Uzbek actor, Rashid Shadat talks to OCA’s Aleksandra Vlsasova about his life as an international actor. 2015 saw him involved in many well known films and television programs, including 24 (TV series), Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Now You See Me 2, Spectre (James Bond), City of Tiny Lights, Bourne Sequel and A Streetcat Named Bob.

OCA: Please tell about your background and biography?

Rashid Sahadat: I was born in October 1975 in Tashkent (Uzbekistan). In 1995 I studied Drama and Cinema at the Uzbekfilm Cinema Studio, Tashkent, followed in 1996 by studies at the Theatre and Cinema Faculty at Tashkent State Art Institute. At the same time, I was working at the National Drama Theatre of Uzbekistan and the Yuldosh Ohunboboev Republican Youth Theatre.

I have taken part in many international theatre festivals in Tajikistan, Egypt and Germany and have been awarded number of prizes for my performances. Between 2001-2007 I had my own daily morning radio show on Avtoradio Hamroh, FM-102. I have starred in many adverts, music videos and films.
I have also been a producer on a number of films including The Wolves (2007) and “Hoja Nasretdin – The Game Begins” (2006). Now living in London, I have maintained my interest in acting and directing theatre and film.

OCA: When did you first appear in a movie?

RS: My first screen role was a music video where I played the hero. In 2002, director Scan Multi invited me to play a lead role in the video for a song called Don’t cry sweetheart (Anvar Sanaev – Yiglama Jonim). It was very funny and interesting – there was a fight scene where I had to spin in the air – like one of the characters in The Matrix. After this video they started to call me the ‘Uzbek Matrix’. Since coming to London I have been involved as an extra in lots of big productions. In 2015 I WAS in Star Wars, Spectre, Mission Impossible, Now You See Me 2 plus some others. I have also just completed filming for a big budget Hollywood production, which comes out later in 2016 – I can’t tell you the name just yet, though, as they are still filming it.

OCA: Can you remember first movie in which you played the lead role?

RS: The first film where I was a lead was called “Test of Love 2” (Muhabbat Sinovlari 2). I went for dinner with my friend and there were a few actors and directors there. One of the directors was very interested in my appearance and we had a chat and he asked me if I would be interested in taking part in his film. I said yes without having thought about it. But it went very well and was very memorable for me.
OCA: How do you get all these parts? What is your approach?

RS: For the big budget film productions I am registered with some of the main acting extra agencies in London. They manage most of the big name films. For TV roles, you also have to register with some of the more specialist agencies. Of course, you also have to keep up contacts with people to hear what is going on and when.

OCA: What should one expect from such a job? What is a typical day’s filming like?

RS: It’s tiring work, sometimes filming throughout the night or outdoors in bad weather. However it’s a lot of fun and you will meet a whole range of interesting people. I have been lucky enough to meet some of the big names during 2015 – JJ Abrahams, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Renner, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Christoph Waltz.
It’s very interesting watching a big production film being made – nothing really prepares you for the amount of detail and time they take to get things right.

OCA: What are your plans for 2016?

RS: At the moment I am short listed for a new big budget film production, which starts filming in February. I’m not allowed to reveal the name just yet.

To improve my skills further I am starting an acting course at Pinewood Studios – you always need to keep refreshing your skills.

I am taking part in a tour of Turkey in May, performing traditional Central Asian dance with a team from the US. I will also be giving some dance master classes while we are there. I am also going to Greece in July to take part in the Edipsos Folk Dance Festival. It’s going to be a busy year.