Exceptional actress Najla Fathi is about to launch her first movie after a two-year rest, and this time it’s a Lebanese/Egyptian collaboration.
Najla is known for her extreme feminine elegance and beauty coupled with an equally impressive talent for acting.
Famous director Mohammad Khan, who worked with the actress on Hind Wa Kamilia (Hind and Camila), once spoke of a time when he asked a young Najla to cry.
“Which eye?” she quipped, “The left or the right?”
Following a great amount of success this past century, Najla has returned to the silver screen, with, yet again, a sure hit.
The movie relives the era of romance and sacrifice at a time when comedy has taken over the genre.
However, Najla has nothing against the new generation of comedies. In fact, she has often said that, with the right script, she is more than willing to work in such a movie.
In at interview with Al-Raya Qatari newspaper, Najla talked in detail about her new movie, directed by Mohammad Abu Seif.
The movie revolves around a married couple, who decide to take their 2-year-old son on a vacation to Lebanon. The year is 1975; the time the Lebanese civil war started.
In a violent atmosphere, Najla loses her son and then starts a grueling search for him. However, the violence of the war forces the desperate mother to return to Cairo.
Fifteen years go by and Najla, yet again, finds herself back in Lebanon to search for the son she had lost. This time she finds him.
However, this is not the happy ending.
Najla finds out that the woman, who had found her son, refuses to let go of him, which leads to an emotional fight between the two women. Co-starring with Fathi are Lebanese actors Joseph Yansou and Carmen Lobos. The story is an adaptation of Sheikh Abdullah Lashreef’s Al Shoubash, written by Ashraf Mahmoud.
Following is the full interview:
Q: What is the reason behind your 2-year absence from the silver screen?
A: There was no real absence. The only story is that I love more complex roles, full of love, humanity, giving and romance. I am always in a lookout for such roles.
Q: In light of the new comedic wave, do you consider your new movie a personal risk?
A: No, not at all, I have faith that art should have a variety of messages and the audience has a right to choose what they want to see and how they would like to feel. For example, Aziz Einey triggers a maternal passion and a great sense of sacrifice.
Q: In your point of view, are romantic movies making a comeback?
A: I realize that people are running towards comedy, but I also know that I see a slow shift towards romance.
Q: Is this your first experience with director Mohammad Abu Seif?
A: Yes. But, I have known Mohammad since I was a child. We were neighbors in Alexandria and we used to spend summers together. Also, I met him when he was working as an assistant to his father, the late great director Salah Abu Seif, in the movie Sana Oula Hub (First Year Love).
Q: Who do you favor working with in terms of directors?
A: I have loved working with every one of my directors. I respect them all. Furthermore, Mohammad Abu Seif is very dear to me and I have proven this by working with him in August. No actor works in August. Mohammad aspires that the Cannes Film Festival will nominate this movie, so it had to be out by January.
Q: What do you think of the new generation of actors and actresses?
A: All the new generation is excellent and Hanan El Turk has proved herself over and over again and Mona Zaki is a beautiful Cinderella of the screen. Lso, Yasmine Abdul Aziz reminds me of myself when I was young. As for the young men, I like Karim Abdul Aziz, who is very close to my heart, and Ahmad Al Saka, who has a great sense of manliness. I also like Hneidi, who has matured and achieved success and Ala Wali Eddine, who enters hearts without permission.
Q: If you were offered to star in a movie alongside this new generation would you?
A: If I said yes, it would be to something like the classic play of Madrasat Al Mushaghibeen (The School of Rebels), where I would be the teacher and they are my naughty students. I would teach them a lesson at the end, which would be a nice movie.
Q: Does your daughter aspire to be an actress or singer?
A: Yes, my daughter is a great observer and critic. But, I don’t think she will be an actress, because she is currently studying fine arts. She has a great feeling for the fine arts.
Q: Are you and her friends?
A: We have civilized conversations, but I cannot advise her as my mother did, because times have changed. But, history seems to repeat itself, no matter how hard we try. My mother used to be over protective, and I find myself doing the same thing to my daughter.
Q: What have you learnt from your husband, the great reporter Hamdi Qindeel?
A: A lot. He gave me security and peace of mind. He released me from the burden of being the father and the mother, whereby now, I am only a woman.
Q: Is there time for conversation between you?
A: There is rarely time, since we both have busy schedules and when we do have time, I speak and he listens. Sometimes he takes my advice on some issues.
Q: Is there anything new coming up?
A: Currently, there is my new movie and after that is done, I will think about another love story with famous actor Omar Sharif. Hussein Fahmy, the initial choice, might take on the role-Albawaba.com.
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