The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - News -

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 hard­hit­ting 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.”

ByColin Vick­ery


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