Khaled Al-Sawy is a prominent Egyptian actor who has left a lasting impression on the screen and in the hearts of the audience. He is known for his careful selection of roles and his versatility in different genres, especially social dramas. He has also been involved in some controversial works, but he does not let that affect him. Al-Sawy is a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause and condemns the atrocities committed by the Zionist regime. In this interview, he talks about his participation in the protest stand organized by the artistic unions in Egypt, his role in his new film “The Black Sea”, and other topics.
How do you view the meeting of the artistic unions to condemn the Zionist aggression against the Palestinians?
I think it is a necessary and important step to send a message to the world in different languages and to express our solidarity with Palestine and the people of Gaza. We, as artists, have always stood with the oppressed and the just causes, whether in Iraq, Lebanon, or elsewhere. I also hope that human rights organizations will join us in supporting the Palestinian cause.
Do you think Egyptian cinema has done enough to support the Palestinian cause?
Egyptian cinema has a long history of supporting the Palestinian cause and exposing the crimes of Zionism. Since 1948, we have produced many films that highlight the suffering and struggle of the Palestinian people, as well as dramas and songs that keep their memory alive. We, as creative people in our country, do not need anyone to tell us to stand with the truth and with Arab Palestine.
Tell us about your new film, “The Black Sea”.
It is a new cinematic experience that I am very excited about. The film is written and directed by Alaeddin Mustafa, who is making his debut with this film. It also stars Tharaa Jbeil, Hamza Al-Aili, and other talented actors. The film revolves around a new deadly virus that spreads through eye contact and is more dangerous than the coronavirus. This forces everyone to stay at home, fearing infection. The film explores the dark and mysterious aspects of human life that emerge in such a difficult situation.
What attracted you to this film?
I was fascinated by the symbolic vision of the film, which does not contradict reality, but rather imagines a worse scenario than what we are living now. The film tries to delve into the human psyche and how it reacts to fear and panic. What I liked most about the film is that it deals with the theme of resistance to life, which shows different facets of human nature. Such disasters can bring out the best or the worst in people.
What are the details of your role?
I play a very interesting and complex character. He is the only person who has a past that haunts him amid this disaster. He uses electronic applications that provide various services to those trapped inside their homes, such as during the time of Corona, to relive his memories and find what he has lost. He tries to recreate his past, or in other words, he substitutes it with a virtual reality. This is very painful because it is like buying fake happiness through an artificial world. He seeks to buy love, friendship, family, and so on through this application.
What did you like about the film?
I was drawn to the film by its bold and different young ideas. I love presenting such films and working with young directors and authors who have a new and different vision. They challenge me to play new and bold roles that suit their imagination.
What kind of cinema do you prefer?
I enjoy presenting all kinds of cinema. I present films that participate in festivals and win awards, as well as films that achieve success at the box office, such as light-hearted comedies. I also present films that may not be popular in cinemas but have a great impact on the audience when shown on television channels.
How do you choose your roles?
I choose my roles based on my feelings towards the scripts. If I like the script while reading it, I agree to do it immediately. If I don’t like it, I reject it, no matter how much money I am offered or how much they try to convince me.
What surprises do you have for your audience?
The audience always expects me to surprise them with the quality of my work and the roles that I play. I am very happy with this diversity and I try to present something new and surprising in every work, whether it is serious or comedy, academic or simple, complex or direct. The most important thing for me is to present my works in the best way and to put all my effort into them.
Do you regret any of your work?
I have never regretted any of my works throughout my artistic career. They are all part of my artistic history and I aimed for them to be at the best artistic level. Sometimes this did not happen for reasons beyond my control, but I still respect them and learn from them.