"I'm not on this earth to be a model."
The middle child from a family of models, Bella Hadid is well known for her time in front of the camera. But that work has been in still pictures or on runways since 2014. But after almost a decade in the spotlight, Hadid will test out a different kind of on-camera appearance with her first acting gig. Hadid’s quotes about her character in Ramy Season 3 reveal she hopes the role will help people see her differently.
Hulu’s comedy-drama series Ramy first premiered in April 2019, starring Egyptian American stand-up comedian Ramy Youssef as the titular character. Youssef plays a character based on his own life as a first-generation American Muslim growing up in New Jersey and navigating his Egyptian community as a child of the millennial generation. A critically praised hit, the series has thus far earned Youssef a Best Actor Golden Globe, a Peabody Award, and two Emmy nominations.
Season 2 premiered in the spring of 2020, but lockdowns and delays prevented production for the show’s third season from getting off the ground until early 2022, when Hulu announced Hadid will join the cast in a recurring role. The series kept Hadid’s part under wraps for as long as possible. However, with the show now confirmed to premiere this fall, Youssef revealed in an August interview with GQ that Hadid will be playing his girlfriend.
Lest audiences think this is wish-fulfillment casting on his part, Hadid has come out and said she’s not playing the kind of seductress one might assume. Speaking in the same GQ interview, Hadid admitted, “People probably thought that my first acting job would be something super sensual,” but that’s not the case. Youssef called the episode “one of the weirdest scripts we’ve ever written, and that says a lot.”
Hadid said she looked at the part and, “I was like, this is perfect.” It’s what people aren’t expecting from her. “People will meet me and think, ‘Oh, I thought you were a b*tch. Or I thought you were mean.” But that’s just the person they saw on a magazine cover. “It’s just an armor.”
Moreover, Ramy is well known for its exploring of Middle Eastern and Muslim stereotypes. Hadid is vocal about representing her Palestinian community, speaking out on behalf of the hot-button issue of the Free Palestine movement. “I’m not on this earth to be a model. I’m so lucky and blessed that I’m in a position where I can speak out the way that I do,” Hadid said. “And really, the downfall is what? That I lose my job?”
Ramy Season 3 will stream on Hulu starting on Sept. 30, 2022.