Since she made her first appearance in Egyptian cinema, we’ve enjoyed seeing Dorra many times both on the big and small screen in a variety or roles. But this year, we got to watch her in a new role with a twist.. Her latest Ramadan series, El Kheroug (The Exit), was quite an action-packed and suspenseful show to watch. It was one of the few Ramadan shows that had us on the edge of our seats. Dorra spoke to us about her latest experience, which drew much acclaim, and her upcoming projects. Read on to find out more about this gorgeous actress’s work, personal insights, and future plans. ..
Tell us about your role in El Kheroug (The Exit).
I play the role of Laila, a lawyer facing various obstacles throughout the series. Laila begins to develop feelings for a policeman, Omar (Dhafer L’abidine).
It is a very action-packed series, how did it feel to participate in it?
It’s not my first action and suspense-based work, but El Kheroug was the most action-packed project I’ve been a part of. Last year, I worked on Ba’ad El Bedaya (After the Beginning) series, which was very successful and included a lot of action as well. However, El Kheroug includes continuous action scenes and suspense. I think it’s very important for actors and actresses to work in different genres; I like to be a part of projects with different themes and not always work on just one kind of film. The best thing about El Kheroug is that there’s always something to look forward to, whether it’s because of the suspense or the relationship between Laila and Omar, where there’s a lot happening.
What was your favourite scene?
My favourite scene is towards the end of the series. Fans have different opinions though. Every fan says that he or she has a certain favourite scene; each one telling me ‘we liked you in this scene’, or ‘this was our favourite scene.’
How was it like to work with Dhafer L’abidine?
It was a great experience. I’ve known Dhafer for a while now. We’re both from Tunisia, and we’ve worked together before on the Tunisian series Maktoob (Written); it was quite a hit in Tunisia. But then Dhafer moved to London, and I came to Egypt, and worked on projects and created a name for myself. Afterwards, when he came to Egypt, he became very popular and people started wanting us to work together. Working together on El Kheroug was honestly a coincidence. The production company and director nominated us for the roles and I welcomed working alongside Dhafer, of course. We have a great chemistry on set. It’s what people have also said. It’s always good when two people know how to work together. It’s also ideal for two actors to be on good terms in order to work together. They shouldn’t have issues off screen and should know how to get along well in order to be able to produce something successful. Dhafer is very serious and dedicated when it comes to his work.
What was your favourite series or movie that you’ve worked on?
A lot of projects, of course. There are things that I’ve worked on that are very close to my heart, and at the same time, there are movies and series favored by fans. But I would definitely say Segn El Nessa (Women’s Prison). I think it’s a masterpiece and it will always remain a very unique experience for me.
What do you think of Egyptian cinema?
I can’t really give my opinion because I am now part of Egyptian cinema. But I’ve always loved it, especially the classic and old movies. Nowadays, Egyptian cinema includes a lot of variety; there are many commercial movies and different genres. The thing is, I feel like the genres are always either comedy, action, or very few romance movies. There aren’t any historically-themed movies, and I think that’s what we need. Egyptian cinema used to have many historical movies, like El Naser Salah El Din for example; but nowadays, we aren’t focusing so much on that anymore. It might be the fear of failure or maybe because they would need a high budget, but I really think and urge that we try to work on such projects. As an actress, I really like to play different roles. These days, TV series contain many genres and always add something new. I also think Egyptian cinema is quite consistent these days.
What advice would you give to young Egyptian women in show business?
First of all, I think one should be down to earth. Just because you worked on one thing doesn’t mean that you should start being conceited. I mean, one has to know one’s worth and appreciate that you have to work hard. You should always make the effort in order to continue being successful. The biggest stars are very dedicated and confident, but very down to earth at the same time. I haven’t changed since I started working in show business, because I believe you should stay true to who you are. Second of all, show business is difficult; it needs effort and luck. Third, you shouldn’t really take criticism too harshly, nor should you take positive feedback too seriously. It’s all about perspectives. If you always focus on what people say, you will have a hard time. Not everything you hear is true, so you shouldn’t take it to heart; and you should know how to differentiate between the negative and positive feedback. Always know your mistakes and continue doing what you do in order to be successful.
Have you ever received negative feedback?
Of course. When you are in the spotlight, subconsciously people try to bring you down and maybe it’s because of jealousy. I try not to pay too much attention, and I don’t really think it’s worth it to hate anyone. At the end of the day, God grants you what you deserve because of the effort that you put. I like kindness, it’s what I look for in a person. It’s a very important quality to have, to be good to yourself and to others. But thankfully, the positive always outweighs the negative criticism. I have fans who love me more than I love myself. They always defend me and my work, and they are the thing that keeps me going.
Has your personal life changed because of your career?
Of course. I mean, my career comes first and that’s why sometimes my perosnal life is put on hold. But I believe that there is a timing for everything.
What qualities do you look for in a man?
I’m always asked this question, but I don’t believe in such a thing; it’s all about fate. I think the most important thing is to feel comfortable around the person you’re with. For me, I need to be with someone who loves me and whom I love in return. I can’t just be with someone because they are suitable or because they have good qualities. I need to be with someone who would help my inner peace grow. I’m not the type of woman who believes in getting married just for the sake of getting married. When you find the right person, you will know and that’s when you should make the decision to spend the rest of your life with him. If I have to think of qualities, I would definitely say kindness, care, and intelligence.
Are you working on anything coming up soon?
There’s a movie coming soon, El Bab Yefawet Amal (The Door is Wide Enough for Hope to Exit). I’m starring alongside Sherif Salama. It’s a light comedy and there’s a little bit of romance. I’m also working on another movie, Mawlana (His Highness), it’s a more serious story, written by Ibrahim Eissa. But right now, I feel like I need to take a vacation especially after all the shooting this Ramadan.