‘I Hope for More Tragic Roles’ ALBAWABA EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Lebanese Actor Wissam Sabbagh

Published December 12th, 2018 - 11:37 GMT
The mostly comedic actor managed to show a different side to him in the series "Thawret Al Falahin" (The Farmers' Revolution) (Source: wissamsabbaghofficial - Instagram)
The mostly comedic actor managed to show a different side to him in the series "Thawret Al Falahin" (The Farmers' Revolution) (Source: wissamsabbaghofficial - Instagram)

Interview by Sohaib Al Hadid

Translated by Zaid Bawab

Wissam Sabbagh is a Lebanese actor who has been active for a while now, yet the mostly comedic actor managed to show a different side in the series "Thawret Al Falahin" (The Farmers' Revolution) by playing an evil role. Wissam can be seen soon in the feature film "Timeout," so we spoke with him to get the updates.

What can you tell us about your role in the film “Timeout”?

I play the role of a fashion designer called ‘Shadi. The role is new to me as he is a bit crazy and creative. His friend in the film is Yorgo Shalhoub’s character and they help each other out in tough situations, When Shadi meets Magy’s character in the film, an admiration happens with one of her friends. The film is built on situation comedy and like always, through Eaglefilms company, we try to present films that respect people and families and that are part of what could be called “Clean Cinema”.

The viewer enters the theare, he watches a one hour and a half enjoyable film and leaves the cinema happy with good memories. The film is written Claude Saliba by and directed by Rami Hanna, and I hope it is successful because we worked hard on it with love.

(Source: wissamsabbaghofficial - Instagram)

Aren’t you afraid of falling in the trap of repetition as we have seen you not so long ago alongside actress Magy Bou Ghusson in the series “Julia”?

I don’t see that repetition is necessarily a bad thing as after the series “Akher Khabar”(Last News), Magy and I did not work together for nearly six years. In “Julia” I was part of a duo with Jessy Abdo and Magy was with Qais Al Shakih Najib so it is all about casting and if a role suits a certain actor he ends up being casted for.

In “Thawret Al Falahin” you portraid a strong evil character, could love break strong character?

Of course, everyone has two sides, a good and a bad one based on how he is raised, his experiences and the tough circumstances he goes through which controls which side takes over more than the other. Everyone has love inside him but he has to let it out and let his feelings go through towards who are around him. James certainly has darkness in his character and has greed yet at the end of the day, he is a human being that has a really sad story that made him like this. I was really happy portraying James' character, especially that a couple of days ago the character’s storyline ended as he tried to abuse Lamees and she killed him, which caused a big shock to spectators.

People did not expect at all that I would portray an evil character and for his ending to be like this. I am really happy with the reviews being written and the audience’s comments as they are saying that I showed them something new that is different than my character and that is important for an actor who is usually comedic, especially if he can play tragic roles in the same level. I personally like to move between tragedy and comedy because I can portray both kinds of characters and it is important for me because it builds my confidence and makes me feel like I am not cornering myself throughout my career in one direction and I hope I get to play more dramatic tragic roles and not only play comedic ones.

(Source: wissamsabbaghofficial - Instagram)

How do you end up choosing a role?

I choose my roles based on my career that I have been building since I graduated from acting school, and I choose to take part in projects that push me forward and let me evolve, and I try to drift away from the characters that are not clear, do not really push the story forward and that are not only there as sometimes characters that are not really influential could be more tiring for the actor as he tries to get something out of nothing, while characters that are built well, influential and present could make the actor excel more and make better use of his talent.

I also try to make my choices vary between comedy and tragedy, and I also try not to repeat myself neither in look nor content. I also choose projects that present something that touches people, talks about them and raises some social issues. Even in the shows I present, we make sure to shed light on humanitarian cases as much as we can.

What about your upcoming projects?

There is a comedy Ramadan series with Eagle films that we already started preparing for and the shoot will be soon. I am also preparing for the inside Taxi Ramadan themed competition show “Taxi Abu Shafiq” on OTV because it was successful and there was a demand for it to be done again due to its clean comedic nature, in addition to finishing my masters studies in theatre directing as this is my second year.

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