I met Arwa on the set of “El Watar”, her new film co-starring Ghada Adel and directed by Magdy El Hawary. With a marketing degree and a Best Model of the World tiara Arwa is no newbie to show business. With four movies released and one more to finish this year Arwa deserves to be called a serious actress on a one-way ticket to the top.
Her stunning portrayal of a drug addict alongside Asser Yassin in Amr Salama’s “Zay El Naharda” (A Day like Today) left audiences and critics flabbergasted and in amazement of where did that come from? “I miss that set so much. I think it was all about the right components at the right time; excellent script and director, who loves his work as well as very talented actors. Asser Yassin had a very hard role to play; he is a very honest and open actor may be that’s why we had this chemistry on screen; it is great working with such an adventurous character who encourages you to try things. The whole cast and crew is very young and we knew each other from before which gave a very cozy and homey feel to the set. Amr Salama did a lot of field work to research the scenes and he directed the cast so skillfully that triggered often many spontaneous and improvised reactions, like in the scene where me and Asser were fighting about scoring drugs”, Arwa explains excitedly while getting her hair done for the shoot.
Her early beginnings behind the camera came by mere coincidence where she was offered a small guest appearance as Best Model of the World by her friend Nihad Ramzy and followed by her cousin, who is a well established producer, luring her into the musical “Mafeesh Gher Keda” (“None but that”). “Unfortunately I felt that the outcome of the movie shouldn’t be like that. There is a specific part in it that I’m not at peace with, which is the musical performance, and unlike the prophecies, when I came out of that film people started blaming me! In Egypt unfortunately people don’t separate between the character you play and yourself and it is heartbreaking to hear comments accusing me of trying to be a seductive actress, everyone knows that this is a musical and we are actors not singers. So at that time I was hurt and I said I’m going to show people that I have a talent and I’ll show it and at that time came “Ala Gamb Yasta” (Pull over Driver). It was a nice and smooth role of a girl who is helping her family and then came “Zay El Naharda” and everything changed. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, Arwa comments.
What’s your dream role?
If I were in Hollywood I would like to do an action figure in Egypt I would want to do a Adel Emam role (laughs). I want to do it all; peasant girl, belly dancer, poor girl simply every role that you do makes you explore and you learn new things about yourself. The beauty of acting is that you can be anyone you want who you can’t be in real life
Do you have any taboo roles?
A role that would harm Egypt or portray Arabs in a negative manner would be my taboo.
Do you think there are enough character roles for actresses in Egypt?
Well, not that many at the moment. We are more on the complementing dimension, like adding sugar to the tea (laughs), I mean we are living in a male dominated society, but this is changing very much these days. Almost all of the stories of Ehsan Abdel Koudouss for instance have female protagonists. Director Amr Salama likes women to be leading roles and today many scripts started going into this direction as well. it’s just a matter of time.
How do you choose your roles, especially after “Zay El Naharda” you have to be careful to make the right choice?
Every film has its pros and cons, I try to minimize the cons and be with people that I feel I could grow with and have good chemistry with. It’s important to work with a director who you could speak with and understand each other’s language.
Who were your favorite film partners?
Asser Yassin, Amr Salama and Sawsan Badr, I loved working with her.
This is a tough industry, how do you cope with that? Is it easy to make friends?
“There is no business, like show business” (she sings laughing). I believe that one should always agree to disagree as it is very easy to make enemies in this industry which is not a good thing in any profession. You learn to control your temper as well. One must know that not every one that smiles to you means it. About making friends I guess this is a relative matter, I mean you don’t go to work searching for friends, it comes from alone or doesn’t that’s destiny I guess.
Who is Arwa in real life?
Hmm, she is a crazy woman (laughs) that doesn’t like to do her hair or wear make up. I love the beach ultimately; I’d rather sit on the beach with good music or a book being close to nature than anything else in life.
What are your hobbies?
I get bored easily so I try out new things. I love Wii, dancing, traveling and exploring nature.
What is on your I-pod?
Tabla, Brazilian tunes, old Egyptian music, Jazz and recent songs of course, a little bit of everything.
What’s your favorite book?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and almost all stories of Ehsan Abdel Kodouss.
What’s in your purse? They say a woman’s purse tells more than thousand words.
I have a make-up bag and a deodorant; I can go out without the make-up bag but not the deodorant. You might find chocolate in there, papers, a lot of bills and money but not a lot of money (laughs) some money, ID, I-pod, mobile, medicine, plasters, feminine products, spare earrings.
Name three strengths
“Gad3a” (“goes that extra mile”) with family and friends, determination: if I put something in my mind I must do it!) as well as ambition. God is my greatest strength.
Name three weaknesses
Love is a big weakness, food, my weakness comes from my strength, because if one of them is corrupted I am weak.
What would you take on a deserted island?
Book, a source of music, my Poi! You have food on that island right?
What do you want in a man?
Responsible, adventurous and an artist form inside. He should be generous, loves people and likes and respects nature. He has to love his family and not be a couch potato.
What do you think women want?
Honesty, our freedom on all kinds and levels, opportunity to rise within the business world and we want a beautiful world full of lots of shoes and pretty dresses (laughs) you know I’m kidding right?