From Homelessness to Stardom: French-Algerian Actor Secures Agent After Posting 5000 Headshots Across London

You gotta do what you gotta do…

It’s no secret how difficult it is to break into the much-coveted and highly competitive world of entertainment and media. In such a saturated industry, making a name for yourself or simply landing a gig, no matter how consequential it may be, is one of the hardest achievements, pushing aspiring models, actors, and most cultural practitioners to resort to alternative, less conventional methods to accomplish what they consider as the pinnacle of success. Enter: Medhi Hamadouchi. 

His name probably won’t ring a bell to those that live anywhere outside of central London, but Hamadouchi’s face will definitely look familiar to anyone residing in the British capital. Why? Because the young French-Algerian native went all out in the first handful of weeks of 2023, plastering 5000 posters of himself across the megalopolis, that featured a QR code that would redirect curious or intrigued passersby to his online portfolio. The objective? To catch the eye of a manager or talent agent to sign him and eventually help him kickstart his career in the industry so many are trying to make a foray into — which he did. 

The initiative, as extra as it sounds, ended up bearing its fruits, despite the backlash from Westminster council, who reportedly sent the aspiring actor an email urging him to stop fly-posting. Since, Hamadouchi inked a deal with a creative outlet that did not shy away from labeling his efforts as “genius,” as Paul Byram Associates told Variety

To make his story even more special, it happens that the dedicated star in the making, made his way to London just 10-days after the UK voted to leave the European Union, with only two 50 euro notes and a single bagpack to his name. In conversation with The Stage, an art-centered publication based in England, Hamadouchi revealed having had to sleep rough in his first few weeks in London until two French-speaking Algerian men helped him out. Mere months later, he was already back up on his feet, working as a waiter while signing up with a local theatre troupe, jumping from one role to the other in hopes of rising through its ranks with time. 

But the process wasn’t fast enough, leading Hamadouchi to first start posting close-up portraits of himself when he was in New York for a week, with no success. Back in London, he made use of the same formula, with six times the amount of posters initially glued around The Big Apple, to make his dream come true.

“I came back to London, I was [like], ‘Bro you need to show yourself more.’ I feel something with[in] me: I know that I can be an actor, I can have an agent, I can work, I can be in this part of this industry. So now I was like, I’m going to print 1,000 stickers. In September of last year, I stuck 1,000 stickers in London for two or three weeks, it was really hard for me.” he told Variety

Now a signed artist, Hamadouchi shares that his next goal is to follow in the steps of his role models in the industry, namely Joaquin Phoenix, Christian Bale, and Tahar Rahim. As for the genres in which we can expect to see him in, he revealed being open to any proposals, although he has a strong interest in playing in a drama. His new objective is to leave a mark and “if some people can take some hope from me I would be so happy.”

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