If you’re under 16 you’ll know Moustafa Chousein-Oglou as Blane on MI High – girls adore him and boys want to be him.
MI High is a children’s spy series on CBBC and Blane is the new teen heart-throb.
As one female fan wrote on the BBC website: “I don’t watch MI High but I might consider it now, coz this guy is so hot.”
But three years ago, he was a normal kid at school, taking his GCSEs and wondering what to do with his life. Which is why Moustafa, 17, has agreed to be the ‘big name’ attached to Oxford’s Summerscreen Festival kicking off tomorrow.
Because it aims to get youngsters interested in film and TV from the other side of the screen.
And until Moustafa went for the BBC audition he had never even considered a job as an actor. Why not?
“Because things like that only happen to other people,” he says.
And now that his stint on MI High is over (he’s too old at 17), he has enrolled on a camera course in Islington in London, where he lives, and hopes to pursue a career in cinematography.
Luckily for us, Moustafa’s noticed an advert auditioning the MI High part on his school noticeboard and thought he’d give it a go. So he turned up, spent a day improvising and reading through the scripts and was told a few days later he’d got the part.
“I was in a revision class at the time when they rang to tell me and I screamed, got up and just ran out. I was so excited,” he says.
Until he was 16 Moustafa was only allowed to work on the series for five hours a day but after that he was on set from 7am-7pm five days a week and loved every minute of it.
He says kids treated him the same at school, but it’s only in the outside world that he gets treated any differently.
“I went to see my friend yesterday and got chased by 30 kids who surrounded me and harrassed me. It was quite scary really, so I just gave them loads of autographs and escaped, but it was quite traumatic.”
So does he enjoy the celebrity status?
“No, I get embarrassed by it really, really easily,” he admits, “but at the start I did get a bit cocky about it and a bit big-headed. Only because I was earning my own money so got much more independent and I was getting myself up and taking myself off to work. But I soon noticed I was being an idiot and got my priorities straight,” he says.
And did he have any idea how big MI High would be?
“No idea at all. But it sounded such fun and such a great idea, far better than anything else that was on TV at the time.”
So what next? "Well I’m hoping it will continue. Obviously I’d love to get another really big part but I’ve also enrolled at college to do a BTec in camera work because I’ve always been interested in directing as well.
“But I think it’s really good to have options and a career plan so I’m delighted to be involved with Summerscreen. My advice to anyone who wants to get into the industry is to go for it.”
As for a girlfriend Moustafa says: “It’s too much hassle. I’m single and I’m staying that way.”
So all you female fans who like a challenge… watch this space.
Moustafa Chousein-Oglou will be giving out the awards at the Best Of The Fest after the screenings for the top films made during the Summerscreen Festival on Sunday, August 3, at the Phoenix Picturehouse, Jericho