Interviewed By: Salma Hussein
There is no doubt that the Egyptian film industry is filled with many emerging talents that are yet to be discovered. Aly Kassem is definitely one of them. Other than being our favorite male heartthrob, Aly didn’t only steal every girl’s heart, but he kept us all in awe with his astounding performance as “Dahy” in Amr Salama’s masterpiece “Tayea”, in Ramadan 2018. We sat with Aly Kassem to discuss what it was like working with Amr Salama, how it all started and more.
“I have always loved cinema, but I have never thought of being an actor one day,”
Shifting his career for his love of film, Aly went on to pursue his passion for cinema by taking an acting workshop with acting coach Ahmed Kamal. “I have always loved cinema, but I have never thought of being an actor one day. Going to the workshop was the most exciting part of my day, but I kept ignoring this fact for the sake of seeking a steady career that wasn’t making me happy,” he says.
Aly has put a firm foot on the right path in his acting career with Dahy’s role in Tayea. He delivered a significant performance that kept us with mixed emotions of hatred and love. “The most challenging thing about Dahy was the Se3eedi accent –I had only one month to learn it. Also, working on how to develop Dahy’s character, and convince the audience to sympathize with him, was quite challenging,” he says.
As a director, Amr Salama has a special super power; he brings out the best performance in every actor, portraying it effortlessly on the screen. “Amr Salama is a great director to work with; he truly makes you enjoy the whole process no matter how stressful it is. He gives you the space to explore and learn. This reflects on the cast and crew, and pushes you to give your best,” he says.
“I was terrified taking on the role, but I knew it was wrong for me to not accept the role just because society won’t accept the idea,”
Every actor has one scene that he/she absolutely dreads, and wishes that somehow the director can pull the plug on; Aly has undoubtedly had one of those. “The hospital scene between Dahy and Azhar that I wanted Amr to postpone as much as possible, because I suffer from a slipped disk and the whole scene was me carrying May. We filmed this sequence through three months of shooting,” he says.
For all “La Totfe’ Al Shams” fans, you have probably noticed by now that Aly had one of the most daring roles any actor could take on. “I was terrified taking on the role, but I knew it was wrong for me to not accept the role just because society won’t accept the idea. Art is simply the reflection of the reality we live in,” he says.
Up Close and Personal
Who is a film director you would like to work with?
Mohamed Yassin is one of the most talented directors out there. I heard that working with him is quite hard, but I think it’s an experience worth trying.
What is your favorite movie?
It is impossible to choose only one movie. If I have to choose from my long list of favorite movies I would say Amadeus, Into the Wild, and The Godfather.
Who is an actor you wish you could work with?
Yehyia El Fakharany. I know I will learn a lot working with him. It will definitely add a lot to my skills.
What’s your favorite color?
What is the country you want to visit the most?
I really want to explore South America.
What is your zodiac sign?
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I have a twin sister. We were supposed to be two boys, Aly and Amr, but it came as a surprise to all of them that Amr ended up being Ola. I am really glad it was a twin sister.
What do women want?
There isn’t just one thing to answer what women want. I was raised in a family with ten females, and they all want different things and have different personalities. I don’t believe women want the same thing. Every woman is different from the other.
Feature Image Credit: Eman ElHawary