What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?
Actually, I need someone to advise me! I need a reminder to always be patient and determined, to take a moment to review and renew my intentions and goals and review my mistakes and try to correct them. That’s why I cannot advise, I can only recommend based on my personal experience. I found myself when I started to do what I really love. That’s why when I sit with people who haven’t found their passion yet; I tell them to keep searching because it’s such a beautiful feeling to finally find your passion. “Don’t waste your time! It’s not necessary to leave everything behind because you found your passion. Make a rational and balanced plan, start acting quickly, please!”
How do you manage your time and balance between your personal and professional life?
I noticed that work can really affect my relationship with my friends and even my family, so I decided to pause every now and then in between my busy schedule and spend time with my family and friends. It was a bold decision to take not to work and travel with my daughter instead, for example. And if I fail to take a break during the day, I try to take it every week and between each project. I am also keen to have an annual vacation.
How do you prepare for Ramadan?
Ramadan is often a vacation for me and I consider it a time to review the year. I love to finish all the loads of work I have before Ramadan starts. I try to relax and enjoy it as much as I can. I follow anything related to the media after Ramadan.
Is this project the reason you are not starring in any series this Ramadan?
Yes, because the theatre needs full-time concentration and I needed to work in the theatre at this time of my life. So I did not take any work related to Ramadan, except for my appearance as guest of honor, because being a guest does not need me to be on set for long periods of time.
Your new project “Amen w Shorakah” is proving success day after day. Were you afraid of negative feedback?
I was not worried. The feedback was really encouraging. Overall, the project is one of a kind and that’s what slowly created a relationship with the audience. It’s not just a show; it’s a new team that will grow more and more. Nowadays, I am working on the second season, which will be totally different from the first one. I follow the feedback, but I am not satisfied yet. I’m going wait until after the second season to get the real feedback.
”El Waseya” was a turning point in your career as an actor. It achieved tremendous success! What was your reaction when you were offered the role?
When Akram Hosny called me to play a role in “El Waseya,” I figured that this would be the best choice for me. I love Akram and liked his way of thinking. And when I heard the idea, I loved the whole subject. I joined the project with tranquility because I was confident that the chemistry and understanding between Akram and I will make me enjoy working all the time and this is what actually happened.
You are a writer, TV presenter, and an actor, what drew you to each one of them?
The most important thing about all of these professions is that they are all means to help people break down prevailing concepts and re-establish them. Therefore, they became a way to change people for the better, and the most beautiful value is that the entertainment industry remains a source of joy for people and a great way to change your mood.
It seems like you are doing great as an actor, why didn’t you start earlier?
I left the theatre in 2002 as I was going through a dilemma of deciding whether I want to work in a profitable job or pursue my goals and ambitions. I stopped acting and turned to the press. I became the youngest editor in the institution “Al Sharq Al Awsat” and I was the head of a children’s magazine. Even though I was scriptwriter at this time, which is not far from art, but I was still thinking and searching, wanting to do the thing that I loved most since I was a kid, which is acting. I did not care about being late to take such a step. All I care about now is that I am doing something I really love, even if it’s for a few days. And I am keen to keep working in a way that is efficient and gets the audience’s appreciation.
What was the feedback like after the shift?
If by shift, you mean acting in television series and dramas, instead of the television shows I used to host, I can tell you that people’s feedback, especially after “El Waseya,” was better than I expected. The audience enjoyed my character in the series “Semsem,” to the extent that campaigns appeared on Facebook to draw the character of Semsem. An exhibition was organized and had almost 400 paintings of the character Semsem and there were also t-shirts which had the character’s name on them. I thank God for this delightful success and I hope it continues down the road.
You used to be a successful TV presenter before becoming an actor, why did you shift careers?
I started as a theatre actor since I was eight years old with “The Atelier” theatre team with my brother, who was in the Faculty of Fine Arts. I participated in many performances with the team and I remained connected to the theatre even after I graduated. So I am basically an actor, and my role in “Al Plateau” TV show was also considered acting, as the show was based mainly on sketches. That’s why I don’t consider working as an actor as career shifting; it is just an extension, instead of sketches, I am making drama series.
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