Actor Anatol Yusef is the latest young Brit to find success in the United States but when he first arrived in the country two years ago’ on nothing but a whim’ he never imagined he would stay. However, America has proven to be one of his best moves yet.
The actor originally found fame in the UK at an early age with roles in ‘Grange Hill,’ ‘Jeeves and Wooster’ and ‘The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles’. Then after studying acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, he embarked upon a number of notable roles on TV and film, which included playing the younger Bob Hoskins character’ ‘Ray’ in the award winning film ‘Last Orders’ with Michael Caine and Helen Mirren. Anatol also enjoyed intensive stage experience after being invited to join the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company.
Having worked hard to build up a reputation as a rising star in the UK industry it must have been hard for Anatol to make the leap into the great unknown by moving to America but says Anatol, ‘’At first it was strange and little scary and of course I missed the UK particularly London as most of my family and friends are there. However, America has become my new home. Ideally, though, my aim is to work and spend time in he UK and the US, and indeed beyond. I’ve come to realize that you can have many homes, but the one that really counts is the one inside. You can be anywhere, but if you’re not comfortable in yourself you never really feel at home. I’m not sure if I’d have truly realized that If I hadn’t stuck it out over here.”
The US move has certainly been a successful one as since arriving Anatol has been in demand, working non-stop and capturing the attention of key industry bigwigs. He was cast to play the title role in Shakespeare’s Richard III on the New York stage winning great critical acclaim and a slew of additional roles followed including ‘Hal’ in David Auburn’s ‘Proof’, ‘Jake’ in Harold Pinter’s ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Felix’ in the film short ‘The Reward’
Next up, Anatol will be appearing in the highly anticipated heist movie ‘The Story’ alongside Hollywood actor Michael Clarke Duncan, renowned for his powerful performance in the Stephen King movie, ‘The Green Mile.’ He has also been cast in the lead role in the forthcoming film, ‘Corner Shop’ which will be directed by fellow Brit George Hamilton and shot in the UK. Anatol and George Hamilton have also joined forces to write two screenplays that are currently in pre-production.
‘I love acting,’ says Anatol. ‘Its what I do and I feel comfortable directing because I’ve been lucky to work with and learn from some of the best but I’m really excited by the writing. It’s new ground for me. My first short story ‘Get Back’ will be published and adapted as a one-man show. I’ve also set up ‘Fixitsolife,’ my own theatre company in Manhattan with director/actor Francesco Campari. Moving has been liberating for me, it’s given me the freedom to really play and create. Once you have that everything else seems to follow’.
For this phenomenally talented young man one thing is for sure, his whim has certainly paid off.
Words by Susie Vandi