Emmy Ballot Actor Laith Nakli Was a Champion Bodybuilder

The former Mr. Syria plays Uncle Naseem on the Hulu series "Ramy".

Laith Nakli is a hopeful Emmy nominee for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for his role as Uncle Naseem in the 2019 Hulu series Ramy.

Ramy is about “a first-generation American Muslim who is on a spiritual journey in his politically divided New Jersey neighborhood. It explores the challenges of what it is like being caught between an Egyptian community that thinks life is a moral test, and a generation that thinks life has no consequences”, according to Deadline.

Before Nakli, who is originally from England, moved to Hollywood to pursue a successful career in acting, he was a champion bodybuilder — winning the title of Mr. Syria.

Below is a post from Nakli’s Instagram page that features a photo from nearly twenty five years ago (1996) of him being oiled up for a bodybuilding show:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Laith Nakli (@laithnakli) on

[Related: New Girl’s Max Greenfield is obsessed with the CrossFit Games]

One of Nakli’s most notable performances is the voice of the sniper Juba in the 2017 action thriller The Wall. The film portrayed the story of “two American Soldiers trapped by a lethal sniper, with only an unsteady wall between them”, according to IMBD.com. One of those two soldiers was played by another former amateur bodybuilder: John Cena.

Check out the video below from Nick’s Strength and Power‘s YouTube channel about the potential Cena had if he chose bodybuilding over professional wrestling:

[Related: Watch John Cena deadlift Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show]

“His delts were insane. You can see the same vein run all the way through his bicep, all the way up to his neck. That is just insane conditioning.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Laith Nakli (@laithnakli) on

Nakli’s recounts his pursuit of professional bodybuilding before becoming an actor in episode 118 of The Queer Arabs Podcast.

The Emmy award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, July 28th and can be viewed via livestream on the Emmy’s website.

Feature images via Laith Nakli’s Instagram page: @laithnakli

Phil Blechman

Phil Blechman

Phil is a native New Yorker passionate about storytelling, bodybuilding, and game design. He holds a BFA from Syracuse University.

Before becoming a Staff Writer at BarBend, Phil worked on the creative team at World Wrestling Entertainment, as a narrator for Audible.com with over a dozen titles, and as a producer, director, and playwright Off-Broadway in New York City where he worked for The Araca Group and co-founded IJB Theatrical Productions. He can be heard as a co-host of both the Here’s What’s Up podcast and Eternal Durdles podcast.

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