There will be no shortage of choice when it comes to post-iftar viewing this Ramadan, but one series that is securely on our list is Abo Omar El Masry. With a mix of topical issues, thrown together with action, drama and a star-studded cast headed by hot star Ahmed Ezz, mark it on your calendar right now. Cairo West Magazine scooped an exclusive interview during his hectic filming schedule, just to whet our appetites even more.
CWM: Every few years you hit our screens with something exciting and it looks as though your new series Abo Omar El Masry will be no exception. What can you tell us about your role?
AE: Abo Omar is a man who was raised as an orphan and he seeks justice, for both the weak and the oppressed, and fights to win back their rights by any legal means necessary. This leads him into trouble and we will see as events unfold in the series where he’ll end up. We’ll also see how these troubles transform a peaceful man into someone entirely different.
Did you find that you relate to the role of Abo Omar?
I don’t have much in common with him as a character besides stubbornness and an the ability to not break easily!
You are backed up by a star-studded cast, have you worked with many of these well-known names before?
I have worked with Monzer Reyahnah before on El Maslaha, and he is a good friend of mine. His role in this series is quite different, and I wish him all the success in the world. In fact, even those I didn’t work with before, I hope to work with again and hope they get the recognition they deserve.
How do you cope with the hectic schedule of filming a Ramadan series, do you have time management tips?
This is a problem we as actors struggle with, and it’s an art to master! It can be insufferable, because a TV series is filmed over a long period of time, in many locations domestic and international, and can be difficult to shoot. But we put a lot of effort into it and do our best job because Ramadan cannot be postponed, and we hope the audiences like the final product.
What genre is your favorite to act in; action, comedy, drama?
I have no preference, for me it is all about the script and the ability to play different types of characters. I’m grateful that I have been able to play many different types of characters over the course of my career – rich, poor, moral, amoral, police officers and an oppressed person. I’m always looking for a challenge, something new and more complicated. What makes me choose a role is the script in front of me.
What do you usually do to prepare for a role?
Preparing for a role entails two facets: mental and physical. This is the same throughout all of my roles.
Do you have other passions and interests besides acting?
My life doesn’t have space for anything else besides filming, all I do is film! I become so absorbed into the character I’m playing during filming, I even cut myself off from those closest to me like my siblings or friends. But I come back after I’m done.
Do you manage to uphold your fitness routine during filming?
This is something I don’t give up during filming, even if I’m on a tight schedule. I make the effort to go, even if it’s at dawn.
How do you manage to maintain space for your private life in a world addicted to social media?
I have no official page on social media; I like to keep my private life private. I prefer my fans keep up to date with me through my work, promotional appearances, and my charitable causes.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received was from my family and friends, but now we are living in an age where people give you advice for their own gain – it’s rare to receive proper advice nowadays.
Who understands you more than anyone?
My siblings and other very close family members.
Where did you spend your most memorable holiday?
Vacation for me means the sea, so even if it’s Ein Sohkna, I’m happy.
Casual or formal?
After work is done, casual and comfortable!
Goals for 2018?
Do work that is meaningful to people and that carries a good message.