We sat down to find out how Shereen Reda capitalized on her versatility as an actress to tap into the role of Mimi in this month’s socio-political thriller El Deif, in addition to finding out what the star wishes to accomplish in 2019 on both the personal and professional front.

CWM: In El Deif, you play the role of a wife and mother placed in a tense situation – how did you prepare for such an intense role?

SR:At first, I started studying the character psychologically by placing myself in different situations she would face. I began to test how she would react in different scenarios and how she would interact with her daughter and husband, especially since this character goes through turbulent and challenging times in her life and within her family. All this leads up to a climatic moment when a man comes to ask for her daughter’s hand in marriage. In terms of achieving the character’s look, I had to wear colored lenses the whole time! At first, I wore a grey wig, but I felt it wasn’t realistic enough, so I decided to dye my hair grey in order to connect with the character more.

What was the hardest obstacle to overcome while filming?

Due to the film’s heavy emphasis on human connection, reactions to circumstances, and escalating tension; this caused a lot of stress on set and between us as actors as a byproduct. I found the most challenging part of the film was to separate whatever was happening between us as actors off-camera due to the nature of the film’s tension, and being able to switch back into whatever the scene demanded once the director called “action!”

What do you hope audiences take away from this challenging movie/subject?

El Deifcontains many elements, not just one idea. On one hand, there is a societal element that revolves around the life of a single family and all the situations this family is placed in and reacts to. The plot centers around the most important day a family can go through, the day a person arrives to enter that family by marriage. On the other hand, there is a lot of debate and conflict, with contrasting points of view, that create a lot of tension on several levels and this will lead the audience to be anticipating what comes next.

What can audiences look forward to in 2019? Any personal goals or resolutions you wish you accomplish?

2018 turned out to be a fantastic year for me, way more than I expected! Professionally, I acted in four films and one series, each was a success and received positive feedback from the audience. I won two awards for Best Actress, which was a pleasure! As for 2019, I wish it will be as good as 2018 or even better. I hope to continue taking on interesting and challenging roles. On the personal side, I will continue to dedicate time to animal charities that improve the living conditions and treatment of our furry friends.