Interview: Sherif Hafez Talks About His Career, Layali Eugenie Role and Aspirations

Interview by: Ayah alaa and Karima Mostafa

It hasn’t been so long since the holy month of Ramadan has ended. This year was full of amazing performances by some of the most brilliant young stars and fresh faces who played big roles, and one of those was Nino from Layali Eugenie. Sophia’s Italian child who was taken to war, AKA Nino, resembled hope; he’s the one thing that caused her the most pain and yet the one thing that pushed Sophia to wake up every morning and be her beautiful self. We all have a Nino in our lives one way or another, right?

We talked to Sherif Hafez, the fresh face who played Nino, and asked him about his role, his career, and what he wants to achieve in life in general.

1. Tell us more about yourself, Sherif.

My name is Sherif Hafez. I studied environmental science and currently I’m doing my PHD. I love art in general, and I work as a model, an actor and a scriptwriter.

2. And how did the acting career begin?

Modeling came first. When I was younger, I always travelled abroad with my dad who worked as an architect, that was when I started modeling for Celvin Klein, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Hollister. Then, I acted in 3 short movies in Italy and one movie in the United States.

3. How did Layali Eugenie happen?

I was nominated by the casting director of the series, Sila Keldes, and later, I was chosen for that role specifically by Hany Khalifa, the director of the series.

4. So, you acted abroad and you acted in Egypt, was the experience any  different between both situations?

Not really. Egyptian actors and filmmakers are just as professional and experienced as the Italians and Americans I worked with. Actually, I find Egyptian actors more expressive and they tend to focus more on their physical efforts.

5. You and the lovely Sophia from Layali Eugenie obviously had good chemistry! Was that on and off the screen?

I guess that one of the best things that could happen to me as an actor is acting alongside Injy ElMokkadem. We had good chemistry on and off the screen, she’s one of the most beautiful and wonderful women you can ever meet!

6. Did you expect that outcome after Ramadan?

I didn’t! My appearance was late in the month of Ramadan and I thought it would go unnoticed because of how busy people are preparing for their Eid vacations and stuff.

7. You’re a writer too! Tell us more about your first novel, Ehda2 Eblis.

It’s about a police man who came across a book that belonged to one of the most vicious murderers. The book was written in an old era and it opens a door of mysterious events that eventually help him know more about the human nature. The whole idea of the book came from my own life experience. I mean, when you look deeper into the character, you’re actually reading my thoughts, ideas and basically me.

8. Is there a specific point of stardom that you want to reach? And how do you plan on getting there?

Well, my dream is actually big. I want to make Egypt the leading filmmaking country. We have all the required resources to be there; our actors, directors and everyone else are just as good as people abroad. We just need to write some really good and unique stories, think out of the box and go beyond the typical good guy/bad guy story. And that’s what I’m trying to do with my scripts and books.

9. What’s a role you’ve always wanted to play?

Kevin from Split. The role is broad and diverse; it gave space for James McAvoy to unleash the acting beast in him.

10. Do you prefer being the scriptwriter or the actor in any movie?

That’s a hard one. But if I have to choose, it would be a scriptwriter. I’d rather create a whole story from my own imagination, create characters with lives and relationships, that’s definitely the most interesting thing to me.

We definitely enjoyed talking to the multitalented young star, Sherif Hafez. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for him!