Actor co-stars in veteran TV producer Dick Wolf’s CBS drama
With his second season on “FBI” just ended, Zeeko Zaki knows what a good place he’s in.
The actor followed his initial theater work by launching his television career on the soon-to-end “Homeland,” but he has become a legitimate home-screen star as New York-based FBI Special Agent Omar Adom “OA” Zidan on executive producer Dick Wolf’s Tuesday CBS drama. With Missy Peregrym — who plays his partner, Maggie Bell — having been on maternity leave, Egypt-born Zaki had even more to do on the show lately, and he welcomed it.
Still, he knows the value of developing the relationship between those two characters over plenty of time. “In the Dick Wolf world, that’s the way you can make a show last for 20 years,” the friendly Zaki reasons, “if you just give the audience a little bit of that stuff here and there, and keep them engaged with the crimes and the action. I love when it gets personal.
“It takes such a strong will on the part of our writers and producers to ration something that is so wanted,” says Zaki in response to fans’ comments about seeing more of OA and Maggie beyond work hours. “That’s where the smarts come into it, and that’s exactly what we want, too.”
Zaki also appreciates what the success of the spinoff series “FBI: Most Wanted,” which recently shared a crossover story with “FBI,” can mean for his own show. “It’s kind of nice to feel that this world is a big thing that you’re a part of,” he reflects, “and as the shows evolve, it makes everything make sense and makes it a little easier.”
Birthdate: Jan. 18, 1990
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Current residence: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Marital status: Single
Other television credits include: “Valor,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Daytime Divas,” “The Night Shift,” “24: Legacy,” “Six,” “The Inspectors,” “Satisfaction,” “The Game,” “Under the Dome,” “Revolution,” “Homeland”
Movie credits include: “Escape Plan 2: Hades,” “Allegiant,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” “Max,” “Heart of the Country,” “Stuck in Love”
On TV-series traditions that “FBI” maintains: “With how networks are taking on streaming and the evolution of television, to fall back on these tales-as-old-as-time kinds of equations that Dick (Wolf) has, it’s just such a proven way to do this … and it’s so nice to see that it works again.”