Dealing with ADHD is not an easy task and that’s what we saw Aly Kassem struggle to do all Ramadan in his role as Hesham in Khali Balak Min Zizi.
In this quick interview, Kassem gives us insight into some of the hardest scenes to film and his most recent project, Kira & El Gin. Before he sets off into new projects and gets busy, here’s everything you need to know about Aly Kassem.
By Mariam Elhamy
Were you familiar with the symptoms and effects of ADHD before taking the role of Zizi’s husband?
Yes, I knew what ADHD was. I had enough information about it and I personally know people with ADHD, so I was aware of it.
In the series, Hesham left Zizi, not knowing that she had ADHD and how to deal with her case. If he had known would he have stayed with her?
Yes, it would have definitely made a difference.
How was it working alongside Amina Khalil?
It’s great. I knew from the beginning that we would work together very well in Khali Balak Min Zizi because from our limited work in Qabeel with director Karim El Shenawy (who is also directing Khali Balak Min Zizi), so it was a very familiar territory, we had perfect chemistry and we were able to work together very smoothly.Aly Kassem
What were the most challenging scenes to do in Khali Balak Min Zizi?
There were two challenging scenes, both with Zizi. The scene of the door, it’s a different setting where I had to act with Amina Khalil without actually seeing her because there’s a closed door between us. We acted out the whole scene once from each side without getting to see what the other person did, we could only hear their voice.
The other scene was the one in the street, it was late and very cold, the scene was both challenging and very well written. There were a lot of directions from Karim and a lot of things that needed to be tweaked.
Did you face any awkward moments on set?
It’s rare that something awkward would happen on Karim El Shenawy’s set because his team and I are good friends, so I felt at home in this location. I really love this project and the people in it, being comfortable with them is what made me happy to be doing it from start to end. It’s very important for me to be happy doing something, regardless of what the result is.
Which Ramadan series are you watching this year?
I always exclude what I’m working on so I’ll say Leabet Newton.
Have you finished filming Kira & El Gin? When can the audience expect it?
Not yet, we started filming Kira & El Gin in January 2020 and I think we could finish it by the end of this year. It is definitely the longest project I’ve worked on since I started acting, but I’m really happy with it.
What captures you most about acting?
A lot of things, at first it was very simply the effect that movies had on me. How someone doing a character can affect my decisions or inspire me to do something differently in my life. I wanted to be the person who affects people that way. Aly Kassem
Today, what I’m constantly very grateful for in acting is how I have to always be connected to myself. I don’t believe you can act if you’re disconnected with yourself.
Your demons, negative thoughts, negative patterns, etc. are all very useful and insightful to use in acting. Being connected gives you very clear use of everything you don’t like about yourself, and you have a channel to release anything painful or uncomfortable. That’s a big luxury.
Who inspires you when you see them on screen?
If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?
I would have learned to play music at a young age, instead of struggling and not being able to do it now. There are other things that are personal so I don’t want to get into them. Aly Kassem
Who is the person you can depend on the most in your life?
My wife and my mom because they are the two most important people in my life, but I can also depend on a lot of my friends as well.
On a scale from 1 to 10, how good of a secret keeper are you?
Coffee or tea?
Kunafa or basbousa?
If you had to lose all your senses except one, which would you keep?
Would you choose to be a president or football player?
Football player for sure.
Spend quality time with your friends or family?
Hard one! My friends, sorry!!! We have too many kids in the family, hahaha.
What language do you wish you knew fluently?
I really want to work on my French, it’s very rusty.
What’s the one item you’d choose to have with you if you were stranded on an island?
My wife. Oh wait an item? My Kindle tablet, unlimited books.