Going against the norm, 24-year-old Jad Mallah from Jal El-Dib hopped on a plane from Lebanon to Los Angeles in 2019 and is now living out his wildest Hollywood dreams.
Since he was a kid, Mallah always wanted to act, play different characters, and star in movies. But growing up in a family that wanted him to work in a business with them made him suppress his passion for acting and keep the secret to himself out of fear of disappointing them.
It was only when he downloaded the Instagram app, that he discovered a whole world of funny videos, short skits, and a lot of acting.
“I really enjoyed (the app) and [it] made me take that step and start doing my own funny videos as a way to express my love for acting and entertaining people,” Mallah told The961.
“After a while, my content started to take a lot of success and recognition and my profile started to grow bigger and bigger with a really supportive and engaging fan base.”
That support and love for content-making inspired him to take it to the next level. “I created a team of videographers and editors to improve the quality of my videos so the people who follow me can enjoy it better,” he explained.
His experience made him realize that there was no shame in doing something different that was deemed an “unsuccessful” career just because it didn’t have the label of “lawyer, doctor, businessman, engineer and etc,” he told us.
“I decided to learn acting in a professional way and have a technique for it so I did my research and applied to one of the top acting schools in California, the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre.”
“When I got accepted, it was the happiest moment ever, I felt like this is where I start living my life, doing something I love!”
“I spoke to my family about it [and] they were shocked and disappointed at first. But after a while, they stood next to me, understood why I took that decision and supported me.”
It was clear to them that it was something he loved and always wanted, especially because of the love he put into his social media content.
Mallah told us that he’s inspired by Sir Ian McKellen, especially after watching the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit which made him “feel something special about acting and this beautiful imaginary world that an actor can go deep into.”
Some of his Hollywood achievements so far include his first and second short movies, “Joe Riv” and “Peaches the Cat”, his first feature film, “Hollywood Laundromat”, and taking the role of the main actor as a pilot in Tyler River’s music video for “Hookiviri Remix” featuring Cristion D’or, Favo, CitoOnTheBeat.
He’s also continued entertaining his followers on social media doing skits alongside some of the biggest content creators in the United States. He also shot a commercial skit video with Adam Waheed (Adamw) for the Old Spice brand.
“I am surrounded by amazing Lebanese people here in L.A. It makes me feel at home to be surrounded by the most humble and generous people in the world, we stand next to each other help one another if it’s career-wise or anything personal.”