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Wednesday, 20 November 2019

INTERVIEW: Playing character for cinema requires more depth than in television - Egyptian actress Naglaa Badr

Egyptian actress Naglaa Badr was highly acclaimed for her role of Hayat in Daoud Abdel Sayed’s latest film Qudrat Ghayr Adiya (Out of the Ordinary) currently screening in Egypt’s commercial cinema theatres

Yasser Moheb, Monday 21 Dec 2015
Naglaa Badr
Naglaa Badr (Photo: Al Ahram)
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Al-Ahram’s French publication Ahram Hebdo talks to Naglaa Badr, an actress who made her film debut in Daoud Abdel-Sayed’s feature film Qudrat Ghayr Adiya (Out of the Ordinary).

Ahram Hebdo (AH): What attracted you to Hayat, a character which you portray in Qudrat Ghayr Adiya?

Nagla Badr (NB): Hayat is very natural. I like characters who do not elicit empathy a priori, who are not clichéd. Hayat is a beautiful woman; attractive, pretty, quiet, yet she also has her vices and her own philosophy on life.

She tries to make ends meet, but following her divorce, she begins to paint. While trying to keep her status as a responsible mother, she falls madly in love with Yehya, the film’s protagonist.

In short, I found in her a combination of emotions that really attracted me. Not to forget that the name Hayat, has its own significance. [In Arabic language] it indicates vitality, and as such it also hints on a restlessness and the paradoxes of life.

AH: How do you view your collaboration with director Daoud Abdel Sayed and the whole team?

NB: I am a great admirer of Daoud Abdel-Sayed and his work. It was he who chose me for this film, which to me was such an honour.

During our first meeting, we read the script together, and then we developed an immediate creative bond.

Then, on the set, everything was very simple and very professional.

Everyone in the team working with Abdel-Sayed would admit how easy the process becomes for the actors when the director has all the notes and artistic expectations included in the script. It was all so well planned and noted, to the point of detailing location of cameras. We were asked not to add anything to dialogues and not to improvise. In short, Daoud Abdel Sayed is a perfectionist.

I learned a lot through working with him. I had an opportunity to get acquainted with some very talented actors who were always giving me their helpful advice. It was a wonderful experience and was so nice to be part of the team. I felt sad when the shooting came to an end.

AH: Following your career in television, you've now become a professional film actress. You had a chance to uncover, for the first time, a different world. What have you learnt?

NB: The role was offered to me as a pleasant surprise.

Playing a character for cinema requires more depth than it does in television. The actor focuses more on his emotions, pays closer attention to facial expressions. You cannot hide anything from the cinema screen and the viewer can easily spot all the details, and differentiate between a good and a bad actor. A single film can also help the actor to get other roles, including those in the television series.

AH: Your roles are often of women coming from a wealthy background. Are there other roles you hope to be offered?

NB: I’m particularly interested in the roles of villain women. Such a character would allow me to explore other personalities and, inevitably, break the habit of portraying the young bourgeois women.

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