Friendly and spontaneous, the actress Anjo Rihane is a professional imitator, who admits her passion for the theater. The hilarious character of Jamilé, that she played for a few years on TV in «Ma fi Metlo» made her famous. At the theater, she played in Lina Khoury’s «Hakeh Neswen», and recently collaborated with Yehya Jaber on two theatrical plays. What are the upcoming projects of the talented Anjo?
Graduate of Fine Arts, you have had a long career in the comic register. «Ente Min», is it your first participation in a TV soap opera?
I graduated from the Fine Arts at the Lebanese University. I have played roles in both dramatic and comical soap operas. In «Ente Min», it is not at all my first role in a soap opera. My first participation in a drama series was in «Chello». I played with Badih Abou Chacra in «Khadimat Al Kasr» and starred in «Ghazl el Banet», a comedy soap opera with four girls, trying to survive alone in the city. Not to mention my role in Nadine Labaki movie«Halla2 Lawein».
What is the difference between theater and television in your opinion?
Both are forms of art, related to the work of actors, the arts of performance. The difference is technical. In a theatrical performance, we are in front of the audience and we see their reactions. We do our best to embody the character to perfection. But in the end, being applauded by the public drives up the adrenaline. Theater requires more effort, especially the one-woman show that I interpret and that implies greater responsibility. The theater is my passion.
Regarding television, the experience is different. We are in front of the camera, we do not need to gesticulate like at the theater to express ourselves in front of the public. If the camera is very close, just a wink could get the message across.
We learn more through the theater. In «My name is Julia» and «Mjadarra Hamra», written and directed by Yehya Jaber, the challenge and fatigue are great, as well as the spontaneity in the release of our emotions. On television, the responsibility is shared because we are directed and followed.
It is said that it is more difficult to make people laugh than to make them cry, what do you think?
Certainly, it takes great intelligence to make people laugh. The thread is very fine so as not to slip into vulgarity, not to know if we managed to make people laugh or if they make fun of us. It takes a combined approach to these many parameters. It is difficult to imitate what is simplest. All the TV channels are looking for sitcoms but the intelligent text is missing. Our texts do not sufficiently reflect our reality, our society. The series of Carine Rizkallah «Ente Min» has been successful because it is a reflection of our society. I find that the Syrian sitcom «El Kherbi» is successful in all points of view: staging, costumes, text, artistic direction, actors …
Do you have other projects for television soon?
Yes, but for now, these are just proposals. I was also offered to present a program. In September, I will play the third play with Yehya Jaber. I am delighted because the theater only confirms my professionalism.
What do you think of the younger generation of Lebanese actors and actresses?
The acting field is open to everyone, but the public has become demanding. He criticizes every detail and knows whether a performance is convincing or not. Interpreting a character is difficult, you have to know its history. It’s not enough to be nice or physically handsome to be an actor or an actress. The profession wins to be organized. Graduates of the Lebanese University are beginning to have roles. If we give these young people a chance, the level of drama will improve. As an example, I really enjoyed the performances of Said Serhan and Wissam Farès in «Al Hayba». Interviewed by Rita Saadé
Anjo Rihane currently plays «Mjadarra Hamra» every Friday at Teatro Verdun, Center Dunes. Tel: 01/800003.