Monday, December 18

Re-Discovering DORRA: The Next-Door Girl Vs. The Diva

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She is a cool, smart, confident, spontaneous, sure type of a girl. She is very neat and likes to look and dress perfectly. The little girl inside her jumps from time to time to insure the approval of her requests. I thought I was up to an adventure of discovering a Diva. Instead, I lost the Diva discovering a simple relaxed girl who is not afraid to show her real self. I present to you Dorra as you’ve never known her before…

-You have a unique combination; you are an actress with a master’s degree in Political Science. Both paths are completely different. What drew you to each of them?
*I have always wanted to be an actress; it was my dream since a very young age. At some point, I even considered working as a director to do something related to the cinema world, but of course my parents wanted me to study something -if you can say- more serious. So I studied political science and got my Master’s degree. Although I was very clever, it was not what I wanted to do. While studying, I started acting at the college’s theatre. I also did some screen roles, but when I finished my studies I decided to follow my passion and focus on acting.

-Were you able to adapt easily to your new life after moving to Egypt?
*Absolutely, the society here in Egypt is not so different from the Tunisian. There are some minor cultural differences, but at the end, it’s the Middle East, where all Arabs share many similarities. Maybe the most difficult thing was living away from my friends and family in Tunisia, but living in a country like Egypt among the Egyptian people feels a lot like home.

-Inside every person there is an “Alter Ego”, how can you describe your opposite self? And when does she take control?
*We are always fighting (she laughs). As you said inside every person there are two opposites, one controls the heart and the other controls the mind. Naturally one of them should have control more than the other in order to create balance, but my heart and mind are equally in control and that’s why they are living in a constant conflict. Sometimes my alter ego takes control especially in work, but in personal life, emotions are my leader.

-How much do you rely on the real Dorra when you prepare for a new role?
*It depends on the role I am playing. If we share a lot of common traits, I rely on my character. But if the role is completely different, I try to lose Dorra and turn into the character I am playing. Whoever she is.

– Every actor/actress reaches a state of unity with his/her character at some point, how long does the character stays with you? And how do you master to get rid of your character’s possession?
* It depends on how deep the role is. I don’t live in character or transmigrate. I return immediately to my true self the moment we finish shooting, but some scenes slobbers me, especially the strong emotional ones. When I am doing a strong emotional scene, I tend to stay in character and it keeps haunting me even in my dreams!

-When it comes to your life choices, Do you like to play it safe or are you more of a spontaneous character?
*I am spontaneous, very spontaneous (She laughs) Well, not totally! But if I feel like doing something, I do it immediately. With people, I am always natural and spontaneous; even in my work projects. But again, naturally, on the long run one must think, plan, and consider tomorrow. But in my daily life, I am spur-of-the-moment kind of person.

But when it comes to the important life decisions…
*If it’s a life changing decision, I take lots and lots of time to make the proper one. I can drive myself crazy because I tend to over think and hesitate in these essential life matters.

But you are a risk taker?!
*In work, I am a risk taker. I like to do the hard difficult roles that are not like me. I like to change my skin doing varieties of different roles, and I did that more than once. On the other hand, if I am at a party or doing a photo-shoot or something, I must do what suits my personality. I am neither showy nor conservative, but I prefer moderation, elegance and simplicity.

– If you have to quit acting for some reason, what would it be?
* It is possible to happen any time. As much as I love acting and do it with passion, it’s a very hard job and if I lost my passion, I will quit immediately. When I feel like I am not doing any new interesting roles and what’s offered to me is not that good, I won’t “quit”, but I will consider a long break till I find the suitable role.

-What has changed in your personality and life in general after becoming a celebrity?
* Everything (She laughs). I didn’t change with my family and friends; I still have the same habits with the people close to me. Being a famous person, however, put an extra load over my shoulders. I have to always consider how I look, how I walk, talk and every step should be calculated. I must consider that I should never look mad or angry, even if I was. I must treat people nicely, smile and pose for pictures like nothing is wrong, that’s a lot of pressure. Unfortunately a celebrity’s privacy is partially lost.
. The other load is social media and fake accounts! There are a lot of fake accounts under my name and they post photos and talk to people as if they are the real Dorra. Some people are nice enough to create fan pages, but those who pretend to be a celebrity; they are mentally ill and physiologically unstable. Believe it or not! The fake twitter account under my name has more followers than my real one… I don’t know what is their benefit in doing this?

-What does it take in your opinion to have a balanced community of equal men and women?
*You know, we were able to achieve social equality between both sexes in Tunisia. It’s hard to reach the total maximum of equality of course even in America and Europe, but there must be equal rights for men and women. Especially now that women work and succeed like men do, and sometimes more. A lot of careers were limited to men, now women succeed and shine in them. Plus we are wives and mothers. We carry more responsibilities than men, but unfortunately we are still oppressed and maltreated.
You see, both men and women get the same amount of education, work at the same field and succeed together; but when there is only one to be promoted or get a raise of course it’s the man because “HE’S A MAN”. Many women are asked to quit their jobs after marriage, as if all their efforts and hard work to prove themselves as efficient members of the community mean nothing to their men. Where is the equality in that?! I know we are moving forward, but there is a lot of changes that need to happen in both our community and the law to provide women with the rightful place they deserve, and not to be the ones to blame!

-Now that you’re playing an important role -as Berlanty Abdelhamid- in a historical drama about an era ironically has a lot of political similarities to the current state of Egypt. How can you describe such a controversial character and her huge effect in that sensitive time?
*Berlanty is a unique combination. She was a beautiful, sexy woman who was very powerful and determined. When she considered doing something; she did it no matter what. She got married to Abdelhakim Amer, she agreed to become a second wife and faced the entire world just to marry the man she’s in love with. I see some aspects of her in me, actually!

-Would you normally be attracted to someone who’s like you? Or do you believe that opposites attract?
* As much as I wish to find someone whose personality is like mine, I believe that opposites attract. But because they are opposites, they tend to live in conflict…

-Would you consider doing major life changes for the person you love?
*No! I can change some minor things, but I would never change myself or my life for any one.

– Do you believe that beauty and intelligence are interdependent or can each exist without the other?
* Of course they can exist without each other, but they won’t be complete. Beauty alone is not enough. If someone is beautiful and not intelligent; the moment he/she starts to talk, all beauty will fade away. I believe that beauty is a temporary thing. Eventually, one will grow up, get old and good looks will disappear. On the other hand, intelligence is eternal. I believe that intellect is what makes people beautiful. If someone attracts you with his/her personality and brains, you will see him/her beautiful. And I don’t mean that people should feed their brains and neglect their external appearances; both beauty and intelligence should complete each other.

– In the yin-yang philosophy, yin is the soft dark feminine and yang is the powerful bright masculine! How do you expect your yang to be?
*Well now that you did this interview, I want you to answer this question.

I think he should be intelligent, open-minded and cool…
*She smiled: Thank you, you got it right!

-Do you describe yourself as more of a yin or yang person?
*Maybe I am more of a yang person, but sometimes I am super emotional, sentimental and romantic, so I believe both. I think it has to do with me being an actress. Sometimes, I am very sociable. I want to talk, meet new people and enjoy life. Other times, I just want to stay alone. Any actor/actress must have both yin and yang in their characters. We are constantly among people. We need both yin and yang to be able to deal with all the different personalities we meet, to get to know who is real and who is not.

-Are metaphysics and paranormals of interest to you? Why?
*Of course not! I believe it’s incorrect and kinda scary to consider thinking about such abnormal stuff. Over-thinking these unnatural phenomena will only lead one to the wrong path. It’s not a right thing to start with in the first place.

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