With a role that is keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, unable to decide whether they love or hate him, Egypt’s beloved Ahmed Hatem rocks this Ramadan playing Adham in the series Hekayti. The series tackles the story of a fashion designer from a conservative community and the various challenges she faces from running away from her family to revenge killings. We’ve met with the interesting actor to tell us all about it!
1. Part of the series revolves around the concept of revenge killings, and women in closed communities like ‘El Khan’. Do you think that women in these communities are forced to runaway to free themselves from the strict family control and start over?
Certainly not. People should not deal with this by running away, it’s not the logical behavior and we cannot encourage that. But what Dalida went through was not just about suppressing talent, it was about threatening her life.
2.How would girls who are put under this kind of pressure react, if it’s not running?
To be realistic, with the Khan’s conditions, she had to run. But in other less severe situations, I believe women should fight for establishing themselves, even in upper Egypt.
3.Your character Adham, made a lot of engagement with the audience even though he’s an evil character, do you think this is because you were the one who played the role, or does he really deserve this empathy?
I can play the role in a certain way, but people will not react with the character just because I’m the one who played it. People hated him when he wanted to kill Dalida and when he was passive and did not really do anything to help. This character has a lot of scales and stages, and that’s why I loved him. He starts off as a good person and then gradually changes.
4.In a lot of scenes, Adham’s father tells him, “If you don’t avenge your sister, you’ll be like a woman.” Do you think that the series imposes a certain type of masculinity and manhood?
Certainly! These perceptions and behaviors are there but they don’t lead to anywhere. In fact, they cause more destruction to everyone in this area of the series. On the other hand, we have the example of Ali in Alexandria, with a different perspective on manhood when he stood beside her through everything like superman.The audience loved this example a lot, as if they haven’t seen anything like this in a while, so they got attached to him more.
5.What’s the main message that the series is trying to deliver?
The main point of the series is to understand that the way people are raised impacts what they become in the future, even when they try to be different and educated.
6.What do you think of women’s roles in cinema and TV, especially though the series Hekayty?
The series itself is about the journey of a fashion designer. We have a lot of examples in the series. We have Sofia, Dalida’s mom, the ambitious and talented designer who married a guy from El Khan. The first mistake he did was to lay her off work. With that, he started to belittle her and she too felt different about herself too until he remarried. The other example was Adham’s mom, who did nothing but obey her husband. She did not try to challenge any of the norms and followed the system rigorously. We also have Dalida, with her determination to fight for her dream and protect herself. We also have Dalida’s supportive friend.
7.How do you think Dalida’s leading role empowers women in our community?
Dalida’s story proves that a successful woman can reach her goal with her honor and talent. She’s growing because she believes in her talent and fights for it. I believe that people, regardless of their gender, should work to achieve their dreams if they believe in themselves.
8.Who’s the person who influenced you the most to pursue your career in acting?
Mahmoud Abd El Aziz, may he rest in peace. He was a very different actor with brilliant capabilities. He was the most Egyptian actor with diverse roles, and he managed to succeed in them all.
9.If one day you were a father to a both a boy and a girl, would you raise them in the same way?
There’s nothing that would forbid me from bringing them up in the same way. I see them equally, in sports, school, their love lives, and more. My rules will be the same for both of them.