Sherif Salama is dazzling us all after with his credible performance as abusive husband and reckless father Seif El Dandarawy on Faten Amal Harby. Egypt Today interviewed the young actor about his recent work and how he views the impact of drama in general.
1-Tell us more about Seif El Dandarawy
For me, Seif El Dandarawy is an extremely important role. Through him we highlight how some husbands greatly underestimate the real value of marriage. Seif is a selfish guy who treats his wife cruelly and abuses her in every sense of the word. We tried through the series to shed light on this type of man who we unfortunately see a lot in our society, men who have totally wrong perceptions of women.
2-What motivated you to embody such a complicated character?
Actually there are a number of factors. The first is the director Mando El Adl. I worked with Mando before, he is an extremely talented director who always seeks to present realistic issues and discusses vital societal problems. The second factor is El Adl Group which is a reputable production company that always presents high-quality and distinguished productions that tackles crucial subjects. The third factor is the well-written script by acclaimed author and scriptwriter Ibrahim Eissa and finally working with a big star like Nelly Karim who is famed for her credible performances and compelling Ramadan series.
3-Have you ever met someone like Seif El Dandarawy?
In general I don’t imitate real characters on screen, but sometimes I meet or know someone who has the same mentality or has one or two of the personal traits of someone like Seif, so I gather all these details to help me embody the role but in general I don’t play the character of someone I know on screen.
4-Do you think social drama is closer to people’s hearts because they reflect their problems and suffering?
This is certainly true, and was confirmed after the release of the series poster. The viewers found it relatable and put a real picture of a woman in front of the family court similar to the picture of the poster, this reflects to what extent the series is realistic and conveys its ability to highlight an issue from the Egyptian society, and this exactly what attract the audience to social series because they witnessed situations in real life similar to those in the series.
5-Any social work is double-edged sword, either it achieves great success, or it becomes bleak and the public stay away from it. Weren’t you afraid of that?
No I wasn’t afraid, because I know we are discussing in this series crucial societal problems and crisis that the audience will interact with and find relatable. On the other hand the series is more dedicated to women, it sends powerful messages and explains them to the public in general. Faten Amal Harby is a series that is primarily concerned with women and their crises, but also it sends several messages to men in order not to be like Seif who made his wife and daughters suffer. I am happy with the great success the series has achieved and that the messages we have sent were well received.
6-Ibrahim Eissa’s works and thoughts are usually subjected to a torrent of criticism. Is it at all possible that this will affect the percentage of viewers following the series?
No, I do not think that this has affected the series viewership. The series is well executed, the plot is not traditional, and the audience are interacting with its incidents.
7-To what extent do you see that it is important to raise societal issues in drama?
Certainly, as we raised the issue of child custody in Faten Amal Harby series, there are many important issues that must be raised through a number of artistic works. It is important to society and drama alike.
8-How do you feel about other series this Ramadan?
I am against comparisons because each series has its own ideas, issues and genre. At the end of the day we all do our best to entertain the audience that’s why I refrain from comparisons or even considering it a competition..
9-What is the main target that you want to achieve through your work?
I strive all the time to present meaningful works that have purposeful ideas, presented in a way that suits general audiences and contributes in raising people’s awareness.