Former Home and Away star Lincoln Younes is set to reappear on Aussie screens tonight, taking on the iconic role of John Ibrahim in the Paramount+ drama Last King of the Cross. The show revolves around the Ibrahim brothers, who famously 'owned' the Kings Cross strip in Sydney.
While the fictionalised show is dark, ‘gritty’ and intense, the Aussie actor tells us that there were still some lighthearted moments on set. In a candid chat about the show with Yahoo Lifestyle, he reveals an awkward nude encounter, a strange detail involving prosthetics, and explains why he’s so excited to be part of this show.
In one scene that comes relatively early in the series, Lincoln was required to strip completely naked in order to burn evidence of a crime. Although he finds nude scenes a bit ‘uncomfortable’, he knows it’s all part of the job.
The television crew were averting their eyes as the star stripped in the backyard, but there was one gaze he couldn’t shake. In an awkward moment, a neighbour spotted the scene over his fence and was shocked by Lincoln’s nude form.
“I’m facing the fire and the camera, behind the camera is a fence. And this neighbour walked out midway through the take and just stared at me while I was naked burning clothes,” he laughs. “And I stared [back] at him. That went on for way too long.”
The Grand Hotel star adds that this particular nude scene happened near the start of filming, so it was a strange moment to share with the cast and crew, who were practically strangers at that time.
“That was quite hilarious…the cast and crew got to know me very intimately, very quickly,” he quips.
Interesting detail behind prosthetic scar
Lincoln is quick to emphasise while the show is a fictionalised retelling of John Ibrahim’s story, certain elements have been lifted from his autobiography. One key identifying feature that producers decided to keep was John's violent stabbing at age 16, resulting in a massive scar across his torso.
Coincidentally, the scar is in a shape of a giant cross, and makeup artists recreated the horrific wound on Lincoln’s stomach.
“He was gutted on the street when he was in his teens,” Lincoln says. “So for adult John, which I play, the scar has obviously healed…and it was really fun because it was my first time experiencing prosthetics.”
It wasn’t an easy task to add the scar before filming commenced, with the detailed prosthetics taking about two hours to complete each morning. Even though the star really enjoyed his first experience with prosthetics, he points out one detail that viewers wouldn’t be aware of.
“It was a lot of fun at the start and it looks unbelievable,” he begins. “But I can’t [move] much [while wearing it]. I can’t sit down because otherwise it’ll tear the prosthetic.”
The Victoria-born actor had to keep his torso straight as a board after the makeup artists were done and sitting became extremely uncomfortable. However, he tells us that it was “worth it”, as fans will appreciate how great the scar looks on screen.
‘Incredibly important’ story to be told
The Lebanese-Australian actor jumped at the chance to join the cast of this ‘iconic’ story, and says it’s ‘incredibly important’ to have such a multicultural story on Australian screens. The show has multiple languages and cultures portrayed, with English subtitles onscreen for non-native speakers.
“What we’re representing, which is this iconic strip in Sydney, it had all walks of life — and it accepted all and judged none,” Lincoln says.
“For me, it’s really important that there is this kind of Lebanese story being told on Australian screens, because a lot of the times there’s stereotypes when it comes to Lebanese culture [on screen].”
The show takes place over three decades, from 1970 to 1990, and doesn’t shy away from dark storylines, including murder, violence, drugs and gangs. John’s relationship with his older brother Sam, played by Claude Jabbour, seems to be the heart of the show.
“It’s about these two brothers and their fractured but also connected relationship in amongst all the craziness of history,” Lincoln teases.
Last King of the Cross premieres on Paramount+ on Friday, 17 February.
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