Farid Yazdani had his eyes set on performing since his eighth-grade teacher encouraged him to pursue his passion. Over the years, Farid has assembled a compelling body of work, from Syfy’s Killjoys to HBO Max’s Titans and Amazon Prime’s The Boys

Currently, he stars as RCMP officer Oscar Wallace in CBC Gem’s Moonshine, a series following the Finley-Cullen siblings as they duke it out for control over The Moonshine, a dilapidated summer resort. 

Recently, I had the privilege of chatting with Farid about his role on Moonshine, bringing his comedy Day Players to life, what’s on the horizon for him and more. 

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This interview has been condensed for clarity. 

Melody McCune: We at GGA love a good origin story. What’s Farid Yazdani’s origin story?

Farid Yazdani: I was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but I grew up in Mississauga, Ontario. Right at the get-go, I was always pursuing acting. I credit my grade eight teacher, Mr. John Reese, who told me I could use my class clowning for good versus evil.

He informed me of a regional arts program school in Mississauga called Cawthra Park, a high school you had to audition for, and you either majored in arts, music, dance or drama. I auditioned to be in the theater program, and I got in. So, I got to spend four years working in a theater program, which essentially meant I got to do drama two times in a year for university credit.

Many things fell into place; I ended up going to Humber College’s Acting for Film and TV program. I thought that would be a better fit, seeing how theater is a four-year term thing, and I felt like the college program would be more fundamental, more hands-on.

I worked with Sheila McCarthy and some great actors. I also got into the comedy program at Humber. One thing led to another, and by the time I was ready to graduate, my teacher referred me to my agent. I had an agent before I graduated, and I booked a guest star role on a Disney show called My Babysitter’s a Vampire. From there, I never looked back. I kept auditioning and working until Moonshine.

MM: Let’s talk about Moonshine, where you play Oscar Wallace, an RCMP officer that’s undercover at The Moonshine resort. How did you get involved with the project?

FY: I was having a rough time during the pandemic. Like many of my colleagues, we were uncertain as to what was going on in our industry. So, I decided to pursue a career as a car salesman at a Cadillac in Woodbridge, Ontario. I used to do promo on the side, and I thought that would be a great transition. I ended up getting the job — I got a big office, me and three other guys.

It was a great opportunity. But lo and behold, at the same time, I was auditioning for Moonshine. My agent calls me on the second day of work and says, “What are you doing?” I’m like, “I’m sitting in my empty office, depressed. This sucks.” He says, “Well, you have to quit. You got to get on a plane and fly out to Halifax. You booked Moonshine.” I was in absolute shock. I couldn’t believe it.

The audition process was different since it was during the pandemic, so it was over Zoom. I had an initial self-tape, and then I did two more callbacks. One was a chemistry test I did with Anastasia Phillips, who plays Rhian. The third was the final audition with Sheri [Elwood] and Scott [Smith].

I thought it went well. Of course, you never know in this business. And I booked it. So, I always tell Sheri she saved my life, or else I would be sitting at a tedious desk job working at a Cadillac dealership and depressed. But it was a recurring role on Moonshine, and then I became a series regular — I’m in all of the episodes for Season One and Season Two. It’s been a fantastic dream come true. 

Moonshine actor Farid Yazdani

Pictured: Farid Yazdani

MM: How does Oscar fit into the overall narrative?

FY: Oscar Wallace starts as an outsider, and he ends up being an undercover officer whose real name is Colin Alpert. He’s investigating a drug smuggling situation at The Moonshine, and he thinks the Finley-Cullens are involved. He gets tied up with one of the family members, Rhian Finley-Cullen, and starts to fall for her.

We see Oscar’s contemplation of whether he will follow his career or follow his heart throughout the season. It’s quite the quirky storyline. Later on, you get to learn more about Oscar’s story arc, and it ties into the Finley-Cullens. He infiltrates the family one way or another; I’ll put it like that.

MM: Do you share similar traits with your character?

FY: I hope not! He’s a bit goofy and nerdy. I think Oscar is funny, but unintentionally. I like to be funny intentionally. But yeah, I firmly believe we always bring a bit of ourselves to our characters — it’s almost impossible not to. I think his energy is similar to mine, and I’m a very high-energy guy. Oscar Wallace can get fired up quickly and excited about the most mundane thing.

MM: Do you have any fun on-set memories?

