wolf started as a short and then was made into a 10 minute episodes on it's own dedicated interactive website...completely free. And we put it out there and it went viral. And then Kelli got nom'd for an Emmy for her performance. We then made a season 2 independently again and Topic acquired the show. That's kinda how it all played out.

Artistically, it was a lot conversation and responding to the world at hand.

[deleted]0 karma


ArianMoayed-Official2 karma

For The Accidental Wolf, one of my favorite scenes that I shot was the Sierra Leonean community meetings at the end of Season 2. Working inside an actual community center and getting to talk and listen to the Sierra Leoneans while creating a piece of art...makes that my fav scene to shoot. Also Kelli O'Hara and Sahr Nguajah are giving killlller performances. They are so brilliant.

Jessyasperge2 karma

Okay now I have to check Accidental Wolf out

ArianMoayed-Official2 karma

Let me know what you think. One evening fast binge, and fun and scary at times.