DE NAWI SERIOUS ABOUT COMEDY
TYLER De Nawi is determined to play a thoroughly believable person among the comedy mayhem of Here Come the Habibs!
De Nawi brings the same acting rigour to the role of Elias Habib as he did for his feature role as Karim Ahmad in SBS’s recent hard- hitting drama The Principal.
The middle child of the Habibs, a Lebanese family who move next door to wealthy Anglos, Elias doesn’t fit TV’s ethnic stereotype.
A university student studying chemistry, he’s caught between a traditional Lebanese upbringing and modern Australia.
“I automatically related to Elias because I come from a similar background,” De Nawi says.
“He represents a lot of what really goes on. A lot of younger guys, whether they are Lebanese or of other ethnic background, are Australians who are trying to do something honest with our lives. We’re passionate and just trying to make a good honest living.”
De Nawi got into acting by accident. After dabbling in everything from carpentry and sales, to security and architecture, a friend mentioned there was an acting class at a local theatre. He was hooked.
“That is why I can relate to Elias breaking the trend, breaking the cliche,” De Nawi says.
“I’m also doing something in my life I feel is important. I enjoy the fact I am attaching myself to projects [ The Principal and Here Come the Habibs!] that open up subjects such as diversity.
“These shows have made me question who I am and where I come from and what I represent. Elias is on a similar journey of being his own man.”