Ramy Youssef Talks Bella Hadid's Acting Debut on 'Ramy,' Teases Her Future on the Show (Exclusive)

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Bella Hadid
Hulu

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

Ramy, the semi-autobiographical dramedy from Ramy Youssef, just released its third season on Hulu Friday, and similarly to the last, it's chock full of guests stars. In addition to the show's series regulars, Ramy sees the likes of Majid Jordan, Sarita Choudhury and Bella Hadid joining the cast for the show's long-awaited third season.

The supermodel makes her acting debut in episode 4, which is aptly titled, "that's what she said." Hadid, who has been outspoken about her Palestinian heritage, and her ties to Islamic culture, appears as Lena, the "odd," quirky, Muslim girlfriend of Steve (Steve Way), Ramy's best friend.

As viewers remember from previous seasons, Steve suffers from muscular dystrophy and is wheelchair-bound. Ramy goes to dinner with Steve and Lena, not just because he's their ride to a wrestling match later, but because this is his first time meeting Steve's significant other after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to spend some time apart.

The match instantly perplexes Ramy. While her beauty is still very much present, Hadid is very much the anti-supermodel in this role -- no perfectly coiffed hair or on-trend outfit, instead, she's quite aloof, nervously tearing up small pieces of bread, and not for Steve, who struggles to eat on his own, but for herself, with Steve confirming that she too likes to take "small bites."

The pair have their own rapport, cracking "that's what she said" jokes -- a nod to The Office -- back and forth to Ramy's disbelief. While Steve is infatuated with Lena, Ramy is having a hard time getting it.

"So, how'd you guys meet again?" Ramy asks. "Oh, dude. The best app!" Steve replies. "Muslim Match."

"You don't have to be Muslim to?" Ramy begins before Steve excitedly interjects. "Nah, they'll let anybody on," Steve affirms.

Playing off some of Ramy's own "Muslim guilt," Steve shares that his knowledge of her faith drew them together, in addition to their mutual love for The Office, which seems to be the glue that's holding this couple together.

"I told Lena, 'Muslim guilt has helped me a lot,' you know about that," he says to Ramy. "She laughed, and then she saw one of my favorite shows was The Office, so I sent her a GIF of Jim shrugging."

"The Office is really relatable," Lena adds turning to Ramy before delivering her next line. "I really like that show, a lot."

To their surprise, Ramy has never seen the beloved workplace comedy, creating even more tension between him and the couple. After Lena leaves to use the bathroom, Ramy takes the time to get the real tea on Steve's new lady love.

"Dude, isn't she great?" Steve asks. "I'm thinking about proposing, so I might need you to hook up a ring."

"Proposing? That seems a little bit soon, right?" a shocked Ramy shoots back. "Do you know everything about her?"

Still not convinced, Ramy presses Steve about just how well he knows Lena, attributing her quirkiness and her unwillingness to drive -- the real reason Ramy has joined them that night -- to something more, even suggesting that she may be on the autism spectrum.

"Fine, she's a little different," Steve admits. "But she's kind. She's a real Muslim."

"This isn't Muslim behavior," Ramy insists. "You asked me to drive to wrestling tonight because she can't. Why? Why doesn't she have a driver's license? And I think maybe you guys have something special, but I think you should know everything about her before you get married."

After Lena returns from the bathroom, she continues to make references to The Office, again to Ramy's confusion, before he is interrupted by work. Now working at Maktoub, a jewelry shop in direct competition with his Uncle Naseem's business, he is called to make a delivery for a client.

As often happens, Ramy's plans with Steve get wildly out of hand. Before long, the client joins Ramy, Lena and Steve, making them even later for the wrestling match, and further impacting Lena's opinion of Ramy as Steve takes second place to his work.

Bella Hadid
Hulu

In the end, they miss Steve's wrestling match, but to Ramy's surprise, Lena gets behind the wheel, letting Ramy know that she knows exactly what he thinks of her.

"It's over," a disappointed Steve tells Ramy, after his night of hijnx finally comes to an end. "What?" Ramy replies. 

"The match is over," Steve continues. "I'm sorry, it's like a whole -- the whole thing took a lot longer than I thought it would, man," Ramy says, beginning to apologize before Steve cuts him off.

"I don't see you for a whole year, and then you pull this sh*t?" Steve asks. "The only time you call me is when you needed a f**king chauffeur because your girlfriend can't drive, which makes no sense. If there was one requirement for your girlfriend, it would be a driver's license," Ramy replies.

"Lena's kind," Steve fires back. "And fun. And she thinks about people other than herself." 

It's then that Lena, now sitting in the driver's seat, shares what she really thinks of Ramy. "Steve told me all about you," she says before taking a shot at Ramy's failed marriage to Zainab, which viewers remember from season 2. "I know exactly who you are. I'm Team Zainab."

Hadid does not return until the final episode when Steve is ready to propose to Lena. But as Ramy has moved up in the ranks at Maktoub, both his friends and his Uncle Naseem begin to turn against him, questioning his moral compass given some of Maktoub's unethical business practices.

Bella Hadid
Hulu

Ultimately, Steve decides to buy an engagement ring from Naseem, sending Ramy further on a spiral that has him questioning his own life choices more than he ever has before.

With Steve seemingly getting ready to tie the knot with Lena, it seems Hadid could make an appearance should the show return for a fourth season.

ET spoke to Youssef following the show's season 3 premiere Friday, where he teased the possibility of Hadid's return and why she was a perfect fit for the role.

"We would love to," Youssef said of having Hadid return for a fourth season. "I think that there's a lot to explore with that relationship."

He continued, "That role was not initially written for Bella. It was just a role that we were excited about doing. And I think when we got Bella into it, after we shot it and after working with her, we got so excited about the potential of doing more with them."

When it came to Hadid's acting debut, Youssef said he he was "so impressed" adding that the mode has "that thing you could never really teach."

"It was really great. I mean, it really only worked because there was a great level of trust," Youssef shared. "I think that you can imagine the amount of eyes that are on Bella, and for her to make the foray into something that is a different medium, can come with a lot of pressure, but she really just handled it like someone who'd already been there."

"I was so impressed, not only just with everyone around, I mean, she knew everyone's name after one day, but also just her ability to perform," the Ramy creator continued, gushing over Hadid's performance. "I mean, I think her performance is really odd and special, and she just has that thing that you could never really teach. And it's beyond being a model for sure."

The casting of Hadid and other Middle Eastern and Muslim stars is something that's organic to the show, with Youssef telling ET that everyone he's brought on has been both a fan of the show and a friend.

"I think it feels organic to the show," Youssef said of the cast and its guest stars. "I think that everyone we've brought in has just been a fan of the show, and somewhat of a friend. And so many of the people that work on this show, I have personal connections with. I mean, like Julian Sergi, who plays Yuval this season, I've known him since I was 18.

"I've known obviously Dave Merheje, and Steve Way, and Mo Amer. All these guys I've known, coming on decade or decades, depending on who you're talking about -- Laith Nakli, same thing," he added. "So, it's cool. There's just a natural chemistry with everyone who gravitates towards the show, and we only really bring in people who feel like they would fit into that family."


See Hadid make her acting debut on season 3 of Ramy, streaming now on Hulu.

-- Reporting by Mona Khalifeh

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