Egyptian-Tunisian actress Hend Sabry has been a prominent star in both cinema and television over the last decade. Her latest film, “Kira We El Gen”, came to light recently after three years of delay. The film also boasts two mega actors Karim Abdel Aziz and Ahmed Ezz. It was the first film to bring the trio together. She said it carries a message for the young generations. Daily News Egypt interviewed the brilliant actress to learn more about her experience in “Kira We El Gen”.
How was your experience in the “Kira We El Gen” film?
The film achieved great success on the first day of its release. In fact, I received positive reactions from the audience in the special screening of the film. Many journalists and media workers praised the film and discussed with us their views of it. Of course, the film stars a large group of actors, including Karim Abdel Aziz, Ahmed Ezz, Ruby, Sayed Ragab, Iyad Nassar, Ahmed Malik, Ali Qassem, Arefa Abdel Rasoul, Hoda Al Mufti and Ahmed Abdullah Mahmoud. The film was written by Ahmed Murad and directed by Marwan Hamed.
Why was the film’s release postponed for three years?
When we started shooting the movie, the COVID-19 pandemic happened, so everything stopped completely. When the situation gradually improved, we resumed filming. But there was another problem, as most of the actors were busy filming other works at the time, so we could not proceed. This would have affected our performance in the film, but director Marwan Hamed made great efforts to keep everyone focused and in character.
What about your character in the film?
The film was based on the “1919” novel by Ahmed Murad. I played the character of Dowlat Fahmy, one of the heroes of the Egyptian resistance movement against the British occupation. She paved the way for other women to serve their country alongside caring for their families.
How did you prepare for the character?
It is a historical character, so we had to stimulate everything in this period, perhaps a hundred years ago; including fashion, transportation, and lifestyle. Director of photography Ahmed El Morsi, costume designer Nahid Nasrallah, and set decorator Bassem Hossam made great efforts in this film.
Would this film open the door for more historical works?
I hope so, as we currently have historical TV shows only. We should have more historical films, especially as Egypt has a rich history. But the lack of enough financial resources has always been an obstacle.
Do you think the shortage of historical films in Egypt is due to lack of enough financial resources?
Production indeed plays an important and essential role and is the basis of every film. We have very good novels and scripts that did not see the day’s light due to production.
How was your acting experience with Karim Abdel Aziz and Ahmed Ezz?
I was honoured to work with each of them separately, but this was the first time to work with them both in one film. Working with them is more than wonderful. In fact, there is artistic chemistry between them and they are keen to present their best performance. This is in addition to the pleasant atmosphere that adds to the spirit of the work.
The film was released alongside two other films by Tamer Hosni and Mohamed Imam, how do you see this competition?
First, the film has a special nature, and I do not mind competition. I expect the film to be a great success because I have great confidence in the audience’s taste. This became clear a few days after the film was released. The real competition was to challenge ourselves and offer our best, and we must all add to the film industry.
The story of the film was not new, as it was presented in many previous works. What does the new film offer differently?
We present a completely different story. The people will enjoy a historical story mixed with comedy and drama. The film also discusses some issues that trouble Egyptian and Arab families.
Some say that you chose to play that character in the film because of your position as WFP Goodwill Ambassador?
Absolutely not, I separate between my social activities and my work. I care about the content of my works, whether in cinema or TV.
What are your next works?
I am busy shooting some works, but I want now to enjoy the success of Kira We El Gin.
You have not presented any new TV shows for a while, why?
I was busy shooting some films and I see myself as a daughter of cinema and I love cinema, but I do not deny that I fell in love with television, especially after the success of my previous works.
How do you explain the shift of many cinema actors into television?
It is indeed a remarkable phenomenon, and I am frankly worried about the cinema. I believe the lack of proper scripts pushed actors to work more in TV shows.
As a movie star, do you see a difference between television and cinema?
Of course, there is a big difference between television and cinema. Performance on television is completely different from that in cinema. The reactions must be louder and stronger, as well as the voice and manner of delivery so that the artist can draw the attention of the viewer who is sitting in his house.
Some say that you are one of the highly paid actresses, is it true?
I only ask for my rights, and any artist has the right to evaluate his effort, and the producer can accept or reject it. And for the record, the actresses’ wages are nothing compared to the men’s, in fact, we are paid way lower than we are supposed to be.
You presented only a few films throughout your career, why?
This is true because I chose a longer path. I did not want to work in films only for the sake of being present in the scene. One of the producers once told me that I like complex films. Therefore, the road is longer, and what is distinctive about it is that it gives me credibility and respect among the public.
What are the special criteria by which you accept the movie or series?
I love films that live in the mind and heart of people, and these are the films that can chronicle the march of cinematic art. A film like “The Yacoubian Building” cannot be forgotten. On the other hand, I may not pay much attention to films that are made for the sake of financial profit only, even if they have a wide audience. The meaning is that I love strong films that can participate in international forums and through which we can say that we, as Arabs, have cinema.
After your success in cinema and television, would you consider the theatre?
I hope to find a good script that gives me the chance to present a proper play. I am very fond of theater, but my preoccupation with cinema and television works forced me to postpone the step more than once, but I will think about it during the next stage.
Have all your dreams come true?
One of God’s blessings upon us is that our dreams change with time and circumstances. However, I think that I have achieved a large part of my dreams.
What’s new for you in the coming period?
I signed a contract to present a series called “In the Wind”, which adopts an American format. I like its story very much and the character that I will present. We started filming a while ago, and I will finish within the coming weeks.