Khaled Anwar: Meet Egypt’s Up and Coming TV Star

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Khaled Anwar is a 22-year-old Egyptian actor currently studying acting and directing at the Institute of Theatrical Arts . He first appeared on the big screen back in 2015 in the movie 4G alongside Ahmed Malek and Laila Fawzy, later starring as Treka in Haza Al Masaa. Anwar’s latest endeavor, however, comes in his leading role in a new series titled Ka2enoh Embare7, which aired on a subscription channel back in February. The series, which is full of plot twists and surprises, revolves around the return of Aly (Mohamed Sharnouby) to his family after he’d been missing for 20 years.

We had a sit down with the rising star to know more about him, his past roles, and his upcoming works.

How did you get into acting?

Image from Nouran Samer

Until 10th grade, I had never thought about acting or doing anything of that sort. I mainly focused on getting good grades and dreamed of becoming an engineer. Then one day a teacher walked into class and announced that auditions for the school theater were open, so I decided to apply just for the fun of it. I was one of the 30 people out of 150 who passed the test, so I started acting and I found out that there’s nothing else that I want to do for the rest of my life.

"I started acting and I found out that there’s nothing else that I want to do for the rest of my life."

How did you land your first role in 4G?

Image from Nouran Samer

I auditioned for the role; however the audition came by a total coincidence. A casting agency had called me up for a TV ad and when I went in for my audition, one of the people who watched it came up to me and told me to go meet director Sherif Ismail to audition for 4G. I attended three other auditions and then it was confirmed.

Your big rise was in Haza El Masa2. How did that opportunity come up?

I actually didn’t go and audition for the role; the opportunity just kind of came to me. Director Tamer Mohsen was at the time actively looking for someone my age to play the role and I guess someone who had watched 4G might have suggested my name. So they called me in to do the audition with Tamer Mohsen, but I wasn’t immediately accepted. However, two days later, I was. To me, the thought of possibly working with Tamer Mohsen was surreal; I imagined it would take me five to seven years to actually get to work with him. Consequently, doing my first series with him was absolutely astonishing.

You landed the role of Treka, a guy from El Sayeda Zeinab who works at a mobile shop. How did you prepare for the role?

I fully believe that everyone has a unique personality, so in order for me to portray a certain character, I have to some extent lead the same lifestyle, know what they eat, drink, how and where they sleep, and so on. When I read the script and got an idea about Treka, I decided to stay at Sayeda Zeinab for a month and went daily to Embaba for two months and hung out with some friends there as if I were someone from the neighborhood. I also worked at a mobile shop there and got to see how the shop owners were experts at hacking.

Did anyone from the cast teach you something specific or influence your acting in any way?

Image from Nouran Samer

Actually, what I’ve learned a long time ago is that you’re going to learn from every single thing you do in your life. So every scene that I do with someone new, I automatically learn something - whether that person was good or not. If they’re good, I unintentionally learn something positive right away, and if they’re bad I know what to refrain from doing in the future. Therefore, of course I’ve learned a lot from every single person I’ve worked with.

You made a total transition from Treka to Marwan in Ka2enoh Embare7. How did you manage to go from this local guy to Marwan, the spoiled AUC student?

It’s the same idea that every person is different from the other, so my target is to portray every character as accurately as possible. It doesn’t matter to me who is playing the character; what’s important is that the character gets delivered the way it actually is. So if you were able to see Treka and love him and believe him and also see Marwan and love him and believe him, this means the world to me.

After your leading role in Ka2enoh Embareh, you received a lot of positive feedback, started to get a lot of followers, and now there are even fan pages dedicated to you. How does that feel?

Image from Nouran Samer

To me, the thing that proves how successful you are is people’s feedback and how happy they are with your work. The idea of fan pages definitely makes me happy; it’s good to know that people love and accept you and it most definitely shows me how hard work and dedication can pay off.

"The idea of fan pages definitely makes me happy; it’s good to know that people love and accept you and it most definitely shows me how hard work and dedication can pay off."

Where do you see yourself in 10 years, career wise?

I have really big dreams. It may be a bit far fetched, but I would really love to start acting abroad; Hollywood is my target. Of course this is very hard, if not tremendously hard, but I’m working towards that. I don’t want to exaggerate, but I would love to do movies in my name abroad in the next 10 years.

Are you planning on experimenting with directing as well or are you just sticking to acting?

Image from Nouran Samer

In our Institute we study theater directing, but personally I want to know everything that happens in my field and all the things that happen behind the camera. Not only do I want to know about these things, but I also want to learn and practice them.

While working on any of your projects, did you experience something that made you pause and look at life in a totally different way?

Image from Nouran Samer

The thing that caused a shock in my life and drove me to totally change it was acting. By that I don’t mean being on TV or any of that, but I mean the idea of acting itself. The idea of being able to live someone else’s life and feel their hardships, feel their happiness, and feel their pain. This experience totally changes you and opens your eyes to things you may have never noticed before. For example, the idea of losing someone very dear to you is a very hard thing to go through, or to feel like you have a lot of financial needs that you can’t afford is very disabling. This feeling makes you truly appreciate everything that you have or own. To sum it up, acting totally changed my personality.

"For example, the idea of losing someone very dear to you is a very hard thing to go through, or to feel like you have a lot of financial needs that you can’t afford is very disabling."

Are we going to see you in any upcoming projects soon?

I’m involved in two Ramadan series, one with Adel Imam called 3awalem Khafeya, and the second with Ahmed Ezz called Abo Omar El-Masry. I’m very excited about them both.

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