Saudi actress Summer Shesha’s odyssey into the world of acting

This news has been read 3563 times!

Summer Shesha

DUBAI, UAE, Oct 15, (Agencies): A decade ago, Summer Shesha was a thriving force in the finance world, with a promising career trajectory that seemed destined for success. However, her life took an unexpected turn when she stumbled upon a casting call on Twitter, initially intending it to be a fun weekend activity. Little did she know that this spontaneous decision would not only reshape her life but also her mother’s. Now, she stands as the lead in Netflix’s groundbreaking series “Crashing Eid,” the first female-led Saudi original show, set to premiere on October 19. This journey is propelling her towards global stardom in an industry that matches her unparalleled ambition.

Shesha reflects on her transformation, stating, “I’ve always been a practical person. If I’m going to pursue something, I want to know that I’m going somewhere. For a long time, I didn’t believe that my passion could lead me to the heights I once dreamt of achieving in life, resonating with people worldwide.” She is enthusiastic about her latest project, emphasizing its universal appeal. “I genuinely believe in this series. It’s highly entertaining, laugh-out-loud funny, and encapsulates themes that are distinctly Saudi but resonate globally. It’s an unconventional story, not representative of all Saudis, but it’s told with love for Saudi Arabia and from a Saudi heart. I believe the world will embrace it,” she adds.

Shesha’s journey in acting began when she joined the set of Mahmoud Sabbagh’s web series “Kash” in 2013. Initially, she thought it was mere curiosity that kept her engaged. Her initial plan was to be on set for just a couple of hours, but she found herself captivated, staying well beyond her scheduled time. Recalling the moment, Shesha says, “I just couldn’t leave the set. I sat next to the camera crew, then the makeup artists, then the art department… I was fascinated. I stayed for 14 hours. I went to LA to try a course because I couldn’t get enough, and it unlocked something within me. That’s when I realized it was passion.”

Despite her burgeoning love for acting, Shesha struggled to leave her well-established career behind. For nine years, she grappled with balancing her two identities. Even after starring in hit films like “Book of Sun” and winning Best Actress at the 8th Saudi Film Festival for “Kayan,” she hesitated to fully embrace the title of an actress, given her senior management role in a leading bank.

Fate intervened in an unexpected manner in 2022 when her friend, Saudi actor and filmmaker Fatima Al-Banawi, was casting her directorial debut and expressed the difficulty of finding talented 50-year-old Saudi actresses. Shesha had an idea. She suggested her mother, Amani Idrees, for the role, but her mother initially dismissed the idea. Nevertheless, Amani went through an audition and was eventually cast. “Mom was still resisting a day before the shoot was going to begin, asking me how she should apologize because this was all a mistake. She was ready to quit!” Shesha chuckles. “I told her, ‘Mom, it’s normal to be afraid right before doing something new. But the truth is you’re doing great. This is natural. And you know what? You’re an inspiration. You’re in your fifties, and you’re trying something new, and you’re getting out of your shell.’ She did it and never looked back.”

Soon, Amani Idrees was booking roles of her own, and she even landed a part in “Crashing Eid” before they had cast the actress for the daughter’s role. “I hadn’t taken a vacation in two years, and I wasn’t looking to take on any roles at the time because I was exhausted. But then when my mother was cast and met with the showrunner and the directors, and they said, ‘Doesn’t she look just like the actress Summer Shesha? We should ask her to come!’ The casting director had to explain that I was actually her real-life daughter,” Shesha narrates with amusement.

Upon reading the script for “Crashing Eid,” Shesha was captivated by the character and the unique storyline. The series explores the theme of accepting those who are different from you, interwoven with comedy. Shesha admits she hadn’t ventured into comedy before, especially the type that relies on absurd family situations for humor. However, after reading the script, she couldn’t turn it down. Despite her initial hesitations about playing a mother, she embraced the role, and her dynamic with the young actress portraying her daughter became more natural over time.

A year after leaving the finance world behind, Shesha is more dedicated than ever. She is not only acting but also writing her own projects, thanks to a grant from Netflix’s Grow Creative Initiative. She is eager to explore the various facets of being a Saudi woman that have only recently begun to be represented. With three more films in post-production, “Crashing Eid” is just the beginning of her journey as an actress, and there are many more adventures to come.

What Shesha values most about her current path is that her best friend, her mother, is accompanying her on this journey. They have cultivated a unique mother-daughter dynamic, both now sharing a deep love for a craft that initially seemed unattainable for both of them. “My sister came home recently and found us both screaming in the kitchen and had no idea what was wrong, but we were just doing an exercise assigned to us by the acting coach. She said, ‘I’m living in a crazy house!’ And, yeah, acting can be crazy sometimes. But I’m not the only crazy one in the house anymore,” Shesha concludes. “I’m so happy we’re doing this together.”

This news has been read 3563 times!

Related Articles

Back to top button

Advt Blocker Detected

Kindly disable the Ad blocker

Verified by MonsterInsights