Fajer Al-Kaisi Hopes to Permanently evolve Hollywood’s level of Diversity through his Gift.
Fajer Al-Kaisi is an Iraqi-Canadian, television, film, and stage actor who looks to play a critical role for the emerging demographic of immigrant talent in Hollywood today. Born in Iraq, Fajer spent much of his childhood being raised in Kuwait. He later settled in Montreal, where he received his BFA in Theatre at Concordia University. Following his education in Canada, Fajer moved to the United States, where he completed his Masters in Acting from the University of Texas, Austin. To continue the pursuit of his passion, Fajer moved to New York, where resides now, and booked several roles in T.V. series that include “Daredevil” and “Law and Order”.
Currently, he is receiving praise for his breakout role as FBI agent “Ali Soufan” in the highly anticipated political thriller “The Report”; a retelling of the CIA’s high-profile use of torture in response to the September 11th attacks. Its producer Steven Soderbergh, and writer/director Scott Z. Burns, are recognized for their past titles such as “Contagion”, and “The Informant.” Fajer’s first love is the theatre. He turned that very love into an international career, where he leads the charge for diverse representation in Hollywood. Chilled sat down with Fajer to learn about his food and cocktail preferences, along with his bartending past.
When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?
I love a good Thai place. I’m also very eclectic. I tend to go for food that I can’t cook myself. For example, BBQ or sushi. I also love western Chinese Xian food. Which I got to try on a China tour. It’s an amazing hybrid of Chinese food and Middle East grilling. In NYC, Xian Famous Foods is a good place to get my fix.
What types of dishes do you usually order?
Spicy. My friends say that my blood type is Sriracha. There will be a rice dish at the table if I am there.
Do you cook?
I do. I learned by watching my mom, who is one of the best cooks I have ever met. I’m currently really into Chinese dry fry green beans, another recipe I got while on tour. It involves the Sichuan pepper which is delightfully numbing and spicy.
What types of drinks do you order when out?
I usually go for bourbon or tequila. Usually straight, but a cocktail will occasionally tempt me.
Do you prepare drinks at home?
Yes, I have made the odd old-fashioned.
Do you own a home bar?
Only a few basics. It usually centers around one spirit at a time.
If you own a home bar, what is it stocked with?
Aromatic Bitters, simple syrup, bourbon, tequila, a peated whiskey, and a couple of cocktail glasses.
If you could make changes to your home bar, what would you do?
I would like to expand it and get shakers/strainers, along with all the other bells and whistles.
What is your favorite cocktail?
It’s a tie between a classic highball and an old fashioned. Depends on what I’m feeling in the moment.
Have you ever been a bartender?
Just at parties. I’ve only been employed as a bar back in the past. The service industry is for men that are more patient than me.