The Iranian refugee who lived at the Paris airport and inspired the film “The Terminal” by Steven Spielberg has died

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Mehran Karimi Nasseri lived for more than 18 years at Roissy Charles de Gaulle and was the inspiration for the film with Tom Hanks as the lead actor

The Iranian refugee who lived at the Paris airport and inspired the film “The Terminal” by Steven Spielberg

Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian refugee who for more than 18 years lived at the airport north of Paris (AFP)

Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian refugee who lived for more than 18 years at the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, died this Saturday at 77 years of age in one of the terminals.

The man had been the inspiration for the renowned film director Steven Spielberg to make the film “The Terminal” in 2004, which coincidentally told a story like Nasseri's. Tom Hanks was in charge of bringing the character to life in the film.

Nasseri's death, due to natural causes, according to an airport source told the agency < i>AFP, it occurred a few weeks after returning to Charles de Gaulle.

The Iranian refugee who lived at the Paris airport and inspired the film “The Terminal” by Steven Spielberg

Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian refugee who for more than 18 years lived at the airport north of Paris (AFP)

“Sir Alfred”as he was also known, he was born in 1945 in Masjed Soleiman, in the Iranian province of Khuzestan. Since 1988 he lived in Paris, more precisely at the airport -a place he had chosen in November of that year as his residence after having been in London, Berlin and Amsterdam looking for his mother-.

< p class="paragraph">Nasseri decided to stay north of the French capital since in the countries where he had previously passed he had been expelled by the authorities, who relied on the Iranian's lack of documentation. The case of France was different, where in 1999 he obtained the status of refugee and a residence permit.

Those who passed through Roissy were not surprised to see it; Sir Alfred had already become an emblematic figure of terminal 2F. As a result of this, the Iranian had been the subject of reports for television and radio -both local and foreign-, even before the Spielberg film was released.

At the time of At the time of his death, Nasseri still had several thousand euros on him, the airport source said, even though he had already spent much of the money he had earned from the film recreation.

< h2 class="header">“The Terminal”, the unexpected success on the big screen

Trailer for "The Terminal", by Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg came across Sir Alfred's story and did not hesitate to recreate it so that thousands of people around the world could see it. This is how the film “The Terminal” was born, which premiered in 2004, with the starring participation of Tom Hanks, in charge of giving life to the character principal.

This film combines romantic drama with a touch of comedy. It was dubbed into French and Russian, as well as being presented in its original language, English. The team's total budget was $60 million, which was well below the incredible grossing it achieved, totaling 219,417,255 million

The Iranian refugee who lived at the Paris airport and inspired the film “The Terminal” by Steven Spielberg

Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian refugee who for more than 18 years lived in the airport north of Paris (AFP)

“I wanted to make another film that could make us laugh and cry and feel good about the world. This is a time when we need to smile more and Hollywood movies are supposed to do that for people in difficult times”, the director had declared after its premiere, who had just directed another great success, “Catch me if you can”.

Along with Hanks, they starred in the film Catherine Zeta-Jones, Diego Luna, Stanley Tucci, Zoe Saldaña and Kumar Pallana.

Years ago, more precisely in 1993, the French film “En Tránsito” already had brought a similar story to the big screen, although without making explicit mention of Nasseri.

(With information from AFP)

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