Model Role Details

Tareq Bishara (Thom Bishops)

Tareq Bishara (Thom Bishops)

Sector : Media , Actors

Personal Info

  • Country of residence : United States
  • Gender : Male
  • Age : 0
  • Curriculum vitae :

Information

Tarek Bishara grew up Catholic in Brooklyn, and if he had to pigeonhole himself, it’d be as an ”artsy-fartsy, plays-tennis-on-the-weekend type.” Hollywood, however, has always had different ideas.
 
After graduating from New York University in 2000, Bishara moved to L.A. The good news about being an actor of Middle Eastern descent at that particular moment in history — Bishara is the son of Palestinian immigrants from Galilee — was that the entertainment industry was in need of people to play Arabs. The bad news was why. ”I was reading for a part in a big TV show once,” says the actor, 32. ”The scene was basically some Arab dude screaming for death before blowing himself up. I read it over and over and started sweating.” And then he walked out.
 
Bishara struggled for years. And he encountered a lot of post-9/11 hostility, including at a dinner where a producer told him that no Middle Eastern person had contributed anything to society since the 15th century. Bishara ultimately changed his name to Thom Bishops and in 2004 landed his first major film role, in the Robin Williams thriller The Final Cut. ”Changing my name was just something I felt I had to do for self-preservation,” says Bishops. ”It was in order to get around the ‘He’s not right for this because he’s Middle Eastern’ thing.” One acting coach went so far as to tell him, ”Don’t ever tell anyone in this town your real name or you’ll never work again.” 




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