Obsessed with TV as a kid, pretending to be Fred Astaire one minute and then Zorro the next, Youssef Kerkour might not have followed his dream of being an actor if it hadn’t been for teachers at school and university who told him that he absolutely must explore acting as a profession. An uphill struggle lay ahead as Youssef moved to the US - highlights include playing Elvis in Steve Martin’s Picasso, but he was also often cast in stereotypical roles as terrorists or victims. He feels that joining the RSC and staying with them for five years marked a real change in him and he left a very different actor.
Working with Rebekah Statton on Home, Youssef found her confidence and energy infectious and he also loved working with Claes Bang on BBC1’s Dracula, earlier this year. His work as Sami on Home, for which he was BAFTA nominated, is something though, that he is perhaps proudest of, portraying a refugee at a time in such a positive and uplifting way, when refugees were getting such vitriol in the press. He remembers on the last day of filming, feeling that they had created something significant.
One of Youssef’s goals is to write and create his own TV show and his hoping that being a BAFTA Breakthrough will give him access to the people who can help make that happen. He’s also excited about the opportunities that Breakthrough will bring through their global expansion, hoping that he can be involved in plenty of cross cultural cooperation.