Conducted by: Aliaa Elsherbini
Written by: Mariam Elhamy
As a rising TV star, Khaled Anwar has been busy working on different projects lately and stepping up his game. The actor made time for Cairo West Magazine in a one-on-one chat about the man behind the actor.
CWM: Do you think that fame brings happiness?
For me, happiness is having the freedom to do what you like without harming anyone else. Having internal peace of mind, not needing anything from anyone, not hating anyone, having people who love you, having friends you can trust, and feeling useful is happiness.
You mentioned that you wanted to play Charlie Chaplin and Hitler in film, why?
I have a theory that when someone does a lot of good for others his life usually has a lot of bad in it and that those who have a good life do a lot of bad to others. Charlie Chaplin was unhappy in his life even though he made a lot of people laugh. This theory has nagged at me ever since I started understanding the art of acting and that’s why I want to portray that.
Is it true that what you see is what you get?
Not at all. My bubbly persona that the audience sees is very much who I am. I love to laugh and meet new people but even though I might appear to be happy all the time that is not the truth at all. The problem with being an actor is that it doesn’t allow me the freedom to do many things I like.
For example, I am a bit of a shy person; I don’t like it when someone stares at me. I always have to appear in a certain way that is almost perfect, whether physically or mentally. I always have to act the way I’m expected or perceived. Being famous gets a bit suffocating and I don’t feel as free as I was before.
Speaking of invasion of privacy and fame, are you ready for what’s coming?
Yes, I understand what’s coming very well and I’m trying to be accepting and understanding of it so that I can live with it. I feel like the best is yet to come and I hope I can do what I really want to do.
Were you ever affected by a negative comment?
My professor once told me to always look at something negative with a positive eye. When someone gives me negative feedback I don’t just attack them back, instead I ask them why, why do you think so? Even if some feedback is not always completely true or justified but it might still have some truth in it. I want to improve humanity with what I do and to make a difference in Egyptian society. I don’t just want to be another actor who appears in a few movies.
What is the one role you feel is made for you?
I never thought about that before. I like seeing or doing roles that I know nothing about or have never done before and to research and learn about it.
Do you feel like some people are only around you because of your fame?
Unfortunately, doing what I do creates lack of trust in myself, my decisions and everyone else. Somehow I always have a problem trusting others especially if they aren’t family or people I’ve known from before I was famous.
Do you think that there’s something standing between you and your dream?
My dream will require a lot of effort from me and others as well, but I try to work hard and progress fast to get there. I want Egyptian cinema to be the most substantial in the world and there’s still a long way to go. Nevertheless, I feel like my generation will achieve it. We are more educated, we have a different mentality from those before us, and we don’t want to just imitate, we want to innovate, create and showcase our own culture.
How do you think we can grow as a society?
Bullying is a huge problem in our society, I was once a bully myself but then I realized how insensitive it can be to others. When you bully someone you turn them into bullies as well. I think we should just let people do what they want and mind our own business or fix our own problems. Say something nice or don’t say anything at all.
I wish to change our society so that we are able to talk about bullying, traffic or even the trash in the streets. I want to talk about more humanitarian issues that if resolved will take us to a completely different place. If people change internally, it will change how they work, live or do anything. I believe that everyone should start with themselves!
Do you like taking risks?
Very much! Being an actor is a risk in itself already. Right after I finished high school I wanted so bad to get into acting school but my father started applying for other universities. When I had to take the tests required to get accepted in those universities I failed them on purpose. Even though I wasn’t sure I would be able to get into acting school it was a huge risk to take but I’m glad I did it.
You’ve acted in a grand love story before, do you believe in them?
Of course! Fear is what creates impossibility. You just have to work hard and keep at it because nothing is impossible. The harder your dream is to achieve the harder you have to work for it.
What do you think of today’s generation?
Our generation has seen a lot and has learned from past mistakes. It has taught us to be smarter, and more driven. We believe in peace and that we will make a huge impact on the world. After every storm, there is a rainbow. I believe that what’s coming will be better. For Egypt especially, I feel that we are becoming better people socially and we are facing our problems very openly through social media.
You talked about the effects of social media, how do you use it positively?
There’s a general sense of pessimism all around the world currently, things aren’t like they were in the past. People don’t care about each other the way they used to. In Egypt especially, we’ve become more Westernized, not as compassionate and sympathetic like we used to be. I try to be positive and use social media to minimize the sense of frustration through posting photos that are funny.
On the other hand, social media can be very bad for you if you let it control your life. You have to control its effect on you and instead of following people do things or getting big, you have to start doing things yourself and becoming who you want to be.