When you meet the beautiful 27 year-old actress, Amina Khalil, you can’t help but think that this lady has the looks that can take her anywhere she wants. But that’s a far cry from what Khalil is all about. The young actress is filled with passion for acting and a determination to prove that she has the talent and skills to reach her career goals. She doesn’t want her looks to detract from her acting. Even though her beauty is definitely a plus, her talent has been the reason behind her rapid success. Ever since her first screen appearance in 2011, she caught the attention of Egypt’s movie industry, and has been sought after for one role after another by directors and producers.
This Ramadan, Khalil will be playing one of her biggest roles to date in the TV series Grand Hotel. Khalil prefers to keep her role as a surprise, but we know she looks like a bride on the series’ poster. Rumours also have it that Khalil is soon to be married, having recently celebrated her engagement. And last but not least in this bridal theme, Khalil is gracing our cover for our annual wedding issue. So in a way Khalil seems to be a three-time bride all at once! Rumours of an imminent real wedding aside, all we know is that we loved having Khalil pose as a bride for our wedding cover feature and we hope to see her in her own wedding gown soon. On the occasion of this stunning cover shoot, Khalil chatted with eniGma’s Yosra Shohayeb on her views about love and marriage, her new TV series, and her hobbies.
You started your acting career with little steps until you became a renowned actress; what would you say brought you here?
Passion, perseverance, and a little bit of luck. This industry is my true love. I also think anyone who walks into it with their own two feet must be a little crazy. But, as difficult and taxing as it is, it’s so gratifying. If you succeed in it, it tastes very sweet, and then you just want more. I’m a little girl with very big dreams, and I won’t stop till I get there. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t have succeeded without the love and support of my family and friends.
You’re a beautiful woman; do you consider it an edge in the acting industry?
Every woman is beautiful; I truly believe that. However, people need to take care of themselves, both physically and emotionally, to maintain that beauty. True beauty is behind the make-up and the pretty clothes.
What do you think of the idea of marriage in general?
I think marriage is a beautiful and natural development for two people in love. It’s choosing that person that’s the difficult part. I condemn people who feel that a ring around one’s finger is a ring around one’s neck. It shouldn’t be that way at all. It’s not supposed to be complicated, elusive, demanding, or compromising. And if you see it as such, it’ll end up as such. It is what you make of it, really.
So what do you believe makes a relationship last?
Communication, transparency, and friendship. Men and women are from different planets, and we need to accept each other’s differences. The one constant thing in this world is change. If you accept that notion, then you will allow your partner’s exploration, self-growth, and evolution. We can’t expect that the person we meet at 25 will be the exact same person at 65. We should be able to adjust to that and vice versa. And of course, if you laugh together, you’ll be together forever.
How do you know a person is “The One”?
You just know. It’s that one person you can sit with in silence. Someone you can talk to for hours, days, months, and they will always listen. Someone you can sit with in darkness, or on the other side of a wall, or on the other side of the world and still feel so connected that you never feel alone. That power can be so strong, that you could both be blind and still find each other beautiful. That’s the one you never let go off. I don’t agree that “the one” you choose should “make you feel complete”. You should actually be complete on your own. That person should be the one you want to share your world with. They should add to your life rather than fill a void. They should make you want to become a better person.
Your character in your latest movie , Sukkar Mor, was different and new; how did you feel about it?
It’s quite different than anything I’ve done before and I’m glad I chose this daring role. The director, Hany Khalifa, is an old friend and it was an exciting experience to work with him and such a cool cast of actors. He made us work so hard. There were times when I would have 24 hour working days! But the outcome was very rewarding for me. I went to Malmo, Sweden for the Malmo Arab Film Festival earlier this year and Sukkar Mor was opening the festival. Most recently, I won the Arab Cinema Award (ACA) as Best Supporting Actress for the film.
Tell us more about your Ramadan 2016 series ‘Grand Hotel’.
Grand Hotel is one of the biggest projects I’ve worked on. I am a mess of emotions about it. I’m excited, anxious, nervous, pumped, and everything in between. I fell in love with it the moment I started reading the script. When I met with Mohamed Shaker, the director, I knew that we were on the same page. I’ve actually been a big fan of his since his incredible work on the Ramadan 2015 series Tareeqy. Tamer Habib, the writer of the series is also an old friend who has held my hand and led me into this industry when we first started working together five years ago. Everyone working on this project in the back kitchen, from the production and directing team to the set and costume design team, has their heart and soul in this project. So I’m crossing my fingers that it will really be a hit.
The series is set in the 1950’s in Aswan, which serves as the most beautiful backdrop we could have asked for. The events take place inside the Grand Hotel. With that said, add an all-star cast including Amr Youssef, Ahmed Daoud, Dina El-Sherbiny, Anoushka, Mohamed Mamdouh, Sawsan Badr, and more. I am exceedingly lucky and grateful.
What kind of character are you playing in it?
I can’t get into too much detail, but Ramadan is right around the corner. All I can say is that her name is Nazly.
This is the second time you appear with Amr Youssef, the first being the Ramadan 2012 series,Taraf Talet. Are you excited to work with him again?
Amr and I didn’t work together a lot in Taraf Talet, but we’ve been friends ever since. He is one of the actors that push you to step it up, challenge yourself, and have so much fun at the same time.
What kind of characters do you prefer?
I don’t have a preference for certain characters. I simply ask myself certain questions before I take any role. Do I feel I can do this character justice? And do I have what it takes to bring her to life? I must say though, the more the character is different than who I am, the more I like it. I like a challenge. The more challenging, the better!
What is the character that you would never agree to do?
I don’t think there’s a character I wouldn’t do because of the character itself. That’s not my criteria for choosing a role. If I don’t like other things to do with the film as a whole, then I’ll turn it down.
You have such a great voice; did you ever think of a singing career?
Music is my all-time favourite hobby. Acting is my job. I wish I had the time to make more music. Maybe when I get some time off, I’ll focus on it.
I also know that you’re a very good kite surfer; would you ever consider going professional?
Wouldn’t that be awesome? I wish. It’s such a fun and healthy life to be by the beach all the time. I make it a point that whenever I’m not working, I’m at the beach kite surfing. I started kite surfing three years ago. Most of my friends are now obsessed too. We take our dogs, our kiting gear, and have so much fun. It’s very different than the hustle and bustle of my shooting life. It keeps me grounded.
Where do you want to be five years from now?
I’m not sure where I want to be; I just know I want to be happy.