Advertisement Close

Arab Americans

Bashar Rahal

Bashar Rahal

Bashar Mounzer Rahal (BulgarianБашар Мунзер РахалArabicبشار رحال‎) is a Bulgarian actor of Arab descent, known for his role in the TV show “It Can’t Be” equivalent of “‘Saturday Night Live'”. Most recently he can be seen alongside John CusackHilary Duff and Academy Award Winners Ben KingsleyMarisa Tomei and Joan Cusack in the movie “War, Inc.“.


Early life

Bashar Rahal was born in DubaiUAE, the son of Lebanese father Mounzer Rahal and Bulgarian mother Mariana Rahal. His sister, Carla Rahal, also an actress, is mostly known for her roles in the “National Theater of Bulgaria”. Carla is also a pop, R&B, singer, songwriter and producer. She is best known for one of Bulgaria’s most popular songs Lie to Me and I wish U.

The family moved from UAE to Bulgaria when Bashar was only six years old. He first started acting in TV sketches when he was 12. At the age of 13 he became a member of “Tears and Laughs” – a professional theater group, with which he took part in more than 15 performances. He also attended numerous international film and theater festivals, including the ones in Avignon, France and Thun, Switzerland.

His first major film role was in 1989, in the controversial at that time Ivan and Alexandra. The film tells the story of two madly in love students in communist Bulgaria. The movie is also a winner of the 1989 “Golden Rose” Festival in Varna. This role was followed by another one, in the 1992 movie “Bad Boy“.

Early career

His professional acting career began in 1993 when Bashar was accepted at the National Academy of Theater and Film Art (in the class of professor Stefan Danailov, Minister of Culture of Bulgaria during 2005–2009), where he got his Masters Degree in Performing Arts. During that time he took part in numerous TV and film productions as well as several commercials. Shortly after graduation he was accepted as a permanent member of the “National Youth Theater”.

Professional career

For the next couple of years Bashar appeared in over 25 different TV comedy shows, but his popularity came with the TV show “It Can’t Be“, which was created & directed by Nellie Andreeva – currently an editor for “The Hollywood Reporter“. “It Can’t Be” was on air for 7 seasons and became one of the highest rated comedy shows in Bulgaria. Similar to “Saturday Night Live“, “It Can’t Be” was a weekly 40-minute comedy-variety show. Bashar was not only one of the creators of the show, he was also the lead actor, writer, producer and occasionally a director.

Bashar Rahal is also dubbed as the creator of the first ever night show in Bulgaria, where he met his co-host and future wife Kalina Rahal. In 1997, only 22 years old, he became part of the Award-winning anchor team of “It Has Began” – the highest rated morning show in Bulgaria (executive producer-Mihail Mihailov-after an extensive television career he became the Press Secretary for the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Ivan Kostov). The same year Bashar Rahal also appeared in two Italian productions, the 1997 TV Movie “In Fondo Al Cuore” and in the mini series “Racket” alongside Italian actor and director Michele Placido. In 1999 he was cast by the film directorEgon Günther for the film Else – Geschichte einer leidenschaftlichen Frau].

New beginning

In 1999 he decided to follow his childhood dream, and moved to California to pursue his acting career. Kalina and Bashar settled in San Diego, where the couple lived for the next 6 years. During that period Rahal appeared in several US feature films, including the 1999 movie “Bridge of Dragons“, where he plays alongside Dolph Lundgren. In 2001 he starred as Dmitri Minkov in “Operation Delta Force 4: Deep Fault” directed by Mark Roper. “City of Fear” is Rahal’s next feature, where he plays opposite Gary Daniels.

In 2006 the family relocated their home to Los Angeles. Shortly afterward, Bashar took part in few major film and TV productions. Some of the projects include a guest role in the critically acclaimed Emmy Award-winning Fox TV series Arrested Development, created by Mitchell Hurwitz and two-time Academy Award-winning American actor, film director, and producer Ron Howard.

Bashar attracted broader public attention with a supporting role in the 2006 BBC Drama/Documentary “Hannibal“, where he played Hasdrubal, the brother ofHannibal, played by Alexander Siddig (“24“, “Syriana” and “Kingdom of Heaven“).

Bashar Rahal also played in the 2008 movie “War, Inc.“, directed by Joshua Seftel. Among the star cast are three Academy Award winners – Ben KingsleyMarisa Tomei and Joan Cusack. The lead roles are played by John Cusack, who is also a writer and producer of the movie, and Hilary Duff.

Personal life

In 1997, on the set of “Late Night Show“, Bashar met his co-host and future wife Kalina. After arriving in San Diego, in 1999, Kalina started working as a news producer for “KUSI” TV.

Bashar Rahal with wife Kalina and daughter Chloe in 2003

In 2002 the couple got married in La JollaCalifornia.

After moving from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2006, Kalina became a producer for “KTLA Morning Show“.

Kalina and Bashar have two daughters – Chloe and India Rahal.


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Ivan and Alexandra
1992 Bad Boy Dinkata
1996 Reel Mix
1996 The Incredible Adventures of Sinbad the Sailor Voice
1997 In fondo al cuore Paolo
1997 Racket Francesco
1998 Un camion pour deux Captain
1998 After the End of the World
1999 Dunav most
1999 U.S. Seals Hidalgo
1999 Else
1999 Bridge of Dragons Robert
1999 Dan Koloff: The King of Catch
2000 Clinic on the Third Floor Gipsy
2001 Disaster Gamer
2001 Operation Delta Force 4: Deep Fault Dmitri Minkov
2001 City of Fear Phillips
2002 Patriotas, Los
2002 Shark Attack 3: Megalodon Luis Ruiz
2002 Nowhere to Hide
2003 Death Train Lopez
2004 Target of Opportunity Ivan
2006 Arrested Development Iraqi Cab Driver
2006 Hannibal Hasdrubal
2006 Basilisk: The Serpent King
2006 The Untitled Onion Movie Terrorist
2007 Dark Streets Bartender
2007 Matroesjka’s 2 Boris
2008 War, Inc. Video Guy One
2008 The Shepherd Soldier One
2008 Monster Ark The Leader
2008 Sharks in Venice Dr .Jeronimo
2008 The Unit Cleric
2009 The Tournament Asaf Sadiq
2009 Direct Contact General Drago
2009 My name is Earl Arab Man
2010 24 Wasim
2010 Footsteps in the sand Hanny
2011 Conan Quarter Master
2012 Glass Home Stefan Shakaliev
2014 Hercules: The Legend Begins Post-production
2014 Autómata Post-production