Tarek Lotfy is an actor who has all the standards of stardom. He has tremendous talent, perfect performance, high morals, and a sophisticated style. He has achieved continuous successes over the past years and was able to create a unique place for himself. He used to choose his works carefully. As a viewer, you only have to dive into the characters he presents. Although some of the works that he presented were complex and difficult, the audience always sympathizes with them because he conveys all the details and the psychological aspects of the roles he presents.
ï Could you tell us about the series “Diary of A Husband”?
It is a very realistic series that deals with real events experienced by many people and discusses the idea of a midlife crisis. Raouf’s character, which I presented in the events of the series, resembles many men. This series is suitable for all times, whether it is presented now or decades later because the crisis it deals with is a real human crisis from which everyone around the world suffers.
ï Some said you defended men and blamed women in the series. What do you think?
It was not meant to defend men, but we addressed the problem frankly and realistically and dealt with the story from the man’s point of view, in a very humane and simple way. Perhaps this was not usual in drama, as the male point of view is usually absent. But the series shed light on this vision, and therefore a great controversy took place, and I think that many women will review themselves after the series because all a man needs is appreciation only. For example, in the case of “Raouf”, all his requests were simple and not insurmountable. There is a scene that illustrates the nature of the crisis when the husband transferred to his wife the school fees for their children and an additional part for her. The wife did not appreciate this and sneered at him, saying, “Are you waiting for me to build a statue for you? This is your turn.” He was just waiting for the word “thank you”. The lack of appreciation is the man’s basic problem.
ï You have a large audience of women, aren’t you worried about their anger?
Never! Women are very aware. The series invites them to discuss and review themselves so that they can contain the man so that they are not surprised by his escape from the house or his being led in the wrong way. In the events of the series, the husband did not intend to betray his wife when he met a young girl. Rather, he needed a partner for his life who would understand and absorb his crisis.
ï The husband appears in the series as a traitor, so why do you sympathize with him?
I really sympathize with the husband “Raouf” because he is a very civilized and upright person who knows very well the rights and duties of his family. But the problem was with his wife, who does not give him any attention, does not give him space to express himself, and marginalized him. By the way, this is the man’s problem in general, that the wife and children consider him a person with guaranteed existence, and that everything he does, even if it is beyond his ability, is taken for granted, and this is not natural.
Indeed, the children and the wife have the right to feel that the father is their safety for them and exists endlessly, but at the same time, his fatigue must be appreciated. The man is very frustrated when the wife sees that all his efforts are his role and he does not deserve “thanks”. On the other hand, if a man sees that his wife’s role is to cook, clean, and take care of the children, then this is very frustrating for her. There must be partnership and appreciation, even if each party performs the role required of them.
ï Why did you decide to suddenly change your artistic path to social roles like the series “Ghamam Island” and “The Night of Falling”?
Yes, I was set to change this year because I am convinced that the “state of astonishment” that will afflict the audience who follows me is a large part of success, and this is only achieved by going to areas in acting that your audience does not expect you to go to, and that change makes me as an actor enjoy and challenge myself. I do not like betting on the expected, which some believe guarantees success with the audience. By the way, the embodiment of simple characters is much more difficult than complex characters, because they do not have clear features, unlike, for example, the Egyptian, terrorist, or evil character, which is more clear and easier to impersonate.
ï Do you think the character that you presented in the “Ghamam Island” series was much more difficult?
Yes, it was a difficult character, but it was doomed to success. Success in it depends on the actor’s mastery of the nature of this character drawn on paper, but acting simple characters does not guarantee success, because despite the lack of features for them, they change all the time during the events, and therefore we will find that the character of “Raouf” differed after he left the house and set off on everything, from the way of walking to the colors of clothes and hairstyle, although they striking changes, they reach the viewer.
ï Some said “The Night of Falling” was an extension of “Al-Qahira Kabul” series, do you agree?
Absolutely not, it is a work that I challenged myself with, and I was looking for a new angle to present it in a different way, and the two characters are completely different. My character, which I presented in the series “Cairo Kabul”, is a symbol of all the leaders of extremism, and we approached them to some extent in form, as all the symbols of extremists were represented in this character. In “The Night of Falling”, I present a real character, where I embody the role of “Al-Dabbah”, a bloody person and a criminal who joined a terrorist organization to practice crime.
ï What difficulties did you encounter while filming the work in Iraq?
We were already suffering from some difficulties, on top of which was a fatal rise in temperature, as it reached 60 degrees Celsius, and heavy clothes were very difficult with the high temperature. Also, the nature of the place and the circumstances of filming were difficult, as we filmed in real places, including one of the oldest castles in Iraq and the world. So the picture in the series is different. Also, training in carrying weapons is difficult because the weapons that we used in the series are real. We even demolished a real village and hit it with real guns, live ammunition, and Kalashnikovs. This village was inhabited in the past by the terrorist organization “ISIS”, and the explosives were strong and difficult, although the explosion was about 20 meters away from us, but I could see the flames in front of my eyes.
ï Aren’t you afraid of the dangers during the shooting, especially when you say the weapons are real?
This is our profession that we love, and when you want to highlight the facts, you must know that you have a difficult task and you must be responsible. Indeed, the risk was very great, and on one occasion we had scenes of explosions, for example, there was a scene that included placing 7 or 8 explosions in different places, and unfortunately, a real mine was placed by mistake and it exploded, and thank God no one was injured, because it was a distance away from us. However, when using Kalashnikov weapons, we did not put live ammunition in them for the safety of the work team and we relied on the sound only, while this sound was very loud, and therefore it was required that the strike take place at a distance of 6 meters. There were scenes that required the Kalashnikov to be fired at a shorter distance, so I would carefully choose the place to hit those in front of me, and not aim the weapon at the heart area, and many people were in pain.
ï The series brought together a number of stars from the Arab world, so how do you see this experience?
It was a wonderful experience from which I benefited a lot on the professional and technical levels. I was honored to cooperate with all the wonderful cast of work and made beautiful friendships. I also gained a new audience, who are the residents of Kurdistan, and they do not speak Arabic, but the series was translated for them, and they were happy to have an Egyptian actor because they really love Egyptians a lot.
What is the reason for your absence from the cinema, and why did the “Party 9” film stop?
I did not leave the cinema of my own free will, but unfortunately, I did not find a job that suits me, and I am certain that if I find a good job, I will present it immediately. As for “Party 9”, it was not completed due to its production conditions, although it is a wonderful, new and different work.