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Saddam double fears typecasting

[Edition 70] BAGHDAD, Wednesday: With all the talk of civilian casualties and the possible ecological disaster were Iraq’s oil fields to be set alight during the imminent armed conflict, it is easy to forget the impact that a war will have on the Iraqi entertainment industry. Take, for example, the leading Iraqi actor Yasin Ibrahim. He tries to keep a brave face on for the cameras, but Yasin is privately concerned about the future of his acting career in a post-Saddam Iraq.

[Edition 70] BAGHDAD, Wednesday: With all the talk of civilian casualties and the possible ecological disaster were Iraq’s oil fields to be set alight during the imminent armed conflict, it is easy to forget the impact that a war will have on the Iraqi entertainment industry. Take, for example, the leading Iraqi actor Yasin Ibrahim. He tries to keep a brave face on for the cameras, but Yasin is privately concerned about the future of his acting career in a post-Saddam Iraq.

Mr Ibrahim has one of the most high-profile roles in Iraq, and possibly the world. He is one of Saddam Hussein’s three favourite body doubles.

Regime change will mean that he will be forced to explore new roles, abandoning the character that has seen him strut his stuff on the world stage.

He has devoted himself to his role, even going as far as plastic surgery to better resemble Saddam. For Yasin the secret to his uncanny resemblance to Hussein is his strict adherence to the Method acting technique, pioneered by Russian born director Constantin Stanislavsky and followed by such acting greats as Robert DeNiro and Marlon Brando. When performing, whether in addressing of ‘spontaneous’ anti-US protest or meeting foreign journalists, Yasin claims that, “It’s as if I really am Saddam.”

But this plum role will end if US President George W Bush has succeeds in ousting the Iraqi strongman, and Yasin isn’t hopeful about the prospects for work in Tinsletown. “There isn’t much of a demand for moustachioed actors in Hollywood at the moment. Look what has happened to Tom Selleck.”

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