Six Egyptian Shining Stars in International Cinema and Television

August 3, 2023

Egyptian actresses have shown remarkable talent and versatility in their performances, gaining recognition for their work and attracting attention from international casting directors seeking skilled and diverse actors.

No doubt these opportunities were brought about by the globalization of the entertainment industry. As the world becomes more interconnected, these actresses play an essential role in promoting cultural exchange and enriching the global entertainment landscape.

Here are some of the names of actresses who have have landed roles in foreign movies and TV shows

Amira El Sayed

Austrian-Egyptian actress Amira El-Sayed appeared in five of six episodes of the new Cold War era HBO series Spy/Master, released on HBO Max on May 19, 2023.

Amira El Sayed is an Austrian-Egyptian actor based in Vienna, Austria. She spent her early years living in Alexandria, Egypt. She speaks Arabic, German and English. Amira has starred in many international productions, amongst them her first international film A Hologram for the King, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Tom Tykwer.

Enjy Kiwan

Dubai-based Egyptian actress, model and presenter Enjy Kiwan has joined the cast of Netflix’s new thriller, ‘Paradox Effect’. Kiwan will play a starring role alongside American actors Harvey Keitel, Talia Asseraf , and Meredith Mickelson, as well as French-Ukrainian actress Olga Kurylenko.

“Paradox Effect” tells the story of a woman (Kurylenko) forced to confront a dangerous criminal boss (Keitel) who has kidnapped her young daughter for ransom. She teams up with a corrupt Interpol agent whose son is also being held hostage.

May El Ghety 

Egyptian actress May Elghety stars in the British Rom-Com Film ‘Due Dating’ alongside Rowland Stirling. 

Due Date is May’s first international movie, filmed in the UK. The movie is directed by Daniel Pacquette. The romantic comedy follows the hurdle-ridden relationship between a blogger, Cole (Rowland Stirling), and a lawyer, Persia (May Elghety).

May is the daughter of writer Mohamed Elghety. Her sister Mayar is also an actress.

May has starred in several movies, including ‘Clash’ (2016), ‘Grand Hotel’ (2016), ‘Taye’a’ (2018), and ‘MAMA’ (2022) which premiered at the Cairo International Film Festival. 

She also made her mark on a number of series including ‘High School Girls’ (2020) and ‘Every Week Has A Friday’ (2020).

May Calamay

Egyptian Palestinian cctress May Calamawy May Calamawy is joining the cast of Paramount’s sequel to the Oscar-winning hit “Gladiator.” The movie, set for release on Nov. 22, 2024, will be directed by Ridley Scott. 

Calamawy’s breakout role came in Marvel Studios’ “Moon Knight” series, in which she starred opposite Oscar Isaac. In Moon Knight, directed by Mohamed Diab, she played the role of Layla, the first Egyptian Superhero. 

She is also famous for her roles in Duke Johnson’s “The Actor” and the award-winning show “Ramy.”

Rosaline Elbay

The American Netflix mini-series Kaleidoscope starring Egyptian actress Rosaline Elbay started airing on 1 January 2023. The series “centers around the largest heist ever attempted, the vengeance and betrayals that surround it,” according to the synopsis provided by Netflix. The story is loosely inspired by real-life events where $70 billion in bonds disappeared from New York during a hurricane in 2012.

Egyptian actress Rosaline Elbay is playing the crew’s explosives expert Judy Goodwin. Kaleidoscope is directed by Eric Garcia with Paz Vega and Peter Mark Kendall joining Elbay as leading cast members.

Elbay was born in Cairo in 1990. She has lived in Egypt, the United Kingdom and the United States. She studied at Oxford University and completed a master’s in colonial history, before joining the Actors Studio New York City where she obtained her MFA in acting from LAMDA.

Though Elbay’s career as an actress began in UK theatre with a focus on Shakespeare, prior to that, at age 11, she performed in a production of The Sound of Music.

Elbay made her first significant entry into the movie industry when she starred in the 2018 films Diamond Dust and Fork & Knife. She also appeared in the music video for Fakra by the famous Egyptian band Massar Egbari.

Her other roles include Amani in the Hulu/A24 Films series Ramy (2019) and Sara in the MBC Masr show Qabeel, for which she received critical acclaim. The Cairo International Film Festival appointed Elbay as its face for young filmmakers during its 40th and 41st editions.

Yasmina El Abd

Egyptian Actress Yasmina El Abd played the role of Princess Safiya in HBO Max adventure series Theodosia

The new action-adventure series is based on the novels by Robin L. LaFevers. Starring Eloise Little, Frankie Minchella, Nana Agyeman-Bediako, and Yasmina El-Abd. 

It’s set in 1906 and follows Theo (Little) and her friends, including Egyptian Princess, Safiya, to fight a powerful secret society bent on destroying the world . The series began streaming on March 10 on HBO Max.

Yasmina El Abd appeared in several Egyptian TV shows. The latest was the Netflix production, Finding Ola.

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