Director’s Cut: Mike Batayeh & “Detroit Unleaded”
May 20, 2016 Leave a Comment
This week on Director’s Cut, we welcome actor Mike Batayeh to discuss the film Detroit Unleaded. Mike is a co-lead in the film and while I primarily talk to directors and producers, I think it’s great to get a perspective from an actor’s point of view. Mike is animated and passionate about the film plus has a long list of acting credits.
Detroit Unleaded tells the story of a young Arabic couple who meet at a gas station run by Sami (E.J. Essi) in inner city Detroit. Sami takes over the operation after his father’s death and has bigger dreams. But when he meets Naj, played by the beautiful Nada Shouyahib, it helps ease the pain. Batayeh plays Sami’s cousin who has big entrepreneurial plans for the two of them as they compete with the more upscale, successful station in the neighborhood.
The story is well told and well shot. For an indie film on a low budget, there is huge crew that worked on this film. Many of the actors are from Detroit, including the filmmakers, and Batayeh was thrilled to shoot a film back in his hometown. One of Mike’s biggest credits was appearing in multiple episodes of Breaking Bad. Having just relocated back to his hometown, he knows he will face challenges landing such roles from the Motor City, but he is still glad to have returned.
Detroit Unleaded has some really solid acting, lots of charm and some dramatic moments. Please tune to Director’s Cut at 10 p.m. Saturday and Director’s Cut Presents immediately following on Wisconsin Public Television….. your home for independent film!