Gossip Guy “ Ismaïl L'Hamiti is Younes in Wtfock episode 111″ [1/4]
Coming up on Gossip Guy:
E: Every week I give my guests a present.
E: And – I actually forgot last week. Sorry, Olivia, if you’re watching. I owe you a present. But this week I didn’t [forget] and it’s always in that red box.
E: So there’s something inside it now that you can open, whenever you want to. You can open it now, if you want to.
I: Okay, yeah. I want to –
E: Yeah? Okay, take the box. I – we hadn’t met each other before this episode.
E: Sometimes it’s easier to give something personal [if I know the person]. But I asked some of your fellow cast member what I could get you.
I: Do I slide it open?
E: You slide it - at the front there’s this flap that opens outwards.
I: Oh, yeah.
E: And then you can open it up.
E: What up, guys. Welcome to a new episode of Gossip Guy Podcast. My name is Ender Scholtens and today I’m here with Ismaïl. What up? Everything okay?
I: What up? Yeah, you?
E: Everything good. You can hold the mic up to your face.
I: What up? Everything okay with you?
E: Everything good. For the people who might not know who you are, where can they know you from?
I: Uhm, you can see me on wtFOCK and some theater productions. Déjà Vu,* a series that aired recently. And a lot of short films. But mainly theater.
E: So acting –
I: Acting, yeah.
E: That’s your passion? Is that your long term dream as well?
I: Uhm –
E: You can really put the mic –
E: It’s fine. It’s a bit awkward at first. I’ve had people over who had it down here.
I: So I’ll keep it –
E: So acting is the dream?
I: That’s – yeah. It’s a dream I’ve been pursuing for some time now.
E: Cause, how old are you?
E: 25. Okay, and when did you start acting?
I: I think around the time I was 11 or 12 or something.
E: Okay, hardcore.
I: Theater. Yeah.
E: And most people will probably know you from your role as Younes in wtFOCK. How did you get involved with that? Did you go for an audition?
I: Yeah, there was an audition. I was right in the middle of a theater production back then, “Iemand moet het doen,”* which will premiere in September, by the way.
E: Oh-oh! Subtle, plug. We love to see it.
I: And in the middle of rehearsals I got several mails and messages saying: “Oh, Izzy, you should definitely audition for this.” And so I did and – yeah. I got it!
E: Obviously! What was it like to enter a cast that had already made 4 seasons together – or however many.
I: Yeah, that was – an adjustment, at first. But it’s a great cast. All the actors and actresses are amazing people and I was able to find my way quickly and get along with them. Yeah, it’s the last season so you know you’re one of the last pieces of the puzzle in a very big story, and it’s going to end with you. So yeah, I wasn’t really able to experience a lot of depth because it was the end. But I did get enough from it, so to speak, I learned enough and made some friends and –
E: Did you experience any kind of pressure because, as you said, you’re one of the last pieces of the puzzle, in that story, and it’s up to you to kind of end the story?
I: I mean. Pressure. There is some pressure but it’s also an honor, of course, to be there for the ending.
E: Of course.
I: To make sure it has a beautiful ending.
E: Were you following the show before you got cast?
I: Honestly, no. After I got the audition, I did try my best to look up the vibe and see what the other seasons looked like. And I did watch one or two seasons, I think. But the rest I didn’t…
E: Maybe you didn’t have the time. There’s a lot of content online.
I: It’s a lot. A lot of content.
E: I do think it’s cool to see how much young talent Belgium has to offer. Because we – I mean, it’s what I said earlier: I think there’s a tendency to always go back to that pool of established actors in Belgium, whenever there’s a new project. But I have the feeling there’s this whole new generation of talented actors that came out of this – I mean, with wtFOCK. And I count you among them.
E: I think it’s cool how you guys grew. I mean, some of you.
I: Yeah, it’s… It all happened really fast, actually. But yeah, I’ve noticed it as well. I also see a lot of young people, and friends of mine, who are really doing very well for themselves. And I think all of us are moving in the right direction. I also kind of get the feeling that – I mean, I don’t just kind of get the feeling, I’m 100% sure that we’re in the wake of Adil and Bilall* and that they opened a lot of doors for us.
I: For sure.
E: So I think we have those two directors to thank for a lot.
I: They’re doing an amazing job.
E: They really are.
I: Shit, dude.
E: For sure. No, bro, if I could ever get them on the podcast that’d be so cool.
I: That would be cool for sure.
E: Anyway, you kind of – cause you’ve already done a lot of acting work, but I do get the feeling that – but maybe I’m wrong – that this is one of your bigger –
E: Or at least, that most people have seen. What’s it like to get stopped on the streets, now?
I: Uhm. Yeah, it’s…
E: It’s a weird question, I know. But it’s – go ahead.
I: Uhm, yeah, it’s new. It takes some getting used to.
I: But of course, it’s really great. I told you earlier: when people recognize your work, and then reference a specific scene and say: “Wow, the thing you did then and there.” Or: “I really liked the way you said that, it was great.” It makes me feel really warm inside.
E: What’s been your favorite interaction so far?
I: My favorite. Man, my favorite. You mean with a fan?
E: Yeah, or someone – it doesn’t have to be a fan. Maybe one of your friends who was like: “Bro, I saw that scene and I thought it was really great.” Sometimes that might be even more valuable than someone you might not know that well.
