If Elyas M’Barek looks familiar or you think you’ve heard his name before that’s very likely possible. This is especially true if you have been following the German Films series that I’ve been posting about. M’Barek has shared the big screen with Til Schweiger, Matthias Schweighöfer, Nora Tschirner, Tom Schilling, Karoline Herfurth, and Moritz Bleibtreu, to name a few.
Or perhaps you may have spotted him in English language films such as The Physician, with Ben Kingsley, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones with Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower. M’Barek is not sticking to a single style.
Get to Know Elyas M’Barek
Elyas M’Barek was born on May 29, 1982. The eldest of three sons of an Austrian mother and a Tunisian father, he grew up in Munich.
His aspirations of acting were realized early. Before he had even graduated from school, M’Barek got a role in a film. His debut performance came in 2001’s Mädchen, Mädchen.
Additional roles for M’Barek in film and on television quickly followed. His breakthrough came with his regular role as Cem Öztürk on the comedy-drama television series Türkisch für Anfänger. And the film Fack ju Göhte made him into a full-fledged movie star.
Fack ju Göhte
Fack ju Göhte (or Suck Me Shakespeer in English) is a comedy written, directed and produced by Bora Dağtekin, whose directorial debut was the film version of Türkisch für Anfänger (Turkish for Beginners), a television show he created which also starred M’Barek.
After bank robber Zeki Müller (M’Barek) is released from prison, his first task is to retrieve the money he hid in order to repay a debt. The problem? The money was hidden in a construction site that became a new school, the Goethe Gesamtschule. Determined to get his money back, Zeki gets a job as a substitute teacher at the school where he befriends Lisi (Karoline Herfurth), who also works at the school.
Good news if you enjoy Fack ju Göhte. It has spawned two sequels: Fack ju Göhte 2 and Fack ju Göhte 3.
Who Am I – Kein System ist sicher
With Germany home to the world-famous Chaos Computer Club, it is no surprise that the capital city is the setting for Who Am I – Kein System ist sicher. English speakers may know the film as Who Am I – No System Is Safe.
The film is a thriller starring Elyas M’Barek alongside Tom Schilling. In the film, Schilling portrays Benjamin, a skilled computer programmer. When Benjamin befriends Max (M’Barek), he finds they share a common interest in hacking. Max and his friends have formed a hacker collective called CLAY (Clowns Laughing @ You). It doesn’t take long for Benjamin to become its newest member. Joining the group, Benjamin feels popular and well-liked. But it does not take long before the group’s activities begin to cause trouble and garner attention. As they’re pursued by federal police, suddenly the collective isn’t quite as fun as it once was.
Der Fall Collini
Elyas M’Barek stars in Der Fall Collini alongside of Alexandra Maria Lara and Heiner Lauterbach. The political thriller is a departure of sorts from the actor’s usual lighthearted fare.
The 2019 film directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner is based upon Ferdinand von Schirach’s novel of the same name. M’Barek portrays Casper, a public defender. Casper is assigned to the case of a retired Italian man living in Germany who is accused of killing a wealthy businessman named Collini. Conflicts of interest aside, Casper had been mentored by Collini. As he begins working on the case, political conspiracy appears to unfold.
Practice practice practice! Discover other great German language actors and actresses previously featured.
Top photo by Reiner Bajo used courtesy of Die Agenten. This post contains affiliate links.