Actor Asser Yassin takes us behind the scenes of his new Ramadan hit ‘Battalion 101’
DUBAI: Egyptian actor Asser Yassin had heard the tales. For a lot of the final decade, Wilayat Sinai — a radical terrorist group aligned with Daesh — had turned Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula into hell on earth for a lot of, as they staged assault after assault, leaving scores useless because the group tried to reshape the nation of their picture. The those who stood of their approach, and finally overcame the menace, have been the troopers of the Egyptian Military’s Battalion 101.
Yassin had heard the tales, however how might he have recognized how deep their sacrifices went? Their struggles and triumphs remained relegated to information briefs and statistics. Nobody had actually explored what actually occurred on the market.
“Our nation doesn’t understand the sacrifice given on this sector — how a lot of their very own blood they spilled to guard their nation. I really feel it’s my responsibility to be part of telling these tales, so the world is aware of precisely what occurred,” Yassin tells Arab Information.
With “Battalion 101,” airing on MBC Shahid all through Ramadan, that story will lastly be instructed. For Yassin, who stars as a army intelligence officer tasked with undermining Wilayat Sinai — and procuring the data wanted to do it, stepping into character first required him to be taught the true tales of what occurred, the human tales, in order that he might give this sequence his all.
“The factor that has touched me essentially the most whereas making this present is that, within the intelligence world, you’ll by no means hear these tales, as a result of folks can’t inform them with out risking the lives of others. You can not say how an intelligence officer died defending his nation. His children might know that he’s a hero, however they will’t put it out to the world as a result of their father died on a secret mission,” says Yassin.
“I met a number of the households, and so they know the boys their fathers have been. They know he was their champion. However they will’t inform the media. However I can put these fathers into my character. I can’t say their names, I can’t say the small print, however I can put their spirits into this, in appreciation for the individuals who secretly died preventing these evils,” Yassin continues.
Whereas Yassin is an completed motion star, his character within the sequence, for essentially the most half, will not be on a battlefield dodging bullets, or swinging from helicopters. To higher perceive the intelligence world, Yassin met with officers to be taught in regards to the particulars of issues resembling interrogation, discovering that lots of the tropes which might be current in most movies and tv are pure fiction.
“It’s all within the particulars. There’s no followers or distractions within the room, there’s no two-way mirror. The setting will not be almost as dramatic. Often, the officer, for instance, stays sitting behind a desk in a room that’s as primary as may be, with solely sure shades of grey as a result of it’s psychologically necessary,” says Yassin.
After diving headfirst into the small print, the problem for Yassin was to dramatize this world. When there was a lot dedication to telling the story because it really occurred, and following the occasions to the letter with the intention to correctly honor the those who went by these conditions, it was necessary to take into account that the present was being made for an viewers seeking to be entertained, to not be studied as a part of a historical past course.
“We had a accountability to provide a correct picture of what we have been portraying, after all. There are such a lot of information for us to ship, however we couldn’t simply be informative, we needed to be participating, we needed to additionally make it an Egyptian drama. That may be an enormous problem,” says Yassin.
Yassin labored carefully with the writers and supervisors, together with folks from the army who have been on set as consultants, with the intention to make it possible for the viewers was all the time before everything of their minds.
“We’d ask ourselves questions like, ‘Can we not discuss that half? Can we make this terminology less complicated?’ It might get very heavy if we didn’t. Individuals don’t care about the way you construct the rocket, they care about whether or not the rocket goes to fly, and the place it’s flying to. Whenever you give attention to that, then you have got one thing appropriate for folks to look at,” he says.
Yassin additionally did that by specializing in his character Khaled, who, as a composite of the various intelligence officers he discovered about, was additionally ripe for drama.
“Khaled is a man who manipulates the whole lot with the utmost talent. He provides you the sense that he’s all the time awake, he’s all the time round, and he may even be in two locations without delay,” says Yassin.
“What made him work as a personality although, will not be the excessive degree of talent he possesses. Sure, he’s all the time doing his job proper — he by no means makes a mistake. However that doesn’t imply that issues will all the time work out. Generally you are able to do the whole lot proper and issues nonetheless received’t go the way in which they’re deliberate, and his frustration in that hole was fascinating to discover,” Yassin continues.
Starring reverse Yassin is Amr Youssef, who turned considered one of Egypt’s largest stars after his turns in initiatives resembling “Sons of Rizk,” 2015’s “The Prince,” and the extremely regarded 2016 Ramadan hit “Grand Lodge.”
“Amr and I’ve recognized one another a very long time, however we by no means labored collectively. It has actually been enjoyable, as now we have a pleasant chemistry and we’re actually changing into higher mates as we work by this problem collectively. I can see quite a lot of collaborations taking place sooner or later, as, though we’re on comparable ranges, we’re fully differing types, which creates an fascinating distinction,” says Yassin.
Everybody concerned was fascinated with telling the story proper, which concerned breaking with the same old construction of Ramadan sequence — they prevented stretching it out to the usual 30 episodes, as a substitute conserving it to twenty, so the story might be precisely what it wanted to be, and no extra.
“It’s significantly better for everybody concerned. The standard is healthier, and you may focus extra on manufacturing, somewhat than speeding issues out. It’s nonetheless tight, however in comparison with the torture of hitting 30 episodes that may air night time after night time, the ache is much more livable,” says Yassin.
Primarily, although, as Yassin speaks to us from set within the remaining days of filming, he’s most targeted on how the true story resonates with audiences now that they will lastly be taught the reality.
“I hope that individuals can recognize the individuals who died, and the people who find themselves nonetheless on the market risking their lives. That’s what touches me most about all of this. I’m fascinated with the children of these fathers who’re gone now, and I hope folks watching at dwelling will take into consideration them too, and the way a lot they gave in order that they may watch a sequence like this comfortably of their houses all these years later.”