Interview with Lionheart and The Quest star Abdelkrim Qissi
by Bobby Blakey
I love all things martial arts and it is no secret that I am a hardcore fan of Jean Claude Van Damme. His hero roles are only as good as the villains he takes on and he has had some great ones. Two of these are Attilah from Lionheart and Khan from The Quest played by Abdelkrim Qissi. I had the chance to have a quick chat with him about playing these roles and his career in films.
Bobby: Being a martial artist myself I always like to dive into people’s back grounds. Can you tell us a little about how you got into martial arts or fight training?
Abdelkrim: At the age of 10 I was a fan of Mohamed Ali, and I wondered what boxing was. So I adopted it as a sport and I haven't left it for the rest of my life.
Bobby: I know that you and Jean Claude Van Damme are good friends, but did you come here with the plan to be an actor or was that something you both aspired to be?
Abdelkrim: Cinema is a childhood passion, but becoming an actor is thanks to my brother Mohamed Qissi (Tong-Po) and Jean Claude that I was able to play my first role (Attila) in Lionheart. Then the passion grew and the love of cinema too.
Bobby: You have had the cool chance to take on two iconic villains with Khan in The Quest and Attila in Lionheart. How did you develop those characters and did you get a lot of input in them?
Abdelkrim: These two characters were created by the writers, when I interpreted them and I tell you that I embodied them, I really appreciated them. I helped give them a little bit of myself. hahaha
Bobby: Is there any plans to work with Van Damme again in any future projects? I know at one point there was a Lionheart 2 in development but wasn’t sure it was still happening.
Abdelkrim: No it is not planned. We have already acted in 3 films together and that is enough. And there is no plan for Lionheart 2… I would have liked, but unfortunately I cannot decide.
Bobby: What do you look for in a script when searching out the next character you want to develop and portray?
Abdelkrim: I want to create a character who lives an adventure of human relationship and who has a story. Not just a fighting action character.
Bobby: Can you tell us about anything else you have coming up?
Abdelkrim: Yes, I just finished my film, (Lopak) I'm in post-production, it will have to be ready by the month of April 2022. I play the main role, (Molosse) a man who feels invested with a mission, he must save humanity from his illness. Will he succeed?
Bobby: Nice, look forward to checking it out. I greatly appreciate your time. I am a huge fan of your work and it is an honor to get to speak with you. Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can to do help promote or review future projects.