Young, charming, and talented, Ahmed Magdy is an actor who has a very unique outlook on life and his profession. He’s been making waves on the television screen for the last two years and shows no signs of slowing down. eniGma’s Lina Ashour talked to the young actor to unveil his philosophy on acting.
I t was refreshing to talk to a person who was so candid about his own flaws. Not one to shy away from the truth, Magdy honestly describes his journey towards becoming the person he is today. It’s a journey that involved a lot of confusion, some mistakes, and plenty of learning.
Although he originally wanted to study literature, Magdy ended up becoming a law student and temporarily straying away from his cinema dream. That was until he met a group of people he had been looking for his whole life. They were people just like him, with the same beliefs and passion for the arts.
After being rejected from the High Institute of Cinema and doubting his talent and potential, he decided to educate himself in the theatre world. He took workshops, taught himself a lot about the craft, and even worked on improving his English. He spent three years in an independent theatre group working as an actor and assistant director.
Throughout this journey, Magdy always questioned himself, “I always loved cinema but I wasn’t sure if I was actually talented or if I just had a deep love for it.” It was this uncertainty along with his young age that made him unsure about the path he wanted to follow within the arts – writing, acting, editing, or directing. The acting opportunities have been coming steadily but he maintains that the writing process is still his favourite.
But if that was the case, what made him ultimately turn to acting? “When I was offered the part in Serr Alany (Public Secret), 2012, “I was theoretically against the idea of doing something so commercial. It was Eyad Nassar and Ghada Adel who changed my mind, they’re both very talented and I like to work with talented people. Plus I have to admit, the money was appealing because I was trying to become financially independent,” says Magdy.
In this role, Magdy says he was trying to deliver only emotions rather than thoughts or ideas. This approach is what made his next project even more challenging. The character of Eleish in Al Da’eya (The Preacher), 2013, was driven by an animalistic survival instinct. “I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to play a character that is so different from me in terms of personal experience and temperament, but it became the most important experience for me both artistically and personally,” says Magdy.
It was a stretch for this once peaceful vegetarian to play such an ugly character, and he clearly had to tap into his darker side to be able to portray it accurately. So what does Magdy think makes a good actor? “I’m convinced that a good actor has the talent to deliver emotions and be able to express them. If he tries to express something that isn’t already there, where would he get it from? It would seem fake or cartoonish. I respect that some people can do that really well but that’s not me. I’m a feeler,” explains Magdy.