In a very intimate interview we did with Cynthia Khalifeh we learned so much about her role as Nadeen in Harb Ahleya and Maya in Ded El Kasr. We also got up close and personal about her past and what kind of roles she’s ready to tackle in the future.
Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about Cynthia Khalifeh.
By Mariam Elhamy
Fun Facts about Cynthia:
- She hates kiwis
- She used to physically fight with boys in school
- She was an athlete at an early age with a plan of a future in sports, before she left everything at grade 5 and went into theater and art
- She was born and raised by the sea in a very small town and moved to the city when she was 18. From Beirut onto the world
- The first series she filmed when she was 18 was actually in Sharm El Sheikh, her first time ever in Egypt. It was with Amir Karara and Dina El Sherbini
Out of everything you’ve done so far, which was the show you enjoyed doing the most?
I can’t really choose one. I enjoy every role and every first experience but I’m always attached to my current project. I can say now it’s Harb Ahleya since it’s the latest and its feedback is still going on.
How do you normally prepare for a role? Any specific routine?
When I take on a new role I completely lock myself in a house away from any outer interferences. I turn off my phone and I tell all my friends that I’m on a role and I start reading and rereading because every time I read I bring out new things from the script and I understand the character better. Cynthia Khalifeh
Then, I start adding to the character from my imagination, her past, what she likes and dislikes, to give me some material to play it. I really go into details to the point of the nail polish color she would wear, this helps me be prepared for anything that comes on set.
How did you get inspired to play Nadine and Maya?
Maya is more like me, being half foreign and being closer to my age, she’s funky with braids and bangs and she dresses like me. Maya is a victim, she really fell in love with Kareem but he and his brother both played her.
On the other hand, Nadeen has victims under her. In the first few scenes I had to make the audience really hate me, I mean who can do that? It’s very hard! I also had to go out of my way with Nadeen’s wardrobe being a bit nouveau riche.
Nadeen in Harb Ahleya has everyone talking about how mean and devilish you are, do you relate to her in any way?
I know how much this character has affected people. Especially older people, now when I go to the hairdresser older ladies look at me disgustingly and I want to tell them “Guys it’s Cynthia, not Nadeen, separation!”
It was very hard for me to relate to Nadeen, the first few days I read the script I called the writer and told her I can’t do this role. I can’t find any relationship with Nadeen to be able to embody her and I can’t even bring myself to like her. Rule number one in acting is to love your character or drop it, even if it was the meanest villain in the world.
So apart from looking and sounding like Nadeen, I had to understand her motives. It was very hard for me to understand the kind of person who wants to marry an impotent, much older man just for money. Although I don’t relate to Nadeen I created a past for her that I might relate to, to be able to play her.
Do you think that this has imprinted the evil character in your fan’s minds?
I’m glad it did because this only means that I was able to deliver what was asked of me. Now it’s my turn as an actor to choose my next roles and to be able to transform this idea into a whole new fluffy, buffy, pinky one. Cynthia Khalifeh
For sure I’m imprinted in casting directors’ heads with the villain role but it’s my job to show that I can do a variety of different roles and not get stuck doing one thing.
What’s next for Cynthia?
I want a new challenge. Ever since I played Nadeen and saw how the crew would snicker and laugh during filming from how over-the-top she is, I decided I really wanted to go into comedy next. From the things I already filmed:
- I made a guest appearance with Sharnoby in Mohamed Hefzy’s most recent film.
- I’m in the cast of Bimbo for Amr Salama and Mohamed Hefzy. I’m very excited about this one, the crew is amazing with Huda El Mofty, Ahmed Malek and Wegz. It’s going to be on Shahid.
- I signed with Sabah group for a cool psychological thriller filmed in Lebanon with Yasmin Raeis. I might also be a police agent for another cool thriller.
Texting or phone calls?
Favorite day of the week?
If you could be a Disney princess which would you choose?
Nickname your parents used to call you?
Santoush, Sensen, Cici
Last song you listened to?
Last Night a DJ Saved My Life. I’m not broken-hearted just FYI!
Be able to speak every language ever or talk to animals?
Talk to animals
By the beach, with my phone switched off and the company of good friends and family.
How long does it take you to get ready?
I’m kind of fast because I’m trained to know what looks good on me and what doesn’t.
On a scale from 1 to 10 how good of a driver are you?
I think I’m 7, maybe 6? I don’t know, you should ask my parents.
Pick a pet
I like cats. Only people who raised cats know how loyal, sweet and loving they are. And they’re independent so if you’re independent and busy you’re good!
At what age do you want to retire?
It’s my passion and I enjoy it so I think I want to keep doing it as long as I can. But I’d like to be a millionaire at 40 that’s for sure!
If you had one superpower what would it be?
A humanitarian power like feeding the world and saving people. We throw a lot of food away every day and it’s crazy because people in some parts of the world are dying from hunger.