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EXCLUSIVE: Meet the new King of the Cross: Home and Away heartthrob to play John Ibrahim in TV series

Sydney has a vibrant identity. In ex-Home and Away heartthrob Lincoln Younes, John Ibrahim has finally found his on-screen ‘king.’

After a nearly two-year hunt, Younes – who is half Australian and half Lebanese – is said to have beaten out a number of other actors for the role of Ibrahim in the book-turned-miniseries Last King Of The Cross.

Ibrahim, who was’very specific’ about who would play him, was impressed with Younes’ acting talents, as well as his similarly dark complexion and light eyes, according to sources close to the production.

Filming on the three-part series is set to begin in Sydney next week.

Ibrahim was born in Tripoli, Lebanon, and moved to Australia in the early 1970s before earning a name for himself in Sydney’s nightlife scene – a rise that will be chronicled in the next series.

Younes, on the other hand, was born and raised by his single mother in Australia, but his biological father is from Lebanon.

Younes has been in a number of iconic Australian shows, including Home and Away, Tangle, Doctor Doctor, and Love Child, despite the fact that he is only 30 years old.

He recently recorded a brief role in the ABC surf drama Barons and a supporting role in the Channel Nine series After The Verdict (which has yet to air).

Ibrahim’s casting in the Paramount + drama Last King of the Cross comes after a long hunt for a leading man, according to a source close to the production, who claims Ibrahim had his sights set on Oscar Isaac of the United States.

The spotlight then went to Zac Efron, but both men are alleged to have died.

Firass Dirani, who played Ibrahim in the 2010 Underbelly Series The Golden Mile, was rumored to be returning to reprise his breakout role earlier this year.

Dirani, on the other hand, put an end to the rumors, telling The Daily Mail Australia in February that ‘that chapter is closed.’

Meanwhile, Younes isn’t the only actor to return to his Lebanese roots for a cinematic role.

In the 2015 Sydney Film Festival dark comedy Down Under, he plays Hassim, a young Lebanese man.

Younes told The Daily Mail Australia at the time that he was proud to explore his ethnic roots while filming the movie about the aftermath of the Cronulla Riots.

‘It was something that I wanted to explore, it meant I could research that side of myself,’ he said.

‘I’ve been fortunate, I haven’t really been affected by racism but I have a lot of friends that have been,’ Lincoln added, before explaining the film definitely intends to challenge cultural stereotypes.

‘There’s a lot of Lebanese (people) in Lebanon if you go there, who looks like I do… so it’s actually about approaching those stereotypes and realizing they are stereotypes,’ he said.

Last King Of The Cross is a three-part television series that follows John and his brother Sam as they rise to dominance in Sydney’s nightclub scene during the 1990s and beyond.

The series is based on the autobiography of the same name, which was published in 2017 and went on to become a bestseller for Pan Macmillan. It is produced by former Endemol Shine CEO Mark Fennessy.

Kieran Darcy-Smith, the accomplished screenwriter best known for his work on Animal Kingdom and Wolf Creek, has written the series. Ibrahim will be a producer himself.

Filming is slated to begin next week in and around Sydney, with a custom-built set – a complete reconstruction of Kings Cross’ notorious ‘Golden Mile’ – said to have been painstakingly cobbled together for the project.

It’s expected that the shoot would last several weeks and that many of the production crew members will have previously worked on Russell Crowe’s Poker Face and – before that – Thor: Love and Thunder.


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