I: No, you’re right. Yeah, I don’t know. I think – I think. Yeah. It’s a difficult question.
E: Yeah, you don’t have to answer, of course.
I: I think what I liked the most was that my parents were happy.
E: Okay! That’s cool.
I: Cause they know I’ve been pursuing this for a while. So to come home with really good news, made them feel like: “Okay, this thing he really wants to do, he’s kind of making it work.” So that was this moment of: “I told you.”
E: Yeah, that is really cool. That you’ve kept going, even though sometimes people might tell you –
E: Stop dreaming.
I: Exactly. And: “Think about it, be realistic.”
I: “And look for something that can…” You know? But, yeah, I was really determined in what I did, and what I wanted to do.
E: That’s cool.
E: Something else entirely: If you got to choose between a rhino as a pet, or a bear, or a kangaroo. Which one do you want as a pet?
I: What was it again?
I: A rhino?
E: A rhino, a bear or a kangaroo.
I: Or a kangaroo.
E: And they’re house trained. You can – you can ride on the rhino’s back or whatever, and take it to school.
I: I’d love to have a monkey, actually.
E: A monkey. Okay, that’s cool too. It wasn’t on the list, but fair enough.
I: A monkey that can sit on my shoulder and I can take everywhere, and that can fetch me things when I ask it to.
E: That’s sick.
I: “Get me a drink.” And then it’s off to the fridge.
E: Bro, the shit I’ve seen! It’s probably all movie magic, but making monkeys steal shit like in The Hangover.
E: The pick-pocket monkeys, that go and steal shit. That’s cool.
E: Okay, if you had a monkey as a pet, what would you have it do or what would you train it to do?
I: Like I said, fetch me drinks and stuff.
I: When you’re just chilling at home, and – I don’t know what I’d call it. Uhm –
E: What’s good monkey name?
I: Good monkey names… I don’t know why Rocco came to mind.
E: You know, that’s a fucking great name for a monkey!
I: “Rocco, Nalu!”*
E: No, that’s –
I: And then it comes and brings me a little can of Nalu.
E: What else can you do. No, yeah, like you said: snacks and drinks when you’re on the couch and you don’t want to –
I: Get up.
E: That’s fucking funny. Also, if you brought that to a party.
E: Holy shit, all eyes on you.
I: Definitely all eyes on me.
E: All eyes on Rocco, actually.
I: On Rocco, yeah.
E: No, that’s cool. Do you have any pets?
I: Yeah, I have a cat.
E: Not a monkey.
I: I had two cats, but one of them just disappeared. A black one and a white one. It was super balanced, yin and yang. Now I only have the one, the white one. And, yeah, I’m a big cat person. I’ve always had cats. I think they’re very stubborn animals.
E: It’s true. They can just do their own thing, and then every once in a while when they want to, they’ll give you some attention.
E: And then you can give them a cuddle.
E: And then they’re gone for a couple of days.
I: Then they just skip you.
I: I think that’s pretty cool, really.
E: Yeah. Exactly. Cause the only thing you have to do is give them food and water
E: And clean the litterbox. So yeah… But so you’d rather have cats than dogs?
E: You would?! Okay.
I: I would like to have a dog as well, but I do think I’d always choose a cat.
E: Alright. Okay, yeah, fair enough. Everyone has their own opinion. I’ve also always had cats but I do think I’m more of a dog person.
E: I’m more of a dog person with someone else’s dog.
I: Ah, okay.
E: Cause then you get all the fun parts of having a dog. You don’t have to take if for walks or clean up shit, you can just pet it.
I: No, that’s true. I have this dog – I mean, my buddy’s dog, and it’s such a pleasant animal. Every time I see it we just vibe. We have this –
E: “Ismaïl! Hey!”
I: We need five minutes to give each other the attention we need from each other.
E: Oh, that’s fun. That’s fun to hear.
I: Dali. Dali is his name.
I: It’s a cool name.
E: That is a cool name. I always like it when animals are given people names. Cause one of my close (girl)friend’s dogs is called Ward. And Ward, to me –
E: When I hear Ward I don’t think –
E: Of a dog, you know? When you say Floppy, I think of a rabbit, or something.
E: Ward doesn’t scream dog to me.
E: But I do think it’s cool.
I: I wouldn’t immediately think of a dog either. It gives me more sophomore college student from Leuven* vibes.
E: Good one.
I: “I’m Ward, I’ve been living in a dorm in Leuven for two years now.”
E: Good one.
I: “I enjoy some Cara* every once in a while.”
I: “I like to [?], you know? Really let loose.”
E: Or Ward is in his early thirties, and he’s in IT, I think.
I: That could be it as well.
E: He runs a start-up. “Oh, that’s Ward, he’s the one behind the computer.”
I: Yo, Ward!
I: But he isn’t paying much attention, he’ll nod at you but -
I: But then right back to work.
E: He’ll take his headphones off, give you a nod, and then put the headphones back on. That’s Ward. Or just a dog.
I: Or a dog.
1. Déja Vu also starred Willem De Schryver
2. Translates to: Someone has to do it.
3. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. Belgian directors with Moroccan roots. They make Belgian movies, but they also made Bad Boys 4.
4. Nalu is a ‘healthier’ energy drink and it’s what Ismaïl is drinking during the interview
5. Leuven is one of the big college cities in Belgium with a big concentration of university students.
6. Cara is a brand of cheap beer.
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