Mike Batayeh’s ultimate movie function could also be a shocking one — however the film’s creator hopes it can have an enduring affect.
The “Breaking Bad” actor — who died immediately on June 1 at age 52 — took an element in, of all issues, a 16-minute pupil flick by a senior filmmaker on the University of Michigan late final yr.
“He was sort of like a mentor,” its director and co-writer, 22-year-old Mohamed Khashafa, solely instructed The Post concerning the undertaking, which is titled “Ya Satir.”
“He was telling me that quite a lot of the explanation that he needed to be part of the undertaking was to sort of assist out the subsequent technology of Arab creatives,” Khashafa stated, recalling that Batayeh instructed him that Hollywood “wasn’t very numerous or welcoming” to the group.
In an early reduce of the film previewed by The Post, Batayeh performs the daddy of a highschool pupil (portrayed by Khashafa’s fellow pupil Izabella Mims-Haddad) who’s experiencing rising pains whereas making ready for a debate competitors earlier than heading off to school.
And though Michigan resident Batayeh’s single scene within the film — which wrapped manufacturing in late December — is a mere two minutes lengthy, his efficiency meant the world to Khashafa, whose household is from Yemen.
“It actually hit my coronary heart that the function sort of reminded him of his personal father. Actors pull from private life or from completely different characters they already know,” stated Khashafa, 22, who stated the “lighthearted coming-of-age” movie’s title roughly interprets to “Oh, Lord” or “Oh, My God.”
“He pulled from his personal father, which, one, makes me really feel good as a result of it means I wrote the character correctly,” continued Khashafa, who plans to graduate from the varsity subsequent December. “But, two, it’s like the daddy that I wrote is one which was very supportive, so it feels good to know that he had that or that sort of resonated.”
His participation in a pupil flick demonstrates a beneficiant facet to the actor, who appeared within the film for a “low value” and even submitted an audition tape — and whose sudden dying earlier this month shocked followers and friends alike.
In an e-mail to The Post, a consultant for the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s Office beforehand stated that the 52-year-old performer died of “asphyxia hanging.”
But Khashafa didn’t witness any indicators of battle throughout filming.
In truth, he solely witnessed “the alternative,” he stated.
“He was a really easygoing, enjoyable particular person,” Khashafa recalled.
And he wasn’t the one one who felt that approach.
The movie’s official Instagram account shared a publish on Friday, June 16, to have fun him as a “outstanding actor” and honor his “distinctive expertise and dedication” on behalf of the solid and crew.
“Mike was the daddy determine within the movie — and clearly the daddy determine on set,” Khashafa stated.
“What folks will keep in mind about him might be his laughs, his humor,” he added. “He simply introduced quite a lot of enjoyable and power.”
Khashafa hopes to flow into the film at varied movie festivals and in addition launch it someday this summer time, however, within the meantime, he hosted an early on-campus screening for professors, college students, household, solid and crew in April — and Batayeh “was within the entrance row,” he stated.
On April 20, simply two days after the screening, Batayeh despatched a touching textual content message to the fledgling director:
“Congratulations on the screening bro! The film regarded nice up on the massive display. Excited to see future work coming quickly!”
That could be Batayeh’s final communication with the younger filmmaker.
However, he nonetheless cherishes one other memento he acquired from him: a candy selfie exhibiting a smiling Batayeh with among the solid and crew after they accomplished filming in late December.
Khashafa now hopes that Batayeh’s legacy — each his profession and generosity — will likely be remembered.
“He was right here. I actually hope that he was in a position to go away his mark,” he stated. “I suppose that’s one among my huge worries in life for myself — or my objectives in life — to go away my mark right here. To go away one thing, like, ‘Well, I used to be right here.’”
Khashafa moreover wished that the temporary, ultimate undertaking by his “mentor” would have an enduring impression on others.
“I additionally actually hope the movie would carry some consolation to the those who beloved him, you recognize?” he stated.
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