Prominent Egyptian legendary actor Omar El Sharif said he turned down an offer worth 20 million US dollars from Libyan President Al Muammar Gaddafi to play the role of the late Libyan hero Omar Al Mukhtar or as often referred to by Libyans as Shaykh A’Shuhdaa (the Shaykh of Martyrs) in a new television drama. El Sharif based his refusal of the role on the fact that the drama series, which will be a Libyan production, will be features of a large number of episodes and he does not believe it will find popularity among viewers.
According to the internet website MBC.net, El Sharif stated that he firmly turned down the offer despite the fact that he is in need of the money. He added that he is not a rich man and his son Tareq supports him financially.
The actor added that the drama will demand great efforts from him, which at his age he is unable to do. In addition to the fact that people do not know Al Mukhtar and the only knowledge people have of him is from the old film that was played by international actor Anthony Quinn.
El Sharif also said that he is unable to memorize the entire dialogue of the drama since it will be in proper Arabic and also in the Libyan accent, which he cannot talk in.
The idea of acting in another television drama after his first “Hannan wa Haneen”, which he starred in a year ago for the mere fact of entertaining himself, is not on El Sharif’s agenda. He said that the director of the drama had minimized the script for him and made his role an easy one since he is not accustomed to working in television dramas. He added that he only starred in it to show his longing for Egypt and its people.