Jihad 'Jay' Abdo, a Star Who Fled His Native Syria, Looks for a Hollywood Ending

With Lots of Luck and a Name Change, Actor Lands Roles Opposite Nicole Kidman and Tom Hanks in 'Queen of the Desert' and 'A Hologram for the King'

LOS ANGELES—Long before he got to Hollywood in 2012, Jihad Abdo was already a bankable star.

Over a 30-year career, he had been featured in hundreds of TV episodes, 43 movies and 21 plays set in modern and ancient times, in roles as varied as villain, military officer and prince. He couldn't walk the streets in his hometown without being hounded by fans pleading for a picture with him. "Going shopping was a nightmare," he recalls.

But all that fame and fortune came his way in Syria, far from the Hollywood spotlight. When he arrived here, as a refugee from his war-torn homeland, Jihad became "Jay" and turned into something very familiar here: an out-of-work actor. The closest he came to celebrity was his job with French Florist, the self-styled "Los Angeles flower delivery choice for the entertainment industry and stars."

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Big Win At All Sports LA Film Fest!

November 12th, 2013 - "We've Got Balls" received two big awards last night at the All Sports LA Film Fest! A big thank you to everyone who joined us at the event! Our film had the largest turnout of any screening yesterday and many guests joined us afterward for an incredible awards ceremony honoring such individuals as Bruce Jenner and our very own Gary Austin (who received a very much deserved Lifetime Achievement Award). We're so very proud of you, Gary! 

"Balls" received two awards in addition to Gary's recognition; an Audience Choice Award and a win in the Best Feature category! Congratulations to all the winners at the All Sports LA Film Fest and to Pat and his team who hosted one terrific festival! 

"Balls" Wins At Indie Fest!

Hello friends! We're so happy to announce that "We've Got Balls" has just received the Award of Excellence: Feature Film from The Indie Fest in La Jolla, California! Remember that there's still plenty of time to pick up tickets for this upcoming Monday's showing at the All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival! We hope to see you there!

  • Gary Austin
    Gary Austin
  • Andrew Dickler
    Andrew Dickler
  • Eric Halasz
    Eric Halasz
  • Dane Posey
    Dane Posey
  • Eric Satterberg
    Eric Satterberg
  • Gary Foreman
    Craig Nelson
  • Phyllis Katz
    Phyllis Katz
  • Dave Osborne
    Dave Osborn
  • Gary Foreman
    Gary Forman
  • Kylie Rodgers
    Kylie Rogers
  • Tamar Stevens
    Tamar Stevens
  • Tyler Strateman
    Tyler Strateman
  • Toni Alexander
    Toni Alexander
  • Paul Maher
    Paul Maher