Duha Al Safi
A perfect blend … attractive form, elegance of appearance, good performance and mastery of dialects, made him a unique and distinctive personality in Arabic art circles, and he also became one of the most prominent stars loved among audiences of all ages and nationalities. With the introduction of him we say that he is the Tunisian star Dhafer El Abidine, but in reality he has become worthy of the title of “Arab Star”; It is close to all Arab societies, in terms of sound pronunciation, and an understanding of different customs and traditions, and this is what I have proven in more than one place. In the new movie “Ghadwa”, written, directed, represented and produced by Dhafer El Abidine, with the participation of director Dora Bouchoucha, he appears in the role of a forty-year-old man with a beard covering his face, and in classic wear, running. through the alleys and streets of the capital, Tunis, at full speed, and he is afraid of people who want to catch him, who embodies the character of “Habib”, a former and divorced lawyer, who is subject to a political grievance during which he was imprisoned and tortured, and although he was released from prison and the system that held him captive collapsed, but this grievance bequeathed him a mental illness from which he could not recover … Of this character in the movie “Ghadwa”. , which started in the last week of last March, we begin our interview with the star Dhafer El Abidine:
• I took down the character of “Fares” in the series “Bride of Beirut”, and the character of “Raja” in the movie “Caramel” and put on a new character in which you did not bet on beauty … Describe the experience for us?
– The character of “Habib” in the movie “Ghadwa” is far from the characters she presented on an Arab level. But on the other hand, in several foreign works I have presented characters who are not dependent on good looks, and I wanted in the role of “Habib” to be a realistic and real character for a man who suffers psychological torture due to a grievance to which he was exposed.
• Did you participate in the movie “Ghadwa” at Arab festivals last season?
Yes, I participated in it in the previous session of the Cairo Film Festival, and won the Critics Award, and then I also participated in the Red Sea Festival in Saudi Arabia, and my wife and daughter accompanied me in the first performances in Arabic festivals, and it was my greatest pride.
• Your English wife caught your attention on the red carpet and became the talk of social networking sites for a week or more. What is your comment?
– Yes, this is true, and it happened while she was attending the premiere with me at the Cairo Festival, and I was very happy with this media interest in her. She is also a star, and I felt proud to be my wife and the mother of my daughter Yasmine.
• What did Yasmine inherit from her Arab father and her English mother?
– She inherited the system from her mother, and from me the high sense and love of the family.
• In the movie “Ghadwa” I introduced the father’s character and his relationship with his teenage son … Do we really still have these ideal characters?
It is true that most of today’s generation is characterized by recklessness and indifference, and the image of the reckless and selfish teenager has become common and is considered the most open in that category, but there are always ideal people in this life, which governs the language of the heart and sincere feelings, and this is the character of “Ahmed” in the film, the teenager whom he found obligated to deal with and preserve his father’s mental illness, an image we all wish for children would be.
• You decided in the film to be in front of and behind the camera at the same time. Describe this experience for us?
– A very interesting experience, and the idea of directing was not accidental. In my early artistic career, I worked as an assistant to Tunisian director Moncef Dhoib, and I learned many techniques and important elements in filmmaking, and the film is basically my idea that I wrote with passion and love, and I wanted to entering the experience of directing and acting at the same time. .
• Does this mean that we will see Dhafer El Abidine again in the field of directing and writing?
– Yes, sure, because I experienced success in the first screenings of the film, and I received many inspiring messages from great directors, something that made me proud and inspired me to do more.
• Let’s remember with you your teenage days, who was the star that inspired you? Who is the star you are looking forward to performing for?
Julia Roberts was my muse in my teens, and I’m currently looking forward to working with Scarlett Johansson.
• In your artistic beginnings you worked or “compared” as an assistant actor. How do you look at those days?
These are the days that led me to what I am today, and I look back on it with pride. I do not believe in happiness and he was not my ally, but I do believe in work and learning. One of the funny situations that happened to me was that I worked as a “comparator” in an English movie, and I wore the character’s clothes, and stood for hours until the director and technicians made the sound and lighting adjusted, and after 8 years, I stood in front of the same actor as the lead actor.
• Your artistic start was not easy … Did you expect your life to change 180 degrees?
– This beginning I always insist on telling on all occasions; Maybe my story will inspire other people who are stranded and turn into despair. I traveled to England at the age of 28, I traveled while my friends of the same age got married, worked and built their lives, I traveled to the unknown at the time, and I wanted to play and learn directing. Little by little in my life, until I got to where I am today.
• You were offered a role in the movie “Friends and Dearest” and you rejected it. So, were you happy with your decision after the attack on the job?
– Yes, I was offered a role, but I apologized; Because I was associated at the time with the filming of the series “Bride of Beirut”, so I could not reconcile the two works, but I find no justification for attacking the star Mona Zaki; She played the role professionally, competently and competently.