FY: There are so many. It’s been an absolute dream working with everyone on the show. We’ve become a family in real life as well. We’re all a five-second drive from one another, so we always hang out. Alex [Nunez] and I have become good friends. Me and Erin Darke, who plays Crystal, and Tom [Stevens]. All of us — Anastasia, Jennifer [Finnigan]; I could name the whole cast. 

There’s something nice with shooting Season Two; being on set filming and then meeting up at my house to watch the season premiere. It was rewarding to be among cast members, friends and family to share in the show’s premiere, then going back to work the next day to continue filming. 

MM: What can audiences expect for the rest of the season?

FY: One wild ride. If you could name a thing that’s happened on a TV show, we probably have it. There’s singing, dancing; there are special effects. There’s rock and roll. Some surprises are coming your way. I don’t want to spoil too much, but a lot happens, and I think the audience will continue falling for the characters and investing in them.

I think that’s what makes our show great. I know I’m speaking with rose-colored goggles, but all the characters, as wild as they are, I think the audience wants to root for them. Ultimately, that’s the goal as an actor; you want the audience to believe in your story. 

Not to mention, Sheri Elwood and her team have created such a fantastic world to live in at The Moonshine. Part of me wishes it were real. 

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MM: You also created and star in the comedy Day Players. Can you tell me what that’s about and what inspired you to make it?

FY: I’ve always been a firm believer that actors have to create their work. I think it’s a big mistake sitting at home, waiting for your phone to ring because you could be waiting forever, and it might never come. I decided in 2016, when I was doing Suits; I would create my own show and try to dip my feet in the producing world.

So I created Day Players. It’s a show about six hardworking actors (very meta for me) taking the world’s worst acting class. There’s the ethnic actor, the method actor, the starlet, the child star, the goofy one and the geek. Essentially, we’re all of the clichés in the acting world.

Our short film won the Canadian Comedy Award in 2018, so I took that momentum and adapted it into a web series. We finished shooting the web series earlier this year, right before I filmed Moonshine. We’re currently in production.

It’s a six-episode, 10-minute series starring myself, Ashley Leggat, Brock Morgan, Alex Bird and Patrick McKenna, to name a few. We’re hoping to sell it to a network or a streaming site, if not release it on our own as a web series. 

Moonshine actor Farid Yazdani

Pictured: Farid Yazdani

MM: Do you have any advice for aspiring creatives looking to get their foot in the door of the industry?

FY: Don’t give up, have thick skin, keep going and don’t be complacent. Laziness is one of the worst things and complacency. Whenever you feel content or have done something, reach for something more significant and move on to the next thing. Keep creating work.

I firmly believe that. Don’t give up because our industry is one of the few industries where nine times out of 10, you won’t get the job for which you applied. Maybe you have to wait for the one that’ll change your life.

MM: What else is on the horizon for you, career-wise?

FY: Well, I’m hoping to take that momentum and keep going. I’m on a feature film coming up called Tehranto as Som. We got backed by the Telefilm Talent to Watch, and it’s written and directed by Faran Moradi, a good friend of mine. I continue to audition every day.

Like I said, never complacent. I’m hoping we’ll find out if we get a third season of Moonshine; that would be a dream come true. We finished wrapping Season Two, so I’m excited for that to come out.

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MM: Did you binge-watch anything interesting during the pandemic?

FY: I binge-watched Moonshine because I didn’t get to see it until our showrunner released it to us. That was great. But other than our show, I did binge-watch The White Lotus, which was interesting.

It was a bit overhyped for me, but I thought it was still good. The writing was excellent, and the acting was phenomenal. One of the shows I’m enjoying now is Hacks on HBO Max. It’s about a standup comedian, and it’s pretty funny. 

MM: Name your top five favorite films.

FY: It’s a dated movie, but Glengarry Glen Ross because the writing is exciting and different. Four Rooms, a Tarantino film, and anything from the Star Wars series. The Matrix is excellent.

I have to include something cheesy — a film that inspired me to be an actor, Liar Liar with Jim Carrey. It’s the last movie that made me laugh aloud in the movie theater, and I couldn’t contain myself. That was the movie that made me want to go into acting and comedy. 

MM: Farid, thank you so much for chatting with me, and congratulations on everything!

FY: Thank you, Melody!

Be sure to follow Farid on Instagram and Twitter. You can watch the last two episodes of Moonshine on CBC and CBC Gem

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