Hassan El Radad “I’m an actor; expect anything from me”

With his free spirited script choices, Hassan El Radad emerged in full force as a promising acting talent. Starring alongside super star Mona Zaki in “Ehky Ya Schaherezade” by Youssry Nassrallah, Hassan has proved to be the real deal by showing that it’s about time to select actors by their résumé and  that young talents just need a good script to boost their energy. This year, he joined the star studded cast of El Jama’a TV series written by Wahid Hamed, the masterpiece that had the whole region talking.

He was also chosen by the controversial director Khaled Youssef in his new movie “Kaf El Ammar” that will be in theatres next February. We met with Hassan over coffee to know all about his great expectations to a new era of stardom.

Congrats on El Jama’a, tell us about your feedback when you were offered the script?

There are scripts that you choose before even reading and El Jama’a was one of them. I had full trust in Mr. Wahid Hamed and I knew it was going to be a hit. Although my role in the series was the smallest in comparison to the other roles I’ve done, but you could mark your name through one or two scenes that are really good and I saw this huge potential in the series. When I read it, it was a page turner, Wahid Hamid wrote a masterpiece, and his storytelling of how young people’s frustration from their government makes them easy prey for ambiguous organizations, was really amazing.

Ehky Ya Scheherezade, was your cinematic break how did you prepare for it?

This role was really difficult. The character wanted to tell lots of stories and he had lots of inner conflicts. He always had this idea that he’s always right, and there was no harm in making his wife compromise to help him achieve his long awaited goals. The character showed to be violent and sometimes he was okay if someone mentioned his wife in a negative way, he just wanted to reach a certain level regardless what was said or done. I might have gotten a bit scared that my first role wasn’t a loveable character, but I wanted people to get used to the fact that I’m an actor and they should expect anything from me.

Khaled Youssef is  known for being a very controversial director, does working with him scare you now?

Not at all. Khaled Youssef is a really good filmmaker and an important one too. There is also a great cast in this film including Jomana Mourad, Haitham Ahmed Zaki, Wafaa Amer, Khaled Saleh and many other great actors. My role will be a big surprise; I’ll be playing a character which is totally opposite to my previous screen looks. I’m really excited.

Youssry Nasrallah and Khaled Youssef are different schools, although both protégés of the late Youssef Chahine, what did you learn from working with both?

Youssry Nasrallah taught me how to add a life and a soul to the scene even without using dialogue which is the last thing that I should put into consideration. He also taught me that there is no such thing as a ‘difficult scene’ and every scene has a solution. He taught me how to take advantage of everything that surrounds me in the scene. Every director has his very own working tools. I also liked working so much with Mohamed Yassin on El Jama’a. I usually try to benefit from every director I work with as much as I can. Everything a director says to me or to my co-workers is saved inside my head.

To what extent an actor’s looks pave the way for him?

People like to watch actors who have good looks. But when you look back at the golden age of cinema, you see Omar El Sherif on one side and Adel Adham on the other. The looks are fine, but people want to see more. They want to see real acting as the looks will eventually fade away when we grow up. Some people are offered certain scripts because they look chubby, others are offered scripts because they are slim, but at the end, the audience wants a good story.

In your opinion, how do you evaluate the youth oriented film scene today?

I think that my generation is very excited and they want to make real cinema. They want to escalate filmmaking to a better level and that will happen if there was help provided from production sectors. Producers pay money and want to receive good revenue which is fine as that’s how things should be, you pay then you get, but they must create a new market for film.

Have you ever considered doing comedy?

Sure, but I would like to do light comedy, like the type I did in “Ebn El Arandaly” series starring Yehia El Fakharany. People always see me in suits and serious looks, but that’s not the real me. I wish I get the chance to play a character who at least wears jeans (laughs).

After your role in El Jama’a, how will you choose your next TV scripts?

I can assure you that this is a real problem I’m facing. The thing is that I’m not seeking quantity, I’m after quality. As soon as I’m done with the movie I’ll start focusing on TV scripts. I also don’t want to be everywhere on TV starring in several series.

What do you do when the lights are off?

I don’t have much free time. I always have energy and if I have time, I learn Italian or English, any skills I could learn I go for. I graduated this year from the Institute of Theatrical Arts and I’m looking forward to go to acting workshops. International superstars take acting workshops and I know that I’ll benefit from this.

Who do you want to work with?

As for directors, I’d like to work with Marwan Hamed, Sherif Arafa, Ahmed Nader Galal, Amr Salama and Mariam Ouf.  As for the actors: Karim Abdel Aziz, Ahmed Helmy, Menna Shalaby, Mona Zaki and Hend Sabry.

So Hassan do you know what women want?

I guess they want love and affection, and if they find this, lots of problems will fade away. Love will give them energy and a push forward.

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