We had the wonderful opportunity to have a sit down with Jamila Awad on the shore of El Gouna and talk about her latest series Lazem Aesh (I Must Live). She looked back at her acting beginnings and shared with us how she has fun on set and her two cents for young actresses.
By: Mariam Elhamy
CW: What interested you in this role?
JA: What made me love this role is the message behind Lazem Aesh. It’s against bullying and society’s skewed perceptions of beauty.
How did you immerse yourself in this role?
I met with and observed a lot of people who have endured this disease, and that made me feel closer to it. Also studying the character had a part in it.
What is the message you’re trying to convey?
The message that I am most concerned with and want to emphasize is people’s current apprehension of beauty. Who decided to make a catalog for humans that entails what looks good and what doesn’t? Society decides that certain traits look good and we all follow blindly.
How we perceive things is what makes us decide if it’s beautiful. An example of this would be freckles, people used to hate having freckles but nowadays it’s considered beautiful and many women fake it with makeup. If people can learn to accept vitiligo they will eventually see its beauty.
You’ve attended every edition of GFF, how has the festival evolved each year and what’s your favorite part about attending?
This year the festival really made me feel that it is a constant. Many festivals were canceled due to the current pandemic, but the GFF still happened and proved to be a huge success.
You have a huge fan following and your red carpet appearances are watched closely. How would you describe your personal style or how you choose your red carpet outfits?
I like wearing whatever suits me and I don’t really care about trends. So I pick something that I like and would suit me, and perhaps it will create a trend.
When did you realize you want to be an actress?
I didn’t decide I wanted to act after I grew up, I knew I was going to be an actress someday, I knew it before I could even talk. When I was 6 years old, I would watch a 5-year-old kid on TV and think that I’m behind, as I grew older I started seeing a lot of teenagers acting on the screen and I was in university and almost graduating so I felt that I need to do something.
I always believed that someday I would be walking in the street and some director will meet me and ask me for a role, but of course, that never happened. Later, someone called me up and asked me to come for the casting of Taht El Saytara without even knowing that I was interested in acting. So I went and they picked me among a thousand other girls for the role.
You’ve starred in a number of projects, which one was the most fun in terms of on-set experience?
Banat Thanawy, because the movie itself was light and a part of studying the role was that we actually had to become friends and talk to each other the way we did. This was fun because I didn’t have to focus on the role on a very deep level and study its many aspects.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from the directors that you’ve worked with so far?
Every director has a character and a mood. The location really affects the director’s mood and whether a director is calm and can do his work without any tension.
I worked with directors on projects that lasted at least 6 months so you can imagine how much we learn from each other and a certain unspoken chemistry builds.
What advice would you give those wanting to pursue a career path in acting?
For people who want to start out young, you should do this out of a love for acting and not for the love of fame.