FILE - Hany Salama
Hady Abou El-Makarem, aka star Hany Salama,enthralled audiences this Ramadan, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats with his dazzling performance in the successful psychodrama series Qamar Hady (Hady’s Moon). Salama’s turn was gripping and tightly woven plot line had audiences guessing what would happen at the end of each episode. We chat with Salama about the successful suspense series and his plans for upcoming movies.
How do you feel about the feedback on QamarHady?
I’m thankful that all the feedback was positive and the series was widely viewed. HadyAbouEl-Makaremleft quite an impact on audiences who quickly became avid fans of the series because the surprises in each episode stirred their curiosity and they were very eager to watch the following episode.
What stirred your own curiosity about the series and Hady Abou El-Makarem’s character?
I liked the script from the first reading, because it introduces new aspects of acting techniques that have not been implemented before, in addition to the excitement, suspense and puzzles in all the episodes. Scriptwriter Islam Hafez drew all the series’ characters with high level of professionalism and the entire cast exerted a lot of effort to achieve this great success.
This is Islam Hafez’s first attempt at series script writing. Did that worry you?
Hafez is a clever scriptwriter and is very accurate in his work. He draws a personal map for each character and has references to each role and scene he writes. I worked before with directors and scriptwriters on their first experience, and they were really great. All I care about is the quality of the project.
How did you prepare for a character like Hady Abou El-Makarem?
I started preparing for the character since I read the original script the first time. I did not go to a psychiatrist as some thought to help me to portray Hady’s character, I only relied on the well-written script of the psychodrama series which depends on high doses of excitement and suspense in all the episodes. Each episode bears a certain name, like a short 30-minute film.
This is your third cooperation with director Raouf Abdel Aziz.Tell us about the chemistry between you.
Abdel Aziz is a distinguished director who has innovative techniques. During the past years, he has produced many dramas that have proven his great directing abilities and he is so accurate, organized and keen to deliver the series to the audience in an optimal and integrated way. Both the two series we worked on together,TaketNour and FoukEl-Sahab, were very successful.
Did the director use a stuntman for the dangerous scenes?
A stuntman performed some of the series’ dangerous scenes, such as the car race scene as well as the accident scene in the first episode. I am generally keen to perform most of my action scenes as much as I can to ensure credibility, which is why I did the less dangerous stunts myself.
Was it difficult for you to act with Mohamed Azmy and the child actor Reem?
Mohamed Azmi's participation in the series was a great addition and a surprise to us all, especially because he is fond of acting despite not having previous acting experience and his performance was dazzling. Reem will be a great actress in the future because she is really talented and performed long scenes from the first take, without repetition. I didn’t find any difficulty in dealing with Azmyor Reem because both are qualified actors who studied their roles extensively and they were the most suitable to perform their roles.
This is your first cooperation with the veteran actor Mohsen Mohy Eldin who like yourself is a product of the Youssef Chahine school. Tell us more about this cooperation.
I am very happy with this cooperation and he really added a lot to the series. Raouf Abdel Aziz, the director, chose him to play the role of my big brother because of the feature similarities between us and yes as you said both of us come from same acting school of the late great director Youssef Chahine. I was happy working with all the cast as well as Mohy Eldin, including Yousra El-Lozy, Dalia Mostafa and Mariam Hassan, among others.
Tell us more about your cooperation with Synergy production company
This is my third cooperation with Synergy and I really like working with such a big production company; they provided everything for the series and did not skimp on doing anything.One of the key success factors of Qamar Hadywas Synergy.
Will the success of Qamar Hady encourage you to participate in Ramadan marathon every year?
I don’t care about taking part in the Ramadan marathons; what I care about is finding good-quality series to be part of. It all depends on whether I find a series but if I don’t find anything I won’t take on a part just to compete in Ramadan.
How do you see the competition this Ramadan in the absence of a large number of stars?
For me there must be competition and different kinds of series because at the end of the day we address a large number of Arab and Egyptian audiences who have different tastes and multiple cultural backgrounds. Good works win the competition, and each actor or actress looks for something new to present every Ramadan, and that definitely is in the interest of the viewer.
Do you have a certain audience segment you want to address in your work?
I try my best to address all the audience segments, I don’t direct my work to certain segment.This is what drove me in the previous years to present series that each contained multiple drama lines so as to be suitable for all the audience segments. Qamar Hady is for all the segments too.
How important is it for you to be the best?
I don’t care about rankings at all and I am not concerned whether I am number one or not. All I care about is presenting successful work that respects the minds of my audiences and stays in their memories. Rankings are not permanent, number one today might be number two or three in the future and vice versa.
Is it true that there will be part 2 of your successful movie El-Selem w El-Teban (Snakes and Ladders)?
It’s film producer Mohamed Hefzy’s idea to make Part 2 of El-Selem w El-Teban, but personally I don’t know if it’s viable or not because part 1 was presented 18 years ago. I think if it was released two or three years ago this would have been more suitable, so instead of presenting part two from the same story we can make a new movie but with the same cast.
Why have you stepped back from cinema since your last movie, Wahid Sahih in 2011?
My first appearance was in cinema, so it is my first home and there are no specific reasons that I am away from cinema—I am just searching for a suitable role. I am satisfied with my cinematic repertoire which contains a number of successful movies but I can tell you that I am now preparing for a new movie that will be a milestone in my career. I’ll be announcing more details soon.