Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
The Palestinian actor Ali Suliman. Valery Hache / AFP
The Palestinian actor Ali Suliman. Valery Hache / AFP

Ali Suliman is on the busy side of the acting business

From becoming one of the region's most prolific - and award-winning - leading actors, to working with the likes of Kanye West and Mark Wahlberg, Ali Suliman has had more than just a busy year.

If there's one word to describe the past six months for Ali Suliman, it's busy. "I haven't rested since July," says the Palestinian actor, who has emerged in recent years as one of the most prolific leading men in Arabic cinema and is now starting to make a sizeable impact in Hollywood, much to the detriment of his spare time.

"First I was in Belgium, Belgium to San Sebastian, San Sebastian back to Belgium and then I come home for two days, then I fly to America for two months shooting, come back, three days, to Marrakech for shooting, come back, then two days to Dubai."

As it turns out, the film Suliman was promoting at the Dubai International Film Festival in Dubai - Ziad Doueiri's The Attack, in which he plays a top-ranking Tel Aviv surgeon whose wife becomes a suicide bomber - was the reason he couldn't attend Dubai's 2011 festival, where he won Best Actor for The Last Friday.

And true to form, when The Last Friday - a gently comical drama that saw Suliman play a downbeat Amman taxi driver - won the actor another award, this time at the Carthage International Film Festival in November, he was shooting another film in Los Angeles. "They phoned me to tell me I'd won," he laughs.

The film in question, Lone Survivor, could be among Suliman's biggest to date when it comes out later this year. Based on the real-life account of a failed Navy SEAL operation in 2005 against the Taliban, it stars Mark Wahlberg in the lead and was a chance for Suliman to reunite with Peter Berg, who directed him in 2007's The Kingdom.

"For me, it's a real pleasure to work with him again, and also to work with and meet Wahlberg," he says. "He's really down to earth, and a good partner."

Then there was Cruel Summer, Kanye West's Doha-shot musical short which premiered at Cannes last year and in which Suliman played a sheikh. "I really loved his vision," he says of West. "He's a real artist."

Rubbing shoulders with hip-hop stars and Hollywood elite and having his phone constantly buzzing with news of more awards may be all well and good, but for Suliman, his next move involves a break.

"My next travel is for a month to London for a vacation with my wife."

aritman@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National