Interview with Abderrahim Elmeniari, artist
Highly applauded by the public after the screening of “Jrada Malha” as part of the 22nd National Film Festival of Tangier, the artist Abderrahim Elmeniari talks to us about his choice of the character of El Ayachi and the secret of his success in the interpretation of this composite role.
ALM: What does your participation in this feature film in competition mean to you?
Abderrahim Elmeniari: I was attracted by the scenario of “Jrada Malha” and I was very marked by the character of El Ayachi whom I interpreted in this film as well as its composition at the psychological and physiological level. This character reminds me of the hunchback that I loved in the old Lebanese television series “Al Akhrass” (The silent), adapted from the novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” by its author Victor Hugo. He helped me to reconcile with myself and to come to embody one of my important roles in the cinema.
Did your theatrical training help you excel in the role of El Ayachi?
Of course it helped me a lot. Personally, I distinguish between a comedian and an actor regarding their performance in the interpretation of such and such a character. The actor is a man of the theater, who does not need to be handsome to please and give satisfaction for his roles. Because he succeeds thanks to his training and his exercises on the boards to improvise and give a lot of himself with lots of emotions, feelings and imagination.
Don’t you think that thought-provoking films like “Jrada Malha” are somehow not intended for the general public?
I believe that one should not underestimate the intelligence and level of knowledge of Moroccans to understand the theme addressed by “Jrada Malha”. I think a large number of Moroccan audiences will go see this feature film. Because “Jrada Malha” has managed to achieve certain things and send messages that other films, based on clowning, naivety, banality and sex, have not been able to do.
In your opinion, has your interpretation of composed roles made you one of the most sought-after Moroccan artists?
I cannot advise things to my students at the Institute and do otherwise. Because I tell them to choose roles that require a lot of effort and work on their part. I let them know that they have no interest in doing easy things, which will add nothing to their career as artists. I advise them to embody difficult roles that don’t look like them in their lives.
What is the character that you continue to dream of interpreting for the cinema?
I’m still looking for the character I always aspire to. I hope to find it soon so I can interpret it.
Could you tell us about your participation in other new films and series in cinema and television?
I interpret a new character in the series “Hafa” of Amine Mounna, in the course of turning.