Omar Lagudali developed a love of acting in college doing operas and musical theater, but he didn’t pursue acting as a career until two years ago. Since that time he has developed a list of film credits including 11 Seconds, The Song, Like a Country Song, and The Identical.
When did you first develop an interest in acting?
It started when I was doing operas and musical theater in college. I remember being in the middle of a rehearsal for Dido and Ananeus by Gustav Holtz and I was thinking to myself, “This is fun!”. That was back in 2002 or 2003. Since then I have been teaching in public schools. I didn’t seriously consider acting until around May or April of 2012 when I had a very good friend, probably my best friend, encourage me to pursue it and stop talking about how much I wanted to do it. He said he didn’t want to hear me two years from now saying the same thing. I agreed and started my pursuit. I have always thought that I don’t want to get old and look back and wonder if I could have done it. So I said, it’s time.
What are some of the musical theater or opera roles you’ve had?
Fiddler On The Roof was my first musical ever. It was at Lee University where I performed it. I played various roles but the big one was when I played the Russian that bumps into Tevye in the bar scene and dances with him when they are celebrating his daughter getting married to Lazerwolf The Butcher. My next role after that was a supporting role as a grandfather in the opera called Gianni Schiggi by Giacomo Puccini. It is a comedic opera. I had to play an old man with a very low bass voice part. It was hard because of the low register and the timing of the music. The music was very tricky, but it was a lot of fun. After that my next two productions were the operas Cozi Fan Tutte by Mozart and Dido and Ananeus performed at Florida International University where I was a voice major for 1.5 years. After I moved to Nashville in December of 2007, I got a supporting role as a Mexican immigrant in a musical called Middle Of Nowhere by Bill Bauer. It was performed at the Texas Troubadour Theater right next to the Opryland Hotel. That was a fun role as well. The last theater production I did was the biggest supporting role I have ever had and that was the role of Vittorio Vidal in the musical Sweet Charity. One of the fun parts of that role was that I did it with an Italian accent. I also had a big solo that showcased my voice and that played a very comedic part in the musical. That was done this past spring at the Brentwood Towne Center Theater.
Tell us about your world tour with Lee University Singers.
Oh wow! Well, during the school year we traveled almost every weekend all over the Southeastern United States, mostly in churches. Sometimes we were invited to sing at music conventions, church conventions, youth conventions, and schools as well. During the summers we would go oversees on mission trips. My first year we went to China and visited and sang in schools and universities and shared the gospel through music with so many people. It was such a blessing to be able to minister to people despite the language barrier. We were not allowed to straight up preach to anyone but we went saying we were singing American music. It was really Christian music. But if people were to come and ask us questions, then we could share the gospel with them. And that is what happened. We may have not been able to share the gospel in depth like we would in English but there are some words that seem to be universal that communicate everywhere and that is words like Jesus and love. Sign language helps a lot, too. I would point to my heart a lot. Lol. We had the opportunity to go to Shanghai, Sushou, Louyang, Kaifung, and Beijing.
My second summer we went to Cayman Islands and ministered in little churches with no a.c. where people walk miles to get to church, but when they get there they have church, despite not having anything that is state of the art. Those people know how to worship The Lord. There were some bigger churches and schools that we ministered at as well.
My last summer missionary trip with the Lee Singers was to Scotland and England. We spent a day in Edinburg, then traveled through Scotland to get to London. We stopped at Wales for lunch on the way to London. The countryside of Scotland was so beautiful. In London, we got to minister in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Leeds, York, Cambridge, and I had the opportunity to watch a live performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest in the Shakespeare Globe Theater.
What was your first film role?
As an extra, it was as a jazz club patron on a film called Redemption Road directed by Mario Van Peebles here in Nashville. For speaking roles, my first was in an Industrial video for Auto Zone where I played a store manager. In movies, it was in a short film called Nashville Streets where I played a detective trying to bust a mob boss. That film is still being edited by the director and soon to be finished.
What faith-based films have you been involved in?
Like A Country Song (Starring Billy Ray Cyrus and Joel Smallbone)
The Song (Starring Ali Faulkner from Twilight: Breaking Dawn)
The Identical (Church patron, bar patron)
What other movies have you been in?
Fatal Reflex (Detective Joe Pointdexter)
Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire (Peacekeeper)
Kill The Messenger (Businessman)
Let’s Be Cops (Russian Mafia Thug)
Banshee (Armored Truck Security Gaurd)
Butterflies (Soccer Player)
The House Call (Mafia Henchman)
Nashville (Cab driver)
The Game on BET (party guest)
50-1 (aka Mine That Bird) (Network Executive)
Pure Country Gift (Nurse)
Redemption Road (Jazz club patron)
What has been your favorite movie experience?
It’s a tie between a film I just did for the 48 Hour Film Contest called Stuck and the short film called Nashville Streets only because I play a detective in Nashville Streets and I love playing a cop especially because I have a shoot out scene with the villain and that was fun. But Stuck was just fun and hilarious and full of action as well. I think I’m gonna have to go with Stuck because it called for more creativity and was very challenging. It is action heavy and not a whole lot of dialogue but I had to show a range of emotions which was a fun experience. When you see it on screen it’s so funny. It’s just a really cool experience when you see all that work on screen and actually see it looks really good.
What would be your dream film role?
Now that’s a tough question. I think maybe something like Superman or Batman, you know, a classic superhero or maybe a different kind of hero like Rambo or Rocky. I grew up watching cop shows so I always wanted to play a cop or undercover cop or detective but I also loved inspirational films growing up like Rocky and Rambo and Indiana Jones. I like westerns too. Clint Eastwood’s westerns are the best. Tombstone is my favorite modern western.