Over recent years, we have witnessed a surge of new talent in the entertainment industry, with some incredibly skilled young actors forging new spaces to dazzle. Among those who astonished us with their unique presence is Khaled Anwar, who through a range of roles, including Trieka in Haza Al Masaa (Later Tonight), Marwan in Kaeno Embareh (Like Yesterday) and Zizo in Awalem Khafeya (Hidden Worlds), has clearly proven his acting chops. eniGma’s Dina ElHalawany sat down with him to find out what makes this star shine.
Before experiencing the rush of the stage, Anwar’s interests lay elsewhere. “I remember playing with toy guns with my friends and I used to love fixing the broken ones. As a kid I actually thought engineering was the best option for me, especially in the specific field of weapons engineering!” he recalls. As he started secondary school, Anwar began to explore more creative hobbies, such as playing music and beat boxing, and eventually decided to audition for the school theatre. This is when his love affair with acting began. For his first ever role, Anwar played the part of Khaled Saeed, whose death in police custody in Alexandria was one of the triggers catapulting Egypt into revolution in 2011. “I had never thought about being an actor, but during this play I realised that I loved acting. I felt like I was born to do this, and decided I wouldn’t do anything else for the rest of my life,” he explains.
Chasing his newfound dream, Anwar joined as many school plays as he could, while also honing his talent through participating in acting workshops in Egypt and the Czech Republic. From the very beginning, he was blessed with the support of his family. “Although my parents worried about my grades because of my focus on acting, they always trusted and supported me. My dad used to come to all of my school plays and would applaud me for how good my performances were. He always seemed so proud,” Anwar recalls. Keen to take his success to new heights, right after finishing school, he applied to the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts and was accepted.
Anwar discovered that one of his main draws to acting was the fact that it gave him the thrill of living somebody else’s life and continuously learning new things. “I am always keen to perfectly portray every character that I play. I love to imagine how they dress, eat, talk and even how they style their hair. For instance, if I’m playing the role of a writer who reads Naguib Mahfouz, I would actually read all of Mahfouz’s books in order to understand the writer’s mentality and beliefs. Doing whatever it takes to play a specific character, whether it is learning to play music or dance, never fails to keep me entertained,” he exclaims.
In 2015, Anwar landed his first big screen role in the movie 4G directed by Ahmed Nader Galal. What really caught everyone’s attention, however, was his portrayal of Treika in Tamer Mohsen’s series, Haza El Masaa. “I was very excited to work with Tamer Mohsen, because he’s an amazing director. I knew that preparing myself well for this kind of role was essential, so I decided to live in Sayeda Zeinab for almost a month. To fully understand Treika’s lifestyle, I would frequently drive a motorcycle to Embaba and hang out with the people there. I even worked in a mobile shop to fully immerse myself in the role,” he recounts.
Transforming from Treika, a local guy working in a mobile shop, to the rich and spoiled Marwan in Kaeno Embareh, was considered by many to be a challenge for Anwar, but he more than stepped up to the plate. “I am very thankful to Mohammad Mashish, the producer of both Haza El Masaa and Kaeno Embareh, for believing in me and giving me the chance to play the leading role of Marwan, a character so different from my previous role. Although I love every role I’ve played and believe a part of each stays with me wherever I go, when I think about my favourite roles so far, Treika and Marwan will always be particularly special!” he exclaims.
Following his success in Kaeno Embareh, Anwar was offered the coveted opportunity to act alongside the beloved Adel Imam in Awalem Khafeya. “The first time I saw Adel Imam, I could literally feel my knees shaking! Besides being a phenomenal actor, Imam is also a very smart person. He noticed that I was quite nervous just by looking at me. After the first scene, he asked me to come sit next to him, and started talking to me and joking around to make me feel more comfortable. It was fundamental for us to establish this kind of relationship as I was playing his grandson in the series,” says Anwar. “I will never forget when one time, Imam stood in front of everyone and told me that he had watched parts of the series and he could see that I’m a very good actor and one of the most entertaining characters in the series. I felt so honoured, I walked up to him and gave him a hug. It was like a scene you see in the movies!” Anwar recalls with a big smile.
Since then, Anwar has appeared in Abo Omar El Masry followed by Zodiac and Talqet Haz in 2019. As an ambitious, hardworking actor, the young star believes that his greatest accomplishment is yet to come. “I tend to be very selective when it comes to the parts I am going to play. Rather than taking many steps, I believe that it’s better to take fewer steps that are guaranteed to push me much higher,” he explains.
On a more personal level, Anwar is consumed by many other passions, including music, reading and travelling. “In my spare time, I like to read novels. I love Mostafa Mahmoud. I’ve read almost all of his books. I also enjoy listening to music, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I even prepare a playlist for each character I play. I think that if I wasn’t an actor, I might have considered being a music producer or playing an instrument. And when it comes to travel, one of my favourite destinations is Sinai, especially Dahab,” he explains.
Currently, the rising star is working on a new movie that he is very excited about. While not being ready to reveal much about it at present, Anwar says with a smile, “I can’t talk about it yet, but all I can tell you is that the script is amazing and so is the cast and director. I believe it is going to be a great project.”