With a wealth of impressive performances to date, Elham Shahin brings her formidable talent to Egyptian cinemas in Curfew. We caught up with her to learn more about her role, and her thoughts on the future of the film industry in Egypt.
CW: You have excelled in leading female roles, how do you play women grappling with sensitive social and personal situations?
ES: The feelings are truly genuine when portraying these women because these situations and types of women really exist in our society. I understand how they feel and think. I hope that this shows in my performance and that the role is thought-provoking and speaks to the audience’s emotions.
Art in itself may not be the solution but it certainly helps people engage their minds and hearts when thinking up solutions for such issues.
The interplay between you and your on-screen daughter Laila is very intense and calls for some finely wrought interchanges. How did you and Amina Khalil prepare for these parts?
The interplay between my on-screen daughter and I did not need much preparation as much as it needed us to be present in the moment so that it translates seamlessly through the acting.
What has this role meant to you on a personal level?
Roles mean more to me on an artistic level, this is because I act out situations that I may have never experienced. An actor’s job requires undivided attention to help resolve a personality problem or deliver some sort of message. This is what appeals to the audience.
What can you tell us about your hopes for the future? Both personally and for the film industry?
All my hopes for the future are tied to my family, specifically my siblings and their children and seeing them as best as they can be, from a personal level. From a cinematic level, I hope to be witnessing movies that are artistically excellent and see Egyptian cinema exceeding expectations on a national level.
Hopefully, we can raise our standards back to where we were once before when we used to produce 70 to 80 films annually, the majority of which were excellent movies, from great educational story movies to those of great writers. So basically I hope to see Egyptian cinema at its best, both domestically and internationally.