By: Nada Mawsouf
It was a perfect March morning; chilly breeze accompanied by just enough sun to hold back the shivers. However, that wasn’t the only warm encounter of the day as I was on my way to meet the ever-so-beautiful Carmen Bsaibes. Coming all the way from Lebanon, Bsaibes is here to shoot a new series in C-Town.
We were first introduced to the Lebanese actress when she played Rima Albert Haddad in El Gamaa back in 2011. The 27 year-old then appeared with Yosra in Nekdeb Lao Olna Mabenhebesh in 2013, and is currently shooting El Zebaq which is airing next Ramadan, alongside Karim Abd El Aziz.
I must say, we had our fair share of chit-chat prior to the interview then delved into more details about her career, what she loves most about being back in Egypt, and a few of the things not so many people know about…
Tell us more about being back in Cairo to work on El Zebaq…
I play a character who experiences a love story with Omar Salah Taha, played by Karim Abdel Aziz. I’m very happy with this project, the people working on it, the professionalism, the quality of the cinematography, and the director, Wael Abdallah.
The thing I love the most about it is that I’m back in Egypt, because I haven’t been here since Nekdeb Law Olna Ma Benhebsh, which was four years ago. There will be a season 2 next year as well, so I know I’ll be coming back!
What do you like the most about being here?
The people! It’s always the first thing that comes to my mind when asked this question. It’s amazing how one can feel comfortable around Egyptians. They’re so much like Lebanese people in the way they think, their big hearts, their love for people, their sense of humor, and their positivity.
There isn’t as much positivity anywhere else! Regardless of all the problems and issues surrounding them, they always take a positive approach to life. I always feel this when I’m shooting. Even though each person has their own problems, you feel like they’re all still happy in one way or another.
What’s your favorite role so far?
It’s a role in a movie that has not yet been released, we spent four months filming and were done before I came back to Egypt. I can’t reveal anything, but I can tell you that it was the most challenging role I have ever played. The conditions that surrounded us while filming, along with the physical and psychological fatigue were unbearable. But it was the best role I have ever played!
Yesterday marked the end of the hardest but most satisfying experience in my career. I finished filming 80 days of physical and mental challenges that seemed to have gone by because of the amazing people who worked on this project. #itsawrap #ontomynextadventure
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Who’s your favorite Egyptian actress?
They’re a lot, to be honest. But the person that popped to my mind right now is Nelly Karim. For me, people who act so naturally are the ones that touch me, I love her so much.
Tells us a few things that people don’t know about you?
I love dancing! I used to dance Salsa and I’ve been doing flamenco for three years now that I actually want to learn Spanish and get to know more about the Spanish culture.
I also read a lot, I try to as much as I can since shooting takes up a lot of my time, but I do read when I’m on the road. I swim, too, I was Lebanon’s swimming champion.
You started acting when you were 18, how did that help you go further?
It did, especially that I started studying directing in college at that age. Also, coming across series’ offers, and getting directing internships certainly helped a lot as well; I got to experience being on locations, see how things work, and know what each person does.
I must say it was hard though, because I always felt like I wanted more and more! But I still needed to finish my studies. I would get opportunities, but I always rejected them so I can just focus on studying.
Coming to Egypt in order to shoot my very first series, El Gamaa was overwhelming, especially that I never expected to do it, unlike many actresses, acting had never been a dream of mine, I actually wanted to do law.
The opportunity came by total coincidence. I originally did TV ads, but one day an Egyptian casting agency was doing work in Lebanon, and they wanted to cast a Lebanese girl for an upcoming series. I received a call from the production house saying “we want you for a TV series in Egypt.” I was like, “Me?! I don’t know… Okay!”
As overwhelming as it was, I used to put limits when it came to acting. I never really chased opportunities, for I thought I should still have my private life back at home, as well as pay attention to my education. However, I see things differently now, I want to go after opportunities and dig deeper.
You studied directing, how did that help you as an actress?
Acting and directing are related in a sense. It helps me when I’m on set to better understand the director’s instructions. But let me tell you that it’s very important to separate between being an actor on set and my experience with directing; I tend to put it aside so that it won’t clash with the director’s work. I do have my input in terms of how I do a specific act, but I also trust the director’s vision and rhythm for the project.
Any advice for anyone who wants to pursue acting?
Everyone should start from scratch. If there’s something you’re truly passionate about, do everything to make it happen. It might come true, and it might not. In both ways, you would have done all you could and tried, which is more important.
I personally believe that life already takes you places… I mean, of course you should always have this sense of motivation and passion, but also let life take you by surprise. Sometimes it’s nice to not make a lot of plans in life. For me, I let things happen without overthinking them.
Follow Bsaibes on Instagram to know more about what she’s up to!