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Can dreams really come true? Amadou Ly, Star of Twilight Breaking Dawn tells Darren Cheers they can!

Posted on Wednesday, 7th December 2011 @ 01:54 PM by Text Size A | A | A

When Amadou Ly from Senegal was abandoned by his mother at the tender age of 14 in New York City, life could not be more far removed from his current status as rising Hollywood Star.  Arriving on the foreign shores of the States at just 13 in quest of a better life and education, a series of stressing encounters awaited our young hero.  When hard times struck the pair, out of financial necessity and not from malicious intent, Amadou`s mother was forced to leave her son all alone in this foreign land.  Kicked out onto the Harlem streets by a supposed friend, he resorted to selling anything he could muster, such as flyers and DVDs to make ends meet.   Feeling somewhat of a misfit in this rigid American culture, Amadou had to swiftly learn to assimilate with his peers or face further ostracization and ridicule.  So embracing the art of robotic dancing, Amadou soon discovered he had a great talent that bestowed much positive attention upon him.  This was vital for just 2 years later at 16; he was embroiled in a highly publicised immigration battle.  But because he had lead his team to victory at the New Year Regional Championships, many high profile celebrities and politicians supported him in his plea against deportation and he was granted a visa.

During these trying and emotionally demanding times Amadou, whilst living in a two roomed flat with 18 other immigrants sought solace from music and positive role models such as Oprah Winfrey and Will Young.  The movie Dream Girls (2006) by Bill Condon, with the actress Jennifer Hudson was of particular inspiration for him, and gave him strength to survive and force him forward.

Acting was always in his blood, and Hudson was definitely a big influence for him, but it was engineering that Amadou studied and was training for.  But held back at interviews by suffering from the social handicap of severe shyness, a friend suggested that he take up acting classes to help him surmount this.  And that was it, catching the highly contagious acting bug; the fate and direction of Amadou was now sealed.

“ I was so proud to be able to walk with my mother at the premiere of Twighlight”.  He so appreciatively tells me.   This is testimony to his own incredible positive energy that he is able to move forward from the past and elevate himself into successful future, that he doesn’t harbour grudges.  Walking down the red carpet he was mesmerised by the fans positive reception to his newly written in character of Henri into the latest blockbuster Twighlight Breaking Dawn II.  There is a big sense of symmetry for Amadou, that this Twighlight movie was made by Bill Condon, but coincidently it was Condon`s film Dream Girls 2006 that so inspired and motivated him in the first place.

Rapid success so seems destined on the cards for Amadou since this was merely only his second audition in 7 months and landed a role in a major Hollywood blockbuster.  He was described by Spectrum as “an actor to look out for” and was bestowed with much praise and rave reviews for his portrayal in his first Hollywood theatre production of  ‘Sex, Relationships, and Sometimes Love’.


”This is a dream come true!”  Amadou tells me.  But dreams become manifest when you believe in yourself and make them happen.  One thing is apparent to me when talking to him, that despite such humble and painful origins, he was able to transcend his obstacles.  With his inordinate positive aura and self -belief that life can be bettered that dreams really do come true.  He doesn’t dwell in a negative and destructive past, but learns from such events and uses this to propel him into a prosperous future.

Often the position of celebrity is misconstrued with that of self obsessed, fame hungry narcissism, but Amadou is definitely the antithesis of this, and I feel will always remain so.  He keeps himself in the realms of reality by still doing charity work for the homeless and keeps very much to his roots by still involving himself in robotic dancing.  He even extraordinarily visits lonely immigrants who are waiting for deportation, not knowing their fate, so to make them feel so isolated and alone. This is definitely payment back to all the people who supported him for his immigration fight to remain in the states and for his now present success.

Being of natural French speaking, although he possesses an American accent as thick as blueberry pie, definitely helped differentiate him from his fellow rivals for the part of Henri in Twilight.   It was almost as it had been written for him.  But it wasn’t luck; it wasn’t being in the right place at the right time.  No, his success was self -generated by dreams and belief.  A strong self believe that one day he would accomplish this, almost like cosmic ordering.  Haven’t you noticed that bad things consistently keep happening to the same people, that there appears to be a reoccurring trait of tragedy?   This can often be attributed to attitude and self-doubt and negativity.  If you project a negative energy then negativity will be bestowed upon you.  Look at Amadou for example; despite terrible things happening in his formative years, he kept an optimistic approach and outlook.   Now as reward for his perseverance and non-defeatist approach, things, which appear only what dreams, are made of, almost miraculously materialised in reality.    But it isn’t a miracle; it isn’t a dream, its through self-belief.  And from this self-belief, others believed in him.  Within an inordinately short amount of time he has been catapulted up into the big time, but his feet are still firmly on the ground.  This grounding will keep in on his fast track journey to success.  “I live for the now”, he says and precisely how he should do.   “I am always willing to learn,” he continues to tell me, by reading all sorts of self-development books from The Alchemist to the Power of Now.  If there is something he doesn’t feel he is educated highly enough in, he will address that and teach and expand himself.   In the highly unlikely event his career wavers and he becomes yesteryear’s news, he will still retain that massive sense of achievement, and no regret.  But I feel, and many other critics to do, that his star is in ascendance, and being custodian of such a cosmic sense then the galaxy is his only limit.

Darren Cheers

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