Actor Fayssal Bazzi on compassion & filming Stateless

published on July 9, 2020

An important lesson I learnt early in life that's stuck with meAn important lesson I learnt early in life that's stuck with meAnd I was still learning English in year two and she's got this worksheet that says, you know, has a ‘Today I learnt’ sectionAnd I had "Today I learnt that for people to hear me, I need to speak louder"And thanks to that lesson I don't have an indoor voice, but it does help me project in a large theatreI think for me, I'd have to ask myself a few questionsAm I happy doing what I'm doing? Is what I'm doing sustainable for me mentally and financially?

And when it comes to acting, asking am I telling the stories I want to be telling?And if the answer's no to one or more of those, then I think it's time to take a risk and aim for something betterI think empathy is an important requirement for actingTo understand the history of the character that you're playing, to know how they think, to know why they do what they doI think the more you learn and understand why someone is the way they are;you start to accept and respect and, you know,

You can find similarities with people that you didn't think there would beI think the most important lesson I learnt while filming Stateless was about humanity,and about how far a human could go protecting someone they loveWe were lucky enough that a lot of the extras at the detention centre were once refugees,and hearing their stories of survival and loss and hope —what they had to let go of, and how they've rebuilt their lives was just so inspirational and will stay with me forever

What Australians can learn from the refugee experience is to look past the stigma attached to the word refugee and remember that we're talking about human beings —people that didn't necessarily want to leave their countries of origin, but are forced to find safety for themselves and for their familiesI think if people can keep that in mind and learn from that and learn to understand that these are just people trying to survive, it could lead to compassion

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