John Turturro, Adam Sandler, Sayed Badreya and Rob Schneider on the set of Sandler's comedy "You Don't Mess with the Zohan." Photo by Sayed Badreya November 6, 2007.

Sayed Badreya on Making It

Sayed Badreya came from a ghetto in Egypt and now he seems to be happiest actor in Hollywood. On this episode of Making It, Sayed says that American movies influence the whole world and he gives wise advice to aspiring entertainers.

How did a shoeless boy from a ghetto in Egypt become the seemingly happiest actor in Hollywood and what is his advice to aspiring entertainers? Sayed Badreya tells his inspiring story to Kirby Kristen on this episode of the SCENES Media video series Making It.

Sayed tells Kirby that his journey as an Egyptian American is to tell the story of a dreamer and “there is no blueprint to become a success in Hollywood.” Sayed proves it with his many credits as an actor, writer, director and producer and all of this began with him learning how to do business at the age of nine as his family struggled to survive. His dream come true began with love and he says it best to Kirby in the Making It video above. Sayed’s  complex character roles range from drama to suspense to comedy and action movies — all the way to his current role starring in Cartoon Network’s “Apple & Onion” series featured below.

In the photo above, Sayed Badreya is onset with John Turturro, Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider in Sandler’s edgy comedy You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008). Sandler’s lead character is an Israeli Special Forces soldier who faked his death to re-emerge in New York City as a hair stylist and still he meets an array of characters linked to his past life, such as Hamdi played by Badreya.

Sayed’s Hollywood acting roles include the blockbuster movie Independence Day (1996), the comedy Kingpin (1996), The Insider (1999), the comedy Shallow Hal (2001), Stuck on You (2003), The Three Stooges (2012), and he plays the villain Abu Bakaar to Robert Downey Jr.’s hero in Iron Man (2008).

Among his indie film credits, Sayed is writer, director and producer of the documentary Saving Egyptian Film Classics (2002).

Sayed’s TV work includes acting in “The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story” (1988), the sitcoms “Seinfeld” (1994) and “The Nanny” (1998), “The Practice” (2002), “The West Wing” (2004), “Homeland Security” (2004), “NUMB3RS” (2006), “The Unit” (2006), “Easy Money” (2009), “Lost” (2009) and many more roles. For example, he worked as an actor, Arabic dialect coach, and Islamic technical advisor on “Path to 9/11,” the two-part TV series by ABC/Touchstone (2006).

He’s also the voice of Ramses the Great Pirate Captain in the “Uncharted” action adventure video games produced by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 4.

Now here is a sweet and special treat: Sayed Badreya as the voice of Falafel on Cartoon Network’s show “Apple & Onion.” Falafel is Apple’s and Onion’s New York landlord.

Written By
Anita Crane is a writer and editor at SCENES Media.
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