Dave Merheje says he wasn’t stunned when “Ramy” star Ramy Youssef received a Golden Globe earlier this yr, beating out the likes of Bill Hader and Paul Rudd.
“The show is so well done from the writing to the filming,” says Merjehe, 39, who performs Ramy’s buddy Ahmed within the Hulu sequence. “Even if I wasn’t in it and just watching, I would be like, ‘This is such a great show.’ ”
Now in its second season, the present’s slice-of-life narrative follows Ramy Hassan (Youssef) a first-generation Egyptian American millennial dwelling in New Jersey as he navigates the ups and downs of balancing household expectations with courting, work, and his Muslim religion. It’s thought of to be the primary mainstream Muslim American sitcom.
“I’m only speaking for myself, but we’d see [available] roles of terrorists and bad people, where it’s not fun [to audition],” says Merheje, a Lebanese-Canadian standup comic. “You’re not like, ‘I’m not likely excited.’
“So when you see other representations [of Middle Eastern people] that are positive, or where you like the way it’s depicted, you’re thinking ‘I want more of that!’ ”
In “Ramy,” Merjehe’s Ahmed is a kindhearted physician. Like the lead character, he’s a fellow Muslim. Merheje grew up Christian, however says he didn’t must do a lot analysis for the function.
“My hometown is Windsor, Canada, on the border of Michigan,” he says. “We had a huge Middle Eastern community. There was a large Christian and Muslim population there, so I had friends who would go to the mosque. You hang out with your friends from different religions and they share things with you and you see what they do. I had that information growing up.”
Merheje met Youssef about ten years in the past in New York’s stand-up comedy scene and so they stored in contact. When Youssef began growing “Ramy,” he reached out to Merheje. “I felt it was interesting and I felt it was going to be great,” Merheje says. “I wanted to be a part of it.”
Merjehe didn’t have a lot display expertise earlier than “Ramy” aside from the Canadian sequence “Mr. D ” — so it was a giant deal for him to share scenes with Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, who visitor stars in Season 2 as Sheikh Ali Malik, a Sufi chief who runs a mosque with a “cool” fame.
“I remember watching ‘True Detective’ and I was like, ‘Oh that would be wild to work with somebody like [Ali],’ ” he says. “He’s such an excellent actor … and it simply occurred. His vitality was nice — he was type and he put you comfortable. Just being in a scene with someone whose executed so nicely in his discipline was superior.
“As someone who wants to get deeper into acting, it was a great experience.”