by Nour al-Huda
For Ward El-Khal, success did not come on a silver platter. Her hard work, ambition and drive have earned her a successful and enduring career spanning over two decades, during which she has excelled in both comedic and drama roles. Breaking her long media silence, Ward speaks to Majalla about her new TV series “The Peasants’ Revolution”.
After acting in various TV series, will you return to the silver screen?
If an actor gets a good offer in any of the acting fields, whether it is cinema, theatre or TV, they should accept it and get involved in it. In my case, I still haven’t been presented a good offer to act in movies. Actually, the silver screen, cinema, has its own faces and actors nowadays.
Is it becoming more difficult to get lead roles on TV as young actors rise to the top of the competitive acting world?
Since the day I decided to become an actress, 20 years ago, my target was to leave a good impression. I wasn’t concerned about popularity as much as I was concerned about achieving success in Drama as this success made me famous. Unlike many other artists who seek popularity, I believe that “success is the key to fame.”
In my opinion, every person follows a different strategy when it comes to Drama. I, myself, am very picky when it comes to choosing my work. I always search for something new so I won’t repeat myself and my roles, and I am keen to diversify between Drama and comedy.
On the other hand, the lack of scripts, which the Lebanese drama is suffering from, and therefore the lack in new roles –unlike the Egyptian and Syrian dramas- makes it hard for me to choose to play a new important role and add it to my artistic career. What matters for me is how I can move forward in my career rather than playing many roles.
How do you manage to combine comedy and drama and succeed in all of your works?
Very few are capable of combining drama and comedy, and an actor who can do that is really talented. I thank God because the audience loved me in all the roles I played, whether drama or comedy, since they both fascinate me- especially if I like the role because I become very excited to play it.
After mastering drama, according to critics, what is your ambition? Do you aspire to become an international actress?
I don’t like these terms a lot. There are many actors who have been working hard and putting in so much effort to develop and prove themselves, and I am one of them. Every actor should climb the ladder of stardom step by step. In my opinion, an actor’s talent is measured by his energy and his ability to continue and develop; continuity is the basis for ensuring success.
Regarding becoming a global actor, this goals requires putting great effort and working a lot, and my ambition is to become well-known in my country and this is what I have been working on and achieving with time.
What is the secret behind choosing the star Yorgo Chalhoub to share the leading role with you in most of your works?
Yorgo is a great actor, and the audience loved us together as a couple and still consider us the best couple in the roles we performed; our combination is very successful. Choosing a partner in drama and comedy is solely down to the producer, and I liked the success I achieved with Yorgo and with many other actors. I am keen to work with my colleagues in different roles and not be repetitive.
Ramadan is very close now, so what is Ward al-Khal working on for this month?
Because Ramadan is very close, I am busy shooting ‘The Peasants’ Revolution’ (Thawrat al-Fallahin), which is a 60-episode series. This series is not competing in the Ramadan TV series race. The holy month has its advantages and disadvantages, a lot of series don’t get a fair chance because viewers cannot follow all the series that are shown. I usually stay out of this season because I am always busy shooting the episodes that end at the beginning of the summer.
It was Mother’s Day recently. Do you feel ready to become a mom?
Motherhood means a lot to me. I wish to become a mom, and I would love to live this sacred experience since it is one of the most important aspects of a woman’s life.
What is the reason behind your rare media appearances?
I am always keen to choose platforms that suits me, and I prefer to talk about new things in order so not to repeat myself, especially as most of the interviews do not focus on the intellectual development of the artist, which forces me to limit my media exposure, and this is also applied to social media.
What do you think about the head of the Syrian Actors Syndicate preventing a Lebanese star from entering Syria and shooting her upcoming series?
I was very disturbed by the behavior of the head of the Syrian Actors Syndicate, and I have already taken a stance against his behavior because this is unacceptable. Actors work together no matter whether they were Syrians or Lebanese; our home is open for everyone just like Syria was open for us. In these circumstances, we should stay away from strife to keep art away from problems just as the Arab audience wants.
At the end of the interview, Ward promised her audience to achieve more success and develop her career in order to convey an ideal image of art in Lebanon and abroad.