Amidst the many very young fresh faces appearing lately in movies and TV series, Reem Abdelkader has officially stolen our hearts. But she has also terrorised us with her amazing acting in the horror genre. “My friend was scared of me, she had nightmares and it was just from watching the trailer,” notes the rising star! eniGma’s Nouran Deyab sat down with this far from terrifying sweetheart to find out how she landed her most significant roles and her experiences on set.
After Reem was done with her playful photoshoot where she rocked several outfits, it didn’t take long for the young actress to break the ice for our interview with her sense of humour. During our chitchat, it felt like talking to a mini-adult but with all the cuteness! Anything and everything Reem said sent everyone in the room into giggles.
Reem first began her career in advertising at the age of two. Having started at such a young age, she admitted she couldn’t recall her very first projects. However, she did somewhat remember her later experience on Lam’ey El Ott (Lam’ey the Cat). “I don’t remember a lot of things but I remember that I wasn’t acting. I was saying anything that came to my mind,” she recalls. After a hint from her mother who was accompanying her, she adds, “I remember Mr. Mohamed Emam was my friend and he brought me a doll that I still have and a box filled with a lot of chocolates.”
Reem’s memorable scary role as Shiraz in Ma Wara El Tabe’a (Paranormal) started with a phone call from Marwa Gabriel, the casting specialist. “Ms. Marwa Gabriel called my mom and told her about the role. We liked it so we went to audition. I auditioned in a room filled with people, including Director Amr Salama. It was so exciting when everyone clapped for me and I was so proud of myself. Mr. Amr Salama told me, ‘You will be Shiraz for sure.’” There was a twinkle in Reem’s eyes as she recalled this glorious moment with excitement. When asked what the hardest or scariest scene for her in the show was, Reem instantly exclaimed, “The fire scene was both scary and difficult! There was actual fire all around me and I had to keep screaming ‘Ibrahim.’ But it felt so good because right after the scene ended, the whole crew clapped for me and Mr. Amr Salama told me, ‘You will only act with me.’”
But Salama’s playful wish was quickly set aside because Director Mohamed Taher was also in the room where Reem auditioned, and the little star caught his eye as well! That’s how she landed her hit role this Ramadan as Tito in Khaly Balak Men Zizi (Take Care of Zizi). In our interview, it was truly astonishing to listen to Reem discuss ADHD, the main issue in the series and to realize how aware she was of everything at such a young age. “This was the first time I take on the role of a character with ADHD and it was the hardest thing about Tito. Always being hyper and talking so fast just wasn’t me,” she recalls. We can all agree, that she pulled it off like a natural though.
Not surprisingly Reem hit it off with everyone in the TV series, especially Amina Khalil, who became her friend. “My favourite scene in Khaly Balak Men Zizi is when I was dancing with Amina Khalil. It felt real and like I was dancing with my friend in a car. I love her so much!” she recalls. Actually, she is so attached to both Khalil and Emam that when asked who she wishes to act with, she couldn’t help but name just them. “Maybe if I meet someone else, I will want to act with them but right now it’s just them,” she adds.
Admitting that acting isn’t easy, especially with all the lines to be memorised, Reem is grateful to her family for always supporting her, especially her sister Rafal Abdelkader, also an actress, who was accompanying her throughout her day with eniGma. The energy between the two sisters was amazing. It was a joy to watch Rafal guide her younger sister through the shoot and the interview, as well as in the TikTok dance challenge we recorded for Reem.
Luckily for her many fans, Reem insists that she is obsessed with her acting career and is planning on pursuing it “forever!” She already finished filming her new Saudi movie Al Sagan (The Prison Guard) starring Saudi actors Elham Ali and Khaled Saqr. So, stay tuned, Reem Abdelkkader fans!
Photography: Ahmed Abas
Styling: Hoda Wahby