"Started from the bottom, now we're here" would be the perfect motto for this story, but we're still waiting for confirmation to blast out the song.
After starring in Nadine Labaki's award-winning Capharnaüm, the breakout star of her film, Zein Al-Rafih, is set to take on the world ... and we're hoping it's sooner than later. In the Lebanese feature, the 15-year-old won over people's hearts for his moving portrayal of a child who sues his parents for bringing him into the world and leaving him to fend for himself on the streets.
Now, it looks - and we might have blurry vision - like he's set to star in an anticipated blockbuster titled The Eternals. The upcoming American superhero film is produced by Marvel and follows the story of a group of superhumans created by alien experiments on ancient humans. Set to be released in 2020, it stars Salma Hayek as one of its leads alongside Angelina Jolie and Kit Harrington.
Over the weekend, Hayek (might have) hinted that Al-Rafih could be starring in the Chloe Zhao-directed movie after she Instagrammed a photo of her posing with him and co-star Lia McHugh.
Captioning her post, the actress wrote: "Hanging with the Eternals' youth."
Whether or not the young actor is part of the movie, we can rest assured he at least had a good night with Hayek and some cast members. He appears to be braiding Hayek's hair in a video shared on Twitter last week; that alone is a win for him.
Al-Rafih is a Syrian refugee who fled to Lebanon with his family to escape the war in his home country. Labaki spotted him working as a delivery boy in Beirut while casting for her film and chose him for its lead role.
Capharnaüm received massive success upon its release in 2018, earning the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and catapulting Al-Rafih to fame.
Following the film's release, the teen resettled in Norway with his family and now attends school there.
The young actor is on his way to a brighter future
Al-Rafih effortlessly played the role of Zain in Capharnaüm and that's maybe because he could relate to the plight of his character: a boy forced to work instead of going to school.
The ending of the film hinted at a bright future for its protagonist, and it looks like that's already translating into reality for the actor.
The teen is now resettled in a country where he'll no longer have to fend for himself until he's an adult. Labaki expressed her pain at bidding him farewell when he left Beirut to Norway earlier this year but also said she was excited for the young boy to start a new life.
"Good luck my Zain. We will miss you here but we are happy you will now be able to go to school and learn and be the best version of yourself," she wrote.