October ‘15
Insight Interview

October ‘15
Loai Omran and Rania Shaheen
Loai Omran and Rania Shaheen


    


Being famous may be the dream yet reaching stardom is a completely different point! That's the case with Loai Omran and Rania Shaheen. Although they both have been acting for a long time now, yet last Ramadan witnessed their true breakthrough! They were able to amaze everybody with their shrewd performances and canny acting skills that there is no doubt that all eyes are on them! Insight chatted with the talented stars who spill the beans on how they kept the treasure that is their undisputable talents 'Taht Elsaytara' all those years!

Loai Omran

Loai Omran is a story on his own. He has the ability to turn heads with every new role he does, yet he disappears like a wicked magician till he amazes us with a new performance. Playing it smoothly yet smartly he strikes with his on point role choices and that was the case in 'Taht Elsaytara' (Under Control)'¦ Keeping his charms behind and with the amount of praise he received from audience, critics and fellow stars, we can't help but wonder if there's any role he can't master...


How did you discover your passion for acting?

After finishing my college I worked as an engineer for a while, my salary was not so high and I wanted to totally depend on myself. At that time, I was offered to participate in fashion shows as a model and the income was very rewarding. After that I met Mrs Sanaa Mansour who offered me to work as a TV host, after working as a TV host for a while I met Mr. Raafat Elmeehy who offered me my first role in 'Alshan Rabena Yehbak' (If you want God to Love You).


Tell us your story with Under Control.

Naturally I am not the kind of person who approaches directors and producers to work with them, that's not how I work. Yet after watching 'Bedoon Zekr Asmaa' (Without Mentioning Names), I called Tamer Mohsen, the director, and expressed my interest to collaborate with him. I found that he as well was fond of me as an actor; he mentioned that he was working on a new project on which we can collaborate. After a whole year, he approached me and offered me my role in Under Control. We started the preparations with Tamer and Mariam Naoum, the scriptwriter; we met real life cases who helped us develop certain strategies for our characters.


What was the hardest scene for you?

My final two scenes were the hardest. The one where I locked myself in the car trying to take the injection in front of the police officers was very hard. This scene only depends on my facial expressions as an actor yet also the music helped in delivering this scene to the audience. I only got this scene written a couple of hours before shooting, we shot it in one take and I found people from neighbouring buildings clapping for me at the end. It was such a great feeling getting their live reaction. The other scene is the one in the hospital; Hazem is not an emotional character by nature and the scene was so emotional. Although I was deeply touched, I tried to hold my tears so I wouldn't ruin the character, so it was very stressful.


In your opinion, why are people always attracted to black dramas like Under Control?

I don't believe it's a matter of genre, just a matter of how you deliver your message and how your performance reaches the audience. People are attracted to anything that feels close to them not as some previously mentioned to specific genres. I believe that this is the case in Taht Elsaytara and its huge success proved them wrong.


How did you find working with Rania?

I've known Rania for 10 years now but this is the first time we work together. She is such a great talented actress and such a sweet humble person. I really enjoyed working with her so much.


Success is a double-edged weapon, aren't you a little anxious regarding your next step?

Very much! Under Control took me to a place I've never been to before. I am so happy with all the feedback and all the success, yet what's more important than all of this is the impact you leave in people's lives and how you succeed to deliver your message through what you do; that's what's really rewarding.


Why are your role choices so limited?

I had a very bad career start, If You Want God To Love You was such a failure in cinemas, and I stayed a very long time after this movie not working on any projects. Yet I am so happy I got the chance to work with a lot of huge superstars. At the end I believe it's a matter of faith and destiny and every one will only take what is meant for him.


What is your favorite memory from your career so far?

After Taht Elsaytara I was heading to the club and I met a young man who told me, 'I used to be a drug addict and all my friends and family left me alone, yet after the series they all returned to talk with me.' You have no idea how this guy made me feel. Being able to touch people's lives and make a change with what I have done is bigger than any reward or any success. Honestly I couldn't stop myself; I called Kamla and Tamer immediately to tell them what he told me.


What are your coming projects?

Nothing is confirmed yet. Several directors approached me regarding several projects but nothing is confirmed.


Rania Shaheen

A power that pumps mighty talents'¦ That's the least to say about Rania Shaheen. Since the day she started she has been on a mission to unleash all her great acting potentials by choosing wisely a variety of characters that are sure to ease her journey to ingenious stardom


How did you discover your passion for acting?

Since I was a little girl I had this dream to act. I used to dance and sing in all family birthday parties. When I grew older, I started to look up for any ads searching for actors but at the beginning I didn't get lucky so I decided to forget the whole thing. Until one day a college friend of mine told me that she had a meeting with Khairy Bshara and asked me to go with her. When he saw me he asked to do a casting shoot, and immediately offered me a part in his new movie.


Tell us your story with Taht Elsytara (Under Control).

Tamer Mohsen's assistant Shady Abdelsalam contacted me and asked me to do casting for Ingy's character. Once I got the part I started my research about drug addicts and bought a lot scientific books about drugs and drugs abusers. We also met real life cases who gave us lots of information about how they exactly feel and what they've been through during every stage. I watched a lot of movies about drug abusers. All of this had work helped me collect the small details that poured the sense of realism to Ingy's character.


What was the hardest scene for you?

The suicide scene was very hard. Another one was the one when Ingy and Tarek met after a long time. The weather was freezing that day, we were shooting 6 am in the morning and I was wearing a very light dress. I was struggling not to show how cold I was, this scene made me very sick that I stayed two days in bed.


In your opinion, why are people always attracted to black dramas like Under Control?

Mariam Naoum has a talent of creating real life characters that would touch you one way or another. She's always sitting with people discussing their problems. She loves people and that's why she has the gift of writing very simple yet extremely realistic characters.


How did you find working with Loai?

I was more than lucky to work with Loai. He's such a kind person; he was very committed and professional while shooting and he helped me a lot by constantly encouraging me and advising me.


Success is a double-edged weapon, aren't you a little anxious regarding your next step?

On the contrary, I am very excited for my next step. I am so passionate about acting; I wish it were a 9 to 5 job. I have no plans regarding what's next, but I'll only do roles that will add to me and I'll enjoy doing.


Why are your role choices so limited?

As I told you I'll only do roles that will add to me and I'll enjoy doing. I want to act with big names and do projects that will add to my career as an actress. Believe it or not, I was offered a lot of projects last Ramadan before Under Control, but I didn't feel like doing any of them.


What is your favourite memory from your career so far?

I was once shooting a TV series and we were waiting for an actor who was late, so I decided to take a nap till he comes. I entered my room and found it crowded, so I left and found a small van that has some shooting equipment and slept in it. What happened is that I woke up after 5 hours finding that they finished shooting without me and were ready to leave the location.


Who would be your dream director/ actor to work with?

I wish to work with Dawood Abdelsayed, Shereif Arafa and Yussry Nassrallah. I wish to work with different directors who follow different schools because each of them will discover something different about my acting skills. I would never ever repeat a role I did before. Usually I over study the character and keep special attention to the little details so once I am done shooting this character I am completely done with it. I don't care about the size of the role; I only care about doing something special and different.


What are your coming projects?

I was offered a role in a movie that is similar to Ingy's character so I declined it because as I told you I am not willing to risk my success by repeating the same character. I am flexible to do any role as long as it won't lock me up in a specific genre.


By Rania Ihab