Mo Amer created and starred in one of the most subversive, acclaimed TV shows of 2022 when his A24-produced comedy “Mo” became a Netflix hit. The series, which follows a Palestinian man’s tragically hilarious attempts to jump through the hurdles of the United States’ immigration system, shed light on the bureaucratic challenges that so many asylum seekers face. The show’s unapologetically honest approach to telling immigration stories immediately set it apart from the competition and helped it build a passionate fanbase.
That fanbase apparently includes none other than Steven Spielberg. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Amer looked back on the surreal year that he has enjoyed following the show’s premiere. He singled out unique experiences like his recent AFI Award for TV Program of the Year as highlights of his journey — and revealed that at one point, Spielberg even sent him a letter praising the show.
“Getting honored by the American Film Institute was the first—like, whoa,” Amer said. “You think, to be sitting across James Cameron and Spielberg, that was just crazy to me… because nobody’s ever filmed a show in Houston. We were, like, literally trying to talk [local business owners] into filming in their barber shop and then a year later we’re sitting there getting a letter from Spielberg about how much he enjoyed the show… It just brings tears to your eyes. Like, literally, it just makes it all so worth it.”
In addition to the AFI Award, Amer earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series for his work on the show. Netflix went on to renew “Mo” for a second season, which Amer has announced will be the show’s last.
“I’m thankful to continue to tell a universal story of struggle that relates to so many refugees and millions of underrepresented humans trying to be seen around the globe,” Amer said in a statement announcing the news in January. “And to be able to bring the people who loved and rooted for Mo Najjar along for the ride as we close this chapter of his story.”