Throughout my life, I’ve always heard these comments “tie your hair”, “you look better with straight hair”, but I love my hair to be honest.
Turning all eyes to her through last Ramadan’s hit series Zay El Shams, the young and talented Malak Hassan rocked her very first role on screen as a teenager whose mother just got murdered –and is going through a lot of other teenage struggles. We’ve met with the awesome sixteen-year-old to talk about the series, her curls, what’s next and more.
Tell us more about your acting passion. Was it always a dream of yours or just a coincidence?
It was by coincidence when my stepmom, actress Dalia El Beheiry, uploaded our picture online and Casting Director Moody Shahin saw it. I went later for casting and rehearsals for Zay El Shams, my very first acting experience ever.
How do you feel about your character: Karma?
I loved playing Karma, she’s so strong. Despite everything that’s been told about her mother, she’s still confident.
How did you feel when you first saw yourself on the screen?
It was nice. I didn’t really like to watch myself; I keep criticizing how I look, my hair, my voice and so on.
How was your school mates & family’s feedback when they watched the series?
They kept asking me who killed Farida? It’s the most repeated question I was asked this Ramadan.
What were the reactions you got for your role: Karma?
People’s reactions were overall good, but some people insulted me. I was doing some shopping a couple of days ago, and suddenly a girl came and insulted me for some reason –but I said thank you. I have seen criticism on social media too, but both Ahmed El Saadany and Riham Abd El Ghafour told me we should never respond to such comments.
There was a scene in the series when Karma first had her period. How did you feel about this scene?
I wasn’t scared at all. It’s something that is pretty normal. All girls get their periods!
Karma had a very special relationship with her brothers, are you like that with your actual siblings?
I have an older brother, Mohamed, two elder sisters, Habiba and Aya, and one younger sister, Kimmy. We fight a lot like them, of course. I’m not really as responsible as Karma with my brother, but maybe with my younger sister.
Was the curly hair style your choice or the director’s?
At the beginning it was Director Kamla Abu Zekry and she did not object to my curly hair. As a matter of fact, she used to tell me to leave it loose when I tie it up.
What would you do if we were an actress at the times when some people objected to women’s curls on the screen?
If I were present at these times when they forced girls to straighten their hair to be more representable, I would have never accepted. Nobody should dictate what we should and should not do. If I was offered a role that I like and I have to have straight hair for it for some reason, I’ll wear a wig because I stopped straightening my hair for about three years now.
How did you react when you read the hair-related comments on social media?
Throughout my life, I’ve always heard these comments: “tie your hair”, “you look better with straight hair”, but I love my hair to be honest. I was out with my sister and a lady came to me and said, “Your performance was great, but it would have been better if you had straightened your hair for the part.” But her daughter tried to save the situation, and said she liked my hair.
What would you say to the people who still criticize curly hair?
Curly hair is amazing; it’s different and unique. People who understand this keep telling me you can do a lot with your hair.
What are your future aspirations?
I want to be a director. Kamla Abu Zeikry inspires me, she’s very calm and understanding.