With a smile that brightens up the room, Dayana walked in on set on the day of the photo shoot ready to have some fun with it. And after hours of working with us, she had to head back to Cairo to shoot her TV series, Abu El 3arosa. You’d think she’d be cranky because of how exhausting her day is, but that smile of hers never left her face, taking pictures with fans as she goes along. She’s so down to Earth, it’s like she doesn’t have over half a million followers on Instagram. Here’s a closer look into the life of Dayana Hesham, the next big thing!
Tell us about your early days in acting.
I started my acting journey at the Institute of Dramatic Arts, where I was a theatre actress. Luckily for me, the director Hany Khalifa was a member of the audience in the play Electra, which I had the lead role in. He immediately asked my professor, Dr. Ashraf Zaki, for my number. The next day I got the most exciting phone call asking me to show up for an audition, and that’s how it all begun. My first acting debut with the outstanding Yousra in the TV series El Hesab Yegma’ was an incredible honor, and I still remember the exhilaration of my first day at the studio amongst so many incredible people.
What are your best projects to date?
I’ve loved every project that I’ve worked on so far, and all of them have felt like the best project. I’ve learned so much from each and every role, and I had the pleasure of working with amazing casts.
Which character did you find most challenging to prepare for and perform?
My role as Rania in the TV series Bel Hagm El ‘Aeli alongside Yehia El Fakhrany, who’s like a father to me, was the most challenging. However, I think that with enough passion, no role is impossible.
What has been the most rewarding performing experience you had so far?
All of them! Everyone I worked with was a prayer come true. Yosra, Yehia El Fakharny, Sayed Ragab, Sawsan Badr, Mervat Amin… all of them are truly amazing.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
Abu El 3arosa, Part 2!
In Abo El 3arosa, Mariam was a psychology student and a social worker preparing for her masters degree. How did you prepare for this role?
I had to do a lot of reading, and I’m still studying to know everything Mariam knows. I can’t just act like her; I have to be her.
Your past three projects were roles of a girl who had issues with her parents. How did that affect your personal life?
My father passed away when I was very young, which is an experience that has greatly affected me emotionally and psychologically. In Bel Hagm El ‘Aeli, my character’s issue was that her father is far away, and she yearned for fatherly love. This came very naturally to me because I have spent years looking for a father figure to fill up this empty space in my life. Luckily, I met Yehia El Fakhrany, to whom I opened up, and I literally asked him to be my father. He means the world to me.
You’ve worked with great actors such as Yousra, Yehia El Fakharany and Medhat Saleh. Who else do you wish to work with?
I would just love to work with Adel Imam, Nelly Karim, Yasser Galal, and Ahmed Mekky.
What’s a role you’d love to play?
You know how Donia Samir Ghanem in Farah was a little masculine and not like herself at all? I would really like to play something tomboyish like that!
Do you plan on doing a daring role, an antagonist for example?
I’ve played Arwa, an antagonist, but I would really like playing a role of a villain whose evil is justified—someone who gains the understanding of the audience. Instead of hating the villain, which is how it is traditionally, I would like viewers to end up sympathizing with my character.
You’re a student at the Institute of Dramatic Arts. What inspired you to be an actress?
Nothing! I was born with it; it runs in my blood.
Do you prefer theater, cinema or TV?
Theater is the foundation of the industry; that’s how I started. But I love everything that has to do with acting.
Is there a director or actor/actress you’d love to work with?
I would love to work with Directors Mohamed Yassin, Rami Imam, and Tarek Elaryan. I would love to star in a movie alongside Mohamed Ramadan, Ahmed Helmy and Karim Abdelaziz.
If you weren’t an actress, what would you be?
I can’t see myself (and don’t want to see myself) as anything else! I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing!