From finance to fame: Yasmine Al-Bustami discusses her journey to Hollywood stardom

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OAHU - JANUARY 20: Misplaced Targets Following a close call at a meth lab explosion, the NCIS team learns Kai is being targeted by his old friend-turned-criminal and must take him down. Meanwhile, Lucy gets her first big case aboard her aircraft carrier, on the CBS Original series NCIS: HAWAII, Monday, Feb. 6 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Pictured: Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy Tara. Photo is a screen grab. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – Yasmine Al-Bustami’s journey from the world of finance to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood has turned her into a dynamic talent on the rise. The actress, known for her roles in “The Originals,” “NCIS: Hawai’i,” and “The Chosen,” is making a mark in the entertainment industry.

Born in Abu Dhabi to a Palestinian-Jordanian father and a Filipino mother, Al-Bustami grew up in Texas. Initially pursuing a career in finance, she soon realized that her true passion lay in acting. With no formal training, she took the bold step of reaching out to Dallas agents, providing her business resume rather than an acting one.

Recalling her early days, Al-Bustami said, “I had never taken acting classes or anything, but I knew to get auditions you needed an agent. So I just emailed all the Dallas agents, and one of them was so sweet, emailed me back… I was sending in my business resume, too, I didn’t even have an acting resume. I was like, ‘this is where I went to university. I have a finance degree.’ None of that. They don’t care.”

She continued, “And (the agent) goes, ‘well, clearly, you have no idea what you’re doing. Go to class. And here are some acting class recommendations.’ Then from that, I just kept taking classes in Dallas, then moved to Los Angeles.”

Al-Bustami’s television journey began with a health-related commercial and escalated with her recurring role as Monique Deveraux in “The Originals.” Currently, she graces the screen in the hit spinoff “NCIS: Hawai’i” and the historical drama “The Chosen.”

Addressing the challenge of gaining approval from her parents and finding roles authentic to her ethnicity, Al-Bustami expressed her pride in representing women of color in the dark comedy show “Immigrants.”

“We just finished the pilot, and that is by my friend Mustafa Knight, and it’s basically how we have described it is like ‘Friends,’ but with color. I’ve never been more proud to be an immigrant because now I also have an outlet to express that to people through storytelling,” she shared.

“Immigrants” is described as a dark comedy series that follows the “misadventures of six unlikely friends through their trials and tribulations on what it really means to be American in America.” Al-Bustami’s diverse roles reflect not only her talent but also her commitment to authentic storytelling in the entertainment landscape.

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