Like every year this Ramadan is packed with TV stars and shows that keep us busy and entertained throughout Ramadan’s lengthy days with the best dramas. Sherif Hafez
We had a chat with Sherif Hafez who has had a full plate this Ramadan having done both Amr Aboulhana in Ragean Ya Hawa and a police detective in El Ekhtiar.
By Mariam Elhamy
What do you think of Amr? Have you ever played the villain before?
I had to change how the audience sees me and do the exact opposite of what I did in my role as Ali in Setat Beit El Maadi. I have played the villain before in a film called 100 minutes but it didn’t come out. The film showed a college student who slowly became a terrorist with the rise of events.
Playing the villain was not something far off from what I’ve done before, although Amr is different in how he is evil with his family, only cares about his own interests and is abusive with females. This was all very new for me.
Was it a challenge to play such a ruthless character?
It wasn’t very challenging for me. It was easy to execute but the hard part was being able to convince people that there might be someone like that out there in real life.
And that’s why I started to change the way I look, the tone of my voice, how I walk, how I move and even my looks. So that when people see me they don’t see Sherif, they see someone else entirely.
What do you truly think of Amr?
The only good thing about him is that he is honest. He told his wife that if he meets another woman that he likes he’d tell her immediately. Other than that he is terrible, he beats his wife and his sister and uses his mother for money. We intended to make him out as bad as he is because we wanted to discuss these kinds of conflicts between relatives.
Many families/relatives go through a lot of issues at home that no one talks about. How do you feel that Ragean ya Hawa has tackled these issues?
We chose this topic because there’s a lot of toxic masculinity towards females in our society. This cause is very common and the girls and women who have to live with this don’t really talk about it because it’s considered taboo to bring out conflicts that happen at home. Sherif Hafez
We wanted to shed light on this cause for women to see that this situation and these kinds of actions are not acceptable in any way. The show really dives deep into a lot of internal problems that happen in many families.
How do you think Amr can become a better person?
There has to be a clash or a really traumatic experience for Amr Aboulhana to go back to being a good person.
In real life, how does someone like this change for the better?
Everyone has to leave him. I always do this in my own life, at first I give advice and if it doesn’t work I step back.
These kinds of people are not smart, they think they are because they are narcissists. So just pull yourself away from them and leave them alone completely, they might change for the better and if not then at least their evil won’t hurt you.
How did it feel shooting in some of Egypt’s historical places? Tell us about your experience.
The locations we filmed were real and are not in Media Production City, they were actually at El Moez Street. I went inside an old hotel in El Moez Street which I had never been to before and I was surprised. Sherif Hafez
I’ve lived in Cairo my whole life, about 20 minutes away from El Moez Street but I have never seen these beautiful old cafes, houses and hotels with their arabesque designs.
I believe we have not really seen the true beauty of our country nor have we shown it to the world yet. I was very happy to be filming at such locations knowing that people will get to see them as well.
How did you prepare for your role in El Ekhtiar? Especially having to play the villain in Ragean ya Hawa then the good guy in El Ekhtiar at the same time?
Sometimes I had to shoot both on the same day but what made it easy is that there weren’t any difficult scenes with my role in El Ekhtiar that really tested my acting skills.
What do you think of the audience’s feedback on both shows?
I was very happy that the character worked but I got cussed a lot! Mr. Mohamed Salama had already warned me that this would happen, he said that if I get cursed at a lot, it only means that I have succeeded to portray the character well. So after he saw what people were writing about Amr he called me to congratulate me.
Did you relate to any of the characters that you’ve played so far?
Not really, but the closest I’ve come to having something in common with a role I played was in Kheyanet Ahd as Dr. Mostafa. He was very calm and collected when dealing with anything. He always wears a smile and he is never enraged to the point of blowing up. And I am all that. Maybe I could be a doctor at a mental health facility!
If you could go back and change anything in your life what would you do?
I would start acting abroad at a younger age, in Hollywood. And it wouldn’t hurt to learn to play an instrument or two.
Who do you trust the most in your life?
Anyone who loves me truly and anyone who’s honest enough that they wouldn’t just compliment me.Sherif Hafez
Did you want to become anything else other than being an actor?
No. I have some ideas for writing and maybe some of my novels could be turned into films. But I’ve always wanted to be an actor and that’s it.
Coffee or tea?
Eastern or Western?
Europe or USA?
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
What’s your biggest fear?
A book called The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History
Favorite subject at school?
What would your bumper sticker say?
Catch me if you can
Your favorite catchphrase this Ramadan?
Tss tss ana el thobaan because it’s Amr Aboulhana’s