What We Know About Khalid Abdalla, The Actor Playing Dodi Fayed In The Crown

Between the 1980s and 1990s, Princess Diana ruled the world with her kindness and humanitarian efforts. While initially being thrust into the spotlight for her high-profile marriage to King Charles III, then the Prince of Wales, the beloved "People's Princess" soon became a pop culture icon in her own right. However, with her increased fame, the public's newfound interest in her personal life soon took center stage — especially in regard to her dating history.

While Diana was linked to a few people after her split from Charles, her relationship with Egyptian film producer Dodi Fayed proved to be the most sensational. In 1997, their whirlwind romance began after the billionaire ended his engagement to model Kelly Fisher. However, it wasn't until the summer of that year that the two love birds made it official during their high-profile holiday in St. Tropez, per Sara Bradford's biography, "Diana." Unfortunately, the two lost their lives in a tragic car crash in Paris, France, on August 31, per the Associated Press.

Since that fateful night, numerous documentaries and films have explored Diana's final days with Fayed, including Netflix's "The Crown" Season 5. The new batch of episodes — which feature Elizabeth Debicki as the late Princess of Wales and Khalid Abdalla as Fayed — follow the royal family's exploits from 1991 to 1997. Since the season's release, the series has earned praise from fans, with many lauding Abdalla's performance. But the Netflix series is just one of the many projects in which he's thrived. 

Khalid Abdalla has curated an expansive film catalogue

With the fifth season of "The Crown" currently making the rounds, viewers have taken a particular interest in Khalid Abdalla, who plays the late Egyptian billionaire Dodi Fayed. However, the British series is only one of the many projects for which he has gained recognition. Back in 2006, Abdalla first made waves for his gripping performance in the Academy Award-nominated film "United 93."

While he earned critical acclaim, the successful director almost didn't star in the groundbreaking film due to his fear of perpetuating stereotypes regarding the Arab community. "My first reaction on even hearing about the part was I have no interest in doing anything like that for a number of reasons," he told the Los Angeles Times. But, after meeting with the film's director, Paul Greengrass, Abdalla realized "United 93" "wasn't to be a film about stereotypes."

One year after his breakout role, the "Birds Like Us" actor wowed audiences again in the Afghanistan-set film "The Kite Runner," based on Khaled Hosseini's novel of the same name. Like "United 93," Abdalla immersed himself in the emotional role and even learned the Dari language. "That was part of my responsibility. I could never forgive myself if, at the end of the film, Afghans would walk out feeling misrepresented," he told Rotten Tomatoes. Following the release of "United 93" and "The Kite Runner," Abdalla has gone on to star in "Green Zone" and Marvel's "Moon Knight."

Khalid Abdalla continues to break barriers with his current role on The Crown

On November 9, fans were finally treated to the highly anticipated fifth season of "The Crown." In the new batch of episodes, fans get a deeper look at the royal family in the 1990s and their messy entanglements along the way. The season also shines a light on the affluent Fayed family and the start of Dodi Fayed and Princess Diana's tragic romance.

In an interview with Town & Country, Khalid Abdalla opened up about portraying Fayed and the efforts he took to break down his rumored "playboy" lifestyle. "Dodi is someone who had a lot of trouble holding down a relationship," he told the publication. "But this image of him as the Hugh Hefner type is completely false. A lot of his friends in the 90s were saying, 'But that doesn't sound like Dodi at all,' and it wasn't." Thanks to Abdalla's emotional portrayal of Fayed, the British Egyptian actor has received praise from viewers and his industry peers, including co-star Elizabeth Debicki.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the "Tenant" actor — who plays an older Princess Diana — praised Abdalla for his acting methods and "thoughtful" demeanor when approaching the part. "I just adore him. I think that he's such a sensitive, soulful human being," she told the outlet. "Khalid is an incredible actor and again has a sensitivity and intelligence, so he is also such a joy to work with."