From early childhood TV advertising spots to roles in award winning films, Ahmed Malek has blazed an unmistakable trail in the world of TV and cinema. From the TV hit El Gama’a, El Gezira 2, Clash, Hepta: The Last Lecture, Sheikh Jackson and more recently the Ramadan 2017 hit series La Tottfea Al Shams; Malek has captured attention and acclaim. How, Cairo West Magazine wondered, does he unerringly land the roles that will propel him even further into the spotlight? We caught up with him to learn more.
Choosing Roles and Methods
I choose roles based on how I feel I can represent them truthfully. Of course, also because of the scripts and the filmmaker, because the filmmaker is the most important component of the movie.
CWM: You seem to have natural ease and a lot of presence on screen, what do you attribute this to?
To my mother! No, seriously, it is from working hard. Each role requires a different form of preparation and I start by studying the character I am playing. I haven’t established a technique; I take a bit from here, a bit from there. I ask and ask, and try to answer. I dig deep inside.
A Rising Star
CWM: What are your thoughts on being selected by Screen International as one of the five promising Arab stars?
I am happy because it is a form of appreciation, and especially as it is international not just local. When you are appreciated, you want to offer more.
El Deif: A New Challenge
CWM: When will you be starting work on the film, El Deif, with director Hadi El Baghoury?
We started working in January and are looking at the release in mid-June.
CWM: What can you tell us about this new role?
The role requires work from me that I have never tackled before. That is the only thing I can say. It is a huge, huge commitment.
CWM: How important is it for an actor to have a good rapport with a director?
It is vital, because at the end of the day the director literally gives the direction for you, like a compass. He is the one who guides you, he is the leader, so you follow him. He puts you in the right place, as he sees you; at the end of the day you are a tool for the filmmaker. The more you have a connection with the director the more fruitful it is, the better the result.
CWM: Who have you learned most from when it comes to honing your craft?
Gerald James, a member of the Actor’s Studio in LA, and teacher at Lee Strasberg Studio; he has been introducing a technique called Beyond the Method here in Egypt for the past six years. I have been participating in his workshops for the past three years. He is a person who has really taught me the craft of acting.
CWM: Have there been any special mentors in your life who have given you support and encouragement?
Anyone who supports me in my craft like Gerald James, but every career phase has its mentor, there is no specific person.
CWM: What is top of your bucket list for 2018?
Performing even more truthfully and becoming a better artist.
Best way to start the day?
Best way to end the day?
Person who knows your innermost dreams?
No one, not even myself
Way to relax?
On your playlist?
Night owl or early bird?
Something you always carry with you?
A bag full of my stuff.
Your soft spot?