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Elyas M’Barek: Director asked him to undress

Elyas M’Barek
Director asked him to undress

Elyas M’Barek during an event in Berlin.

© imago images/Metodi Popov

Elyas M’Barek is one of the biggest German-language film stars. He remembers his beginnings – and a disturbing situation.

The actor Elyas M’Barek (40) is one of the biggest stars in the German-speaking entertainment industry. In a new interview with “Bild am Sonntag” he talks about his beginnings and sexism in the film industry, among other things.

“I’ll show these people one day”

It took him “a very long time before I was even noticed,” explains M’Barek. When he was still unknown, he was advised to “change my name because I would never be successful with it”. He could remember that “certain people didn’t even want to say ‘hello’ to me”. At that time there were “simply no people with a different skin color or with a migration background on German television”. But all of that drove him and M’Barek thought: “I’ll show these people one day …”

M’Barek was seen in the first productions in the early 2000s, playing smaller roles in “Forsthaus Falkenau” or in “Tatort”. However, every film and series fan knows him today from “Turkish for Beginners” or the “Fack ju Göhte” series and other films such as “The Collini Case”. His new film “Liebesdings” starts on July 7th. He is a movie star in it – including alongside Alexandra Maria Lara (43) and Lucie Heinze (34).

“Get undressed and moan!”

“I had to do a sex scene once and the director said beforehand, ‘Get undressed and moan!'” he continues. M’Barek can remember how his colleague cried afterwards “and I was totally upset too”: “I wouldn’t tolerate that anymore today.” Unfortunately, according to the actor, such things still happened.

However, he thinks it’s good “that dealing with each other is sensitized” and that you “can no longer say everything” or behave, “as used to happen more often, especially when you’re dealing with topics like #MeToo, sexism and diversity thinks”. In society, “a lot has happened in a positive sense”. At the same time, however, he thinks it is “questionable how prejudice is sometimes made”. In this way, a person’s reputation is sometimes destroyed “without guilt really being proven”.

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