Ramy Youssef on Capping 'Ramy' Off at 4 Seasons, and What's Next for His Titular Character (Exclusive)

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Ramy Youssef
Hulu

Spoilers Ahead: Please do not continue reading if you haven't watched season 3 of Ramy.

After two years of patiently waiting, fans were greeted with season 3 of Ramy Friday. The semi-autobiographical dramedy from Ramy Youssef hit Hulu with all the quips, existential crisis and tugs at the heartstrings that viewers have come to know and love from the Hassan family.

From a move up the ladder, taking a job with Matkoub, to discovering he's a father, Ramy is hit with new highs and lows that have him questioning his faith and himself like never before. ET spoke to Youssef following the season 3 premiere, about what's next for Ramy as his life takes a drastic turn, and why he'd like to cap the series off at four seasons.

At the tail end of the season Ramy not only struggles with a job that has cost him personal and professional relationships, but that has him feeling morally spent, clinging to his faith at a time where it feels like he has almost nothing else.

"Well, I think we were really interested in putting him in a situation that wasn't easy, but that felt grounded to where he would be. I think personally, I'm never really ... at least with my character, I'm not excited about making him look like a hero. I think he's representative of all of our lower selves and all of those internal dialogues and all of those wrong decisions we almost make but don't, or ones that we do make, but maybe try to hide from other people," Youssef said of the titular character struggles this season. "I think with him, it's just all naked, and it's all out there. And so I think that we put him in that position. And I think that part of it is ultimately for him to actually go low so that he can come back up high."

While grappling with the wrong decisions he's made, Ramy is also processing the news that he has become a father, after discovering that his ex-wife, Zainab, welcomed a daughter in secret after their short-lived marriage. As for what fatherhood will mean for Ramy, Youssef called it a "turning point" for the often "selfish" character.

"I think part of the realization that he comes to towards the end of the season, is that I think he's genuinely excited to live for someone that's not himself," Youssef shared. "And I think he's been a bit plagued by his selfishness and is excited by selflessness, and I think that will also come with its own challenges. But, I do feel like for him, he's embracing it as a turning point, and it feels really representative of what maybe could be the closest he's ever come to love."

Whether Ramy will open up about the more intimate parts of his life to his family is another question, with Youssef telling ET that he's craving for the Hassan family to "connect in even more radical honesty" than ever before in the seasons to come.

"I think in general, I'm craving to see them connect in even more radical honesty with each other as a family, but I don't know how honest it will get because I think there are certain things that just remain unsaid within families," he explained. "And sometimes, that's for the best. But I think that I'm excited for more honesty, and I'm excited for the joy that comes with more honesty."

While Youssef didn't say much about what a season 4 would entail, he did say he's looking to cap things off there -- pressing pause on the series in hopes of returning to it in the future and coming at it from a different angle.

"It is what I would love to do," Youssef said on pressing pause on the series after four seasons. "It would be really exciting. I mean, I think we always see where the story goes."

"I wouldn't have believed anyone who told me we'd make it this far," he continued. "But I did hope from the beginning that we'd be able to do four seasons. It always feels like a really nice size. But yeah, it'd be really cool to, at some point in the future beyond that, come at it from a different angle."

Youssef also had a hand in creating Mo, the Netflix series loosely based off the life of Ramy actor and stand-up comedian, Mo Amer. While both stories are told from the perspective of an Arab, Muslim man, Youssef said he was excited to help bring Amer's story to the screen.

"I was always really fascinated by this idea of the people who work under the table in this country. And I saw Mo over the years, doing his stand-up, and he had had a really great idea for a short film based on his family being driven out of Kuwait," Youssef said of the show, which sees Amer's character struggling to make it in Houston as a Palestinian refugee. "And we really started talking about that as a TV show many, many years ago. And I think for me, especially once I got the experience making the first season of Ramy, I felt really emboldened in terms of like, 'Oh, we just made a TV show,' and I just made one that I was also acting in, that was really hard, and I had a lot of help doing that too, and I thought, 'OK, well, so it's always easier when you're not in it, and it would be really fun to help Mo with this.'"

More than just helping Amer -- his longtime friend -- tell his story, Youssef maintained that he really wanted this story to exist, for both Arab and Muslim viewers, and all watchers of the show, to have a different lens on the Middle Eastern experience in America.

"I like I really wanted this story to exist, and I feel like to be with a guy like Mo, who has such a great story and so much stand-up, I knew that networks would be into supporting that," he explained. "And I felt like it'd be really nice to give Arab Muslim viewers a different type of show. I think the show is so much different from the Hulu show, and I think that it shows to the industry that, man, we haven't even done a show about a woman yet, which I'm working on."

"I'm working with a few people on trying to make that a reality," Youssef added. "Trying to develop in a few different directions. So, it's exciting. I think it shows how much we're able to do, and that we can't really be defined to just one box or one category."

Similarly to RamyMo leaves off on a cliffhanger that has viewers wondering what will happen to the character next, both physically and spiritually. With so much left to be seen, Youssef said he's hoping for a second season.

"I'm very excited about that idea. And we're very hopeful for a second season," Youssef said. "We are really just so excited by the outpour of support we've gotten.

"And really, it's been this amazing spiritual experience in a way of this show coming out," he added of Ramy's third season, which came out just over a month after Mo's debut. "It came out a month and a half apart, and we're finding so many new people in the audience. And it's just very, very exciting. So, we're really hopeful we get to do more."

As fans have come to love seeing Amer on Ramy, Youssef said he hasn't ruled out stepping in front of the camera and guest-starring on Mo.

"I'd love to guest star on the show. I actually just texted Mo a character pitch for season two. He hasn't texted me back yet. I think he's busy, but he'll text me back. But if Mo's reading this, text me back. Let me know if you think I could do it," Youssef quipped. "I also might just flip it into one of the scripts and see if he notices, and just see what happens. Maybe I'll just put it in a script, and I'll just show up on set, and he'll be like, 'Oh, sh*t, what are you doing here?' I'll be like, 'Dude, I put it in.'"


Season 3 of Ramy is streaming on Hulu now.

-- Reporting by Mona Khalifeh

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