Ever since he was a little kid, Zayek’s face was like a refresh button to his family, his teachers, his friends and even to people he hardly knew. His passion for acting was not an acquired talent that he developed as he grew up. Some people are simply born actors and Zayek is one of them.
He was always the first one to depend on whenever his school wanted to produce a social event or a theatrical piece. This is because Zayek was always active. He used to make funny and extremely creative videos (like imitating his teachers) at every occasion where he used to multitask as the actor, the camera man, the director and the editor.
Zayek can handle any character perfectly; he can be dramatic one minute and a clown the next minute. In 2004, he participated in the Innovative Theater Competition in the University of Balamand, and won the Second Prize for the role of Charlie Chaplin.
He joined his school’s Drama Club and won the first prize in all Lebanese Catholic School Competition for playing the role of Jesus Christ in June 2007. Also that year, Zayek won the first prize in the school’s Talent Show.
In 2009, while graduating from Antonine Sisters School-Ghazir, Zayek was awarded the Outstanding Student Certificate in recognition of Artistic Talents. Only one month later, he earned another certificate for completing 300 Hours of Acting Workshop in Amchit, under the mentorship of Dr. Elie Lahoud (Professor at the Lebanese University) who directed Three Sisters; a play written by Antoine Chekhov, that Zayek was also a part of.
He then moved to Los Angeles where he joined Stella Adler, The World-Renowned Academy of Acting, Hollywood. He spent around two years and a half in the studio that taught a lot of Hollywood stars like: Robert De Niro, Mark Ruffalo, Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro... He came back to Lebanon this year, with the will of contributing as much as he can for his society.
“As an actor, I like making people relate to the character I’m portraying. I like affecting and inspiring them. So I came back here because I really want to give my best to Lebanon but of course, I plan on going back to master my skills abroad so that I return back here with a lot more to give,” he said.
It has been confirmed that Zayek will be soon the new face on the Lebanese comic show Basmat Watan where he will perform and introduce new characters to the show.
Also after his return, Zayek finished shooting his first feature film: “Sur Ton Sein.” Moreover, he participated in two other short films here in Lebanon: “The Call” and “If Law“. He also recently joined the Syndicate of Actors in Lebanon.
In the states, Zayek gave it his all. He was always working inside and outside of the campus to pay for his courses. But working was never a problem, and did not hold him back from excelling in his studies.
“I understand that in order to qualify for the standards that Stella Adler requires, Mr. Zayek must demonstrate that he constantly displays extraordinary talent as an actor. I am happy to offer my testimony that he meets that high standard,” said John Jack Rodgers, Executive Director at Stella Adler.
“It was a big pleasure to have been taught by her. She made me fall in love with the craft of acting,” he said.
As a lead/main character, Zayek participated in more than 10 award winning plays and short films. Just to name a few:
Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Written by Steve Martin, Directed by Amy French).
The Visit (Directed by June Barfield).
Angels in America (Written by Tony Kushner, Directed by Timothy McNeil).
Zayek also was part of Mega Path: a Spec Commercial (web commercial). He also auditioned for numerous TV shows like: Glee and Touch.
There has been some talks about Zayek joining the crew of a very high budgeted 2013 film in the U.S. Nothing is confirmed yet since it’s still in its pre-production phase.
“I believe that for a person to be successful, one must constantly project the image of success,” he said (inspired by the movie American Beauty).
Hardworking and talented new faces like Elias Zayek are a big treasure for our country. When we talk about the great Lebanese people that truly contributed for our country, we don’t talk about our politicians. We talk about our amazing artists that succeed more than the government in uniting us with their pieces of art. Yet this generation is still fighting over politics. Isn’t it time to give our new faces a chance?
by Miriam Atallah
For more info about Elias Zayek:
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elias-Zayek/112785518876188
WATCH: Demo Reel: http://www.imdb.com/video/demo_reel/vi3775570201/
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