ACTOR BECAME ONE OF THE "BAD GUYS" IN 'DOMINO' AFTER DE PALMA OBSERVED HIM ON SET
Bouzan Hadawi, pictured here from Antwerp this past June with Domino cinematographer José Luis Alcaine, was interviewed for an Efe article that also posted today at El Universal. In the article, Hadawi indicates that while he may have originally been cast in a small role requiring only two days of work, after observing him on set, Brian De Palma seems to have kept him on and perhaps enlarged his role as one of the "bad guys." Hadawi has joined the production in each of its shooting locations thus far. There is also potentially big news in the article's very last sentence, strongly suggesting that Domino is looking to possibly premiere at next February's Berlin International Film Festival-- but the line-up for that fest will not begin to be revealed until December, so temper that enthusiasm for now...
Also quoted in the article is Domino's Spanish producer, Antonio Pérez, who repeated what he told La Voz de Almería in July by saying that after Copenhagen, "we will return to Spain to shoot the second unit." It is interesting to note that if the production does return to Almería this month, it will likely coincide with the fair that runs there from August 18-26. Here is a Google-assisted translation of the full article:
Bouzan Hadawi, the actor who fled the war and met Brian De Palma
Madrid - At 23, Bouzan Hadawi decided to leave Aleppo, the city where he was born and began to be an actor, because he saw that the war in Syria would eventually bury his dreams; however, five years later a stroke of luck has put him at the gates of "Domino", the new film by Brian De Palma.
"I left because I did not want to be a soldier and because I had to achieve my dream, so I took a student visa and I went to Turkey, where I have a family, and then my father told me to come to Spain,” explains the Syrian actor in an interview with Efe, held in Madrid where he is on a break from filming "Domino."
Hours of study and hundreds of casting calls got him a small role in "Truman", by Cesc Gay, and then slipped into Spanish homes through the TV series "Serve and Protect."
"When my agent told me that I could work with Brian De Palma, I started to cry with joy, although the contract," he laughs, "was only for two days."
"Domino," a European co-production involving French Backup, Spain's Maestranza, Danish studios Schonne Film, and Belgian Zilvermeer, stars as protagonists actor Nicolaj Coster-Waldau and actress Carice van Houten, also companions on “Game of Thrones".
Coster-Waldau is a Danish policeman who maintains a relentless pursuit of the murderer of his former partner, just as Europe is targeted by terrorist attacks; the companion of the deceased (van Houten) helps him hunt the suspect, not knowing that this man works for the CIA with the mission to dismantle the ISIS cell that is behind the attacks.
"De Palma is very meticulous, he looks a lot in the eyes, he almost gives the orders with his eyes, and I would say he is shy", reveals Hadawi, who became one of the "bad guys" in the movie after the master watched him on the set.
The young man, who declares himself meticulous and hardworking "one hundred percent", began with 14 years in the theaters of his city; in one casting he got elected to be Alexander the Great in a production in Palmira. He was 17 years old. Now, tears come to him when he remembers that Palmira no longer exists.
"It was a unique place, special, it was the soul of the theater from the time of the Romans, before even those magical places we will never see again, neither I nor my children," he laments.
Hadawi came from an extended family of Ottoman origin, many of them doctors, so his parents hoped he would follow the tradition. But no. He took advantage of his Arab-English bilingualism and became an actor.
He learned French, and now he also speaks Spanish. "And Japanese if you give me a role," smiles this cat-eyed young man of intense green color.
"Domino", shot in locations in Belgium (Antwerp and Brussels), Denmark (Copenhagen) and Almería (Spain), is going ahead as planned, although with a change in the shooting schedule, as confirmed to Efe by the Spanish producer Antonio Perez , who denies the rumors of "collapse".
"We continue to shoot in Copenhagen, we will return to Spain to shoot the second unit," said the head of the Seville-based production company Maestranza Films.
"I came to Spain as a student, but I am a refugee of feeling, because I feel the same as my brothers, also that when I get out of Spain, I have no country," Hadawi says.
"Since I can remember, De Palma is one of my favorite directors, 'Scarface', 'Mission Impossible', 'The Untouchables'” - recalls Hadawi- “the other is Quentin Tarantino. And I will not stop until he hires me," he says, very seriously. “My life is to fight for a dream because I know they are fulfilled."
He will continue studying and preparing to get it and, meanwhile, will accompany De Palma in the presentation of the film at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival.