August 5, 2016
African Artists’ Association member Hakeemshady Mohamed will be featured in Submergence, a new romantic thriller directed by Wim Wenders which stars James McAvoy and Academy Award Winner Alicia Vikander. Born in war-torn Somalia, Mohamed made his way to the US and started pursuing acting, booking roles on films like Default with David Oyelowo and WebGirl. Submergence was filmed in France, Germany, Spain and East Africa and completed principal photography last month. The film will be released in 2017.
We caught up with Mohamed recently to chat about his experience working on the film.
What is Submergence about?
It’s about a British man who is held captive by Jihadist fighters on the eastern coast of Africa. Almost simultaneously and thousands of miles away on the Greenland Sea, a beautiful woman is getting ready to dive in a submersive to the ocean floor. In their respective encloses these two characters start to reminisce about their first encounter which led to a very passionate and lasting romance.
How did you get the job?
I actually auditioned for it. My manager told me about this very interesting project he submitted me for. He asked me to put myself on tape. After reading the sides and preparing for this role, I felt extremely connected to the character. We e-mailed my audition tape to the casting director who is based in London. Win Wanders, the director, really liked my read and choices as an actor. He requested a Skype interview. It went really well, to say the least. I truly enjoyed talking to him about not only this specific project, but about life in general. We have so much in common! Mr. Wanders offered me the part, and I accepted it with a lot of humility. Needless to say, I felt and I still feel extremely humbled and grateful for such a gift.
What attracted you to the story?
I fell in love with this project as soon as I read the script. I actually love the writing! This story takes you on a totally different journey. It is an incredible love story that defies tragedy, obstacles, and trials and tribulations.
What were you most excited about with the project?
I was truly excited about the character of Amir Yusuf for many reasons. First and foremost, I felt like this was the most challenging character I have had to bring to life. Despite what most people might think, this is a big role. Win Wanders and everyone involved made me feel extremely comfortable and valued. I simply loved working with him; what a wonderful director and a great man.
Also, I had to travel to Spain for ten days to shoot all of my scenes. It was such an incredible experience. I simply love Madrid.
Last but not least, I had the honor and privilege of working opposite James McAvoy. James is an amazing actor! He was so professional, kind, and generous. I’ve learned a great deal from working with him, and the rest of our talented cast and crew. I am forever indebted and thankful for this unique opportunity. I feel so blessed and I look forward to more opportunities to come.
– The African Artists’ Association Staff Writer