When he was nine years old, Hamza Haq’s parents immigrated from Saudi Arabia to Ottawa. The young lad quickly acclimatized to Canadian culture. He turned on the TV and started rooting for WWE heroes such as The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and many others.
“We’re going to be here for the rest of the day,” he tells me in a fun and rollicking podcast, “if you get me started on this.”
Before that, TV was also a big deal growing up in the Middle East. For four years, he, says, he watched a lot of America’s Funniest Home Videos and Full House.
He was star struck, therefore, when, at 14, he ran into Bob Sagat at the airport. He has proof: his sister whipped out her flip phone and snapped a photo.
Acting fascinated him at an early age. Now fans are taking selfies with him. He’s back Monday nights on CTV as emergency room saviour Dr. “Bash” Bashir in the second season of the hit medical drama Transplant.
The Canadian Screen Award winner sets up the new episodes, which begin January 3. He also talks about the challenges of shooting a medical drama through a pandemic. The Montreal-based production, which also stars Laurence Leboeuf, Ayisha Issa, Jim Watson, Torri Higginson and John Hannah, spent eight months crafting 13 new episodes.
Hear Hamza on the film role he would take in a heartbeat, what he is binging now plus the piano jazz TV theme he singles out as one of the best ever.