Omar H. Youssef – A Family Affair

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As the son of screen legends Hassan Youssef and Shams El Baroudy, Omar has a heavy artistic burden on his shoulders challenging this young actor to be at his best. The 25 year old beau quit the tourism field to pursue a professional career in acting.


When did you consider acting and how did you break into the field?

Acting was on my mind a long time ago and I really wanted to give it a try. I got an early chance when Dr. Mohammad El Adl offered me a role in the series "Mahmoud El Masry" as Mahmoud Abdel Aziz’ son but I apologized because I was in my last year of college. When I finished my studies, he called me again to act in a film called "Ehna wel Kamar Giran" written by Tamer Habib, but I apologized again as the role was a copy of Hassan Youssef’s old roles and I felt that it wasn’t the right start for me as the comparison won’t be fair for me. Shortly after that, Dr. Mohammad offered me a role in "Share 18" directed by Sameh El Gohary, starring Donia Samir Ghanem and Ahmad Falawkas, so I accepted it and I think it was a good start to make people know me as a new actor. I also acted with my father in the TV series "El Emam Abdel Halim Mahmoud".


What was the feedback of your performance in “Street 18” and what are doing to develop yourself as an actor?

I was quite happy with the positive feedback of the audience, even though there were some reviews not in favor of the film. It was the first film for me as well as the director. I learn more day by day through practice and I am taking private acting classes.



What are the pros and cons of being a son of two famous actors?

When I was younger I used to make good use of that like when talking my way out of a traffic mishap (laughs). Of course it is easier to communicate with the people from the field; be it directors or producers. The downside is the unfair comparison with my father. I want to be myself. Still, I am very proud to be his son.


Don’t you think that your physical appearance could place you into a certain type of roles?

I think the audience will notice that I’m not depending on the way I look in my films. The problem is that directors are used to categorize people according to their physical appearance deciding that a poor person would look ugly and dirty, for example, whereas the high class hot shot would have the opposite appearance.


Are you working on any new movies?

I’ve finished a movie called "Atea Shahn" (Out of Battery) in a leading role with Shaza and Shady Shamel. I almost finished another movie called "Bentein min Masr" directed by Mohammad Amin, starring Zeina and Saba Mobarak. I also had a special appearance in the film "Telka Al Ayam", written by Fathy Ghanem and directed by his son Ahmad Ghanem.


How do you choose your roles and do you have any red lines?

My decision is based on believing in the whole film and then the role I’m playing. I don’t think male actors have any red lines and don’t believe who tells you so. Anyway, I’m against pushing love scenes for commercial purposes only.


What makes more money working in tourism or being an actor?

Recently neither (laughs) because of the global economic crisis.


Are you in a relationship?

Yes, right now I have a girlfriend.


What do you like and dislike about women?

I like confident independent women, and I hate the ones with weak personalities.


In your opinion, what do women want?

I think the most important thing for women is security.


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