Why, thank you, Brother! Khaled Abu Al Naja takes his sibling's declined role in "Villa 69"
We wonder if Saif Abu Al Naja is regretting the decision to decline the offer to star in "Villa 69" directed by Aytin Amin now that his brother has slipped into the limelight in his place. The 1972 oldies film "Imbratoriyat Meem" (The Empire of Meem) star was initially offered the lead role in the recently released film, but when he said "No, thanks" to the part, his brother Khaled Abu Al Naja was nominated instead.
Khaled said, "After my brother turned his nomination for the role, I was surprised with scenarist Mohammad Hafthi, who is also one of the film's producers, calling me to inform me that I have nominated to play the same role previously given to my brother. He called me in to hold a number of rehearsals to make sure that my features resemble that of the main character, especially since it is a role that is much older than I. When I read the script of the film I became very enthusiastic about it and considered the role a real challenge for me."
According to Laha Magazine, Khaled stressed that he is not fearful of the timing of releasing the film now during the winter vacation because during the break people seek new films that are out. In addition, he stated that the voting for the new amended Egyptian constitution did not affect the film.
The film was first screened at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and was applauded by the judging committee considering it a big success.