The immigrant who inspired Tom Hanks to create the “Terminal” died at the airport


Sad news to report on the real inspiration behind this Tom Hanks role.

Tom Hanks has played many memorable roles. From the role of Captain Chesley “Sally” Sullenberger in Clint Eastwood’s “Sally” to Fred Rogers (with whom Hanks turned out to be a relative) in “A Beautiful Day Next Door,” the actor tends to take roles based on real people. Perhaps one of Hanks’ most underrated films based on real events is the 2004 comedy drama Terminal. The overlooked Steven Spielberg directed movie is one that few people talk about these days, but it’s better than many might think or remember. It is loosely based on a real-life Iranian, Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who lived in a Paris airport terminal for 18 years. Unfortunately, it is reported that Nasseri has died.

According to AP News, Nasseri suffered a heart attack on November 12 and died at Charles de Gaulle Airport, which he called home for almost two decades. Nasseri lived in Terminal 1 of the airport from 1988 to 2006 for legal reasons. However, after receiving immigration documents (which he reportedly refused to sign), he settled in a Paris shelter before returning to the airport. Over time, this man became a local celebrity, even receiving the nickname Lord Alfred from the staff of the institution, and quickly met and shook hands with travelers making their way through the institution. During an interview with the publication in 1999, the man said that at some point he planned to leave this place. He said:

Eventually, I will get out of the airport… But I’m still waiting for a passport or a transit visa.

In the film, which depicts him in general terms, Hanks is shown as an Eastern European stuck in an airport terminal after being denied entry to the United States, which means he cannot return home because his country collapsed as a result of a military coup. The plot may seem a little far-fetched, but the real story of Nasseri is even more eventful.

Mehran Karimi Nasseri was born in 1945 in Sulaiman, a part of Iran then under British jurisdiction. He left Iran to continue his studies, but when he returned to his homeland, he found that he had been arrested for participating in a protest against the Shah and was deported without a passport. After that, Nasseri’s life was connected with incredible bureaucracy and bureaucracy until he found himself in the terminal of the Paris airport. At one point, he was arrested by the French police, but could not be deported because he did not have the proper legal documents.

While “Terminal” seems like a real story, it’s important to note that, as with many Tom Hanks films, it’s not. Despite being inspired by the real-life Nasseri saga, the only fundamental similarity between Victor Navorsky’s portrayal of Hanks and a real person is that they both lived in an airport terminal. This is where the similarity between them ends. In addition, although the filmmakers allegedly paid Nasseri for his story, he was not involved, was not listed and does not appear in the film.

“Terminal” may not be considered one of Hanks’ greatest films, but it’s still amazing, and it’s worth watching just because of Navorski’s charming acting image. Those who are interested in finding out where to watch this team of Hanks and Spielberg can read about it. As for respect, Nasseri, you can also dig into his legacy a bit.


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