Eyad Nassar executes nuanced work through his role as Kamal in Ras el Sanna, and we all want to know more about it. Nassar reflects on his journey, ups and downs, and behind the scenes scoops while making the iconic film.
CWM: Your role in this month’s Ras el Sanna is quite different than anything you’ve done before, tell us a bit about the character you play?
He is a confusing man in every way, you have no idea where he came from and where he belongs – and that is partly due to the nature of his work. There is a lot of grey area, and every few minutes you hear another story about him and are not sure what to believe. He deals with people from all walks of life in their language and mannerisms, so he’s slipping in and out of several masks. He’s just after his own benefit.
Sounds very different than who you are as a person! Your fans will want to know how you prepared in order to play the character in a believable way?
The script underwent a lot of development and changes before actually getting to me. I discussed the character with Ahmed Sakr extensively to try to craft a different type of man than what’s been seen many times on screen before. I saw Kamal as a link between all the different classes. I approached him more as an idea than a character or person. My challenge was how to communicate in every scene the idea behind why this man exists.
What drew you in to playing this role?
I found the script a page-turner! I love how complex the character is, and found the film to be very daring and different in terms of its style. I also loved that it isn’t a one-man show and it’s an ensemble cast. We are a large group of like-minded actors, and that can only benefit the final product.
Any difficult moments during filming that stand out?
The most difficult aspect of shooting this film for me was the fact that nearly all my scenes were shot while I’m driving or sitting in the car. So all my acting is seated, and also I have to focus on driving the car while acting. There was also an element of paranoia because he always feels like he is being watched, so that was a loaded feeling to carry.
This movie has a big cast, and reunites you with actors you’ve worked with before on other projects, what was the mood like on set?
The shooting involved very long hours and some travel, so we were always try to relieve the pressure by just hanging out as a group and enjoying some light moments and fun. Of course, on set relationships are not all fun and games – there was a lot of pressure on us, and tense moments as well.
You’re a huge hit with fans here in Egypt, what can they look forward to this year?
I’ve been working a lot more in cinema lately, and I’m pleased to have a couple of new movies coming out this year. El Mammar with Sherif Arafa, in which I play the character of an Israeli agent, and Casablanca with Amir Karara and directed by Peter Mimy.
Favorite trip you ever took?
Our annual trips to Gouna after we finish filming Ramadan series. This is a trip I always look forward to because we can all relax and the kids get together.
Music on repeat?
Last book you read?
A lot of books for my role preparation, so material that benefits my work.
It was a TV series, actually, Arabesque; it ignited my love for acting!
Daniel Day-Lewis. I’m definitely a fan of his school of acting.
Worst habit you have?