We recently caught up with seasoned actor Fahad Olayan who has starred in more than 17 television shows and 20 films so far, but this is only the beginning. He is on his way to super stardom as he sparks interest from many acting and industry veterans in Hollywood with his acting talent. He was happy to share some encouraging advice for other performers as well as share who he would most love to work alongside. Here is what he had to say:
Please introduce yourself to the readers and how and when did you first get into performing?
My name is Fahad Olayan and I am originally from the Gulf States. While I was in Dubai, I worked with more than 17 television shows and with two large production companies, MBC Group Production and Rotana Production Company. I played many parts and realized that I loved acting and wanted to spend my life acting in Hollywood. I began my acting career at the age of 14 in the Gulf States. I traveled extensively with the production companies to many countries such as Egypt, Turkey and in other Middle Eastern countries. Then, about three years ago, I came to the US in order to attain my Masters Degree in Acting for Film. In the meantime, I have written many scripts and also acted in more than 20 films.
What inspired you to get into the entertainment industry?
I have always loved watching actors in movies ever since I was little. I always imagined myself on set with other actors and wondered what it would really be like. I have been inspired by so many actors that have changed my life. I aspire to be the best like actors such as Denzel Washington, Mel Gibson and other greats. Additionally, I come from a culture that inspires the imagination and I always imagined being in a film that would tell some of the colorful history of our culture in the Gulf States. Due to the fact that our culture is traditionally more oral, I always thought to take some of the stories that I grew up with and turn them into films.
What kind of training have you had, if any?
I was trained in the Gulf States and I completed my Masters degree in Acting for Film in Hollywood. I have studied such things as staging, movement, stunt, improvisation, speech and movement for both stage and film. Filming and lighting in history, screenwriting and editing, and film craft, among other things.
What has been your favorite role to play so far?
My favorite role was playing the father in the film ‘Losing Life’ where I played the lead role. This character displays so many different emotions and also, he represented a topic that is very important to me. It was great to portray someone who went from success to despondency and prison. The contrasts were inspiring and caused me to exercise and push my acting skills.
What has been one of the most exciting achievements of your career so far?
The most exciting time in my life, so far, was acting for a TV show in Dubai that millions of people have seen. This was with MBC Group in 2010. It was also really exciting for me to work with Morgan Freeman on a project called ‘The Story of God’, Season II where I played the king.
What projects do you have coming up?
I have a part in ‘Islamophobia’. The director is Omer Sarikaya and it will be filmed in Germany around September of this year. Other actors and actresses in this film include Bobbie Phillips, Lindsay Hartley and Chris Mulkey.
Who would you most like to work with if you had the chance?
I would love to work with Denzel Washington, Mel Gibson and with Morgan Freeman on The Story of God.
What are your plans for the future?
My hope and goal is to make my own film and to earn an Oscar for one of my own projects.
What is your advice to aspiring performers?
Practice is the most important thing in an actor’s life. It is important to watch a lot of films in life and to mimic the actors and learn to express every emotion possible. Versatility is also so important. It is vital that an actor be fearless when it comes to expressing the character’s emotions and this only comes with practice and deep emotion… putting oneself in the shoes of the character he is portraying. For example, a singer must practice all the time in order to strengthen their vocal chords. It is the same with actors.