Zoé Mahfouz – “…it takes time to build a career. If you keep holding on to your dreams, it will pay off. “


Exclusive interview with Zoé Mahfouz – Screenwriter

Zoé Mahfouz is an Award-Winning bilingual French actress, a screenwriter, a stand-up comedian and a YouTuber based in Paris (France). She studied acting in Paris, London and Los Angeles in schools such as the Actors Studio, the Acting Corps and the Scott Sedita Acting Studios where she trained with Scott Sedita himself (former agent of Matt LeBlanc from Friends). She also specialized in improv comedy by being part of french improv leagues for 3 years. On top of that, she performed long-form improv at the iconic UCB Theater on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles. She made her stand up debut at the Théâtre Trévise in Paris where she performed in front of 270 people, before touring in small comedy venues all over France. Her satire videos on YouTube won a Jury Award, an Audience Choice Award and got featured on medias such as FailArmy, MinuteBuzz and The Humor Times, among others. Zoé has actually received many Best Actress Awards in various film festivals across the globe for her monologue performances, interpreting characters from Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach, Master of None by Aziz Ansari and Hacks by Lucia Aniello. She performed guest starring roles in several TV series and appeared in a dozen commercials that were shot both in Paris and Los Angeles. She wrote two short scripts, one TV pilot and she is currently working on her very first feature screenplay.

NY Glam: What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently writing my first feature screenplay in French in addition to the sketches I’m working on for my YouTube channel. However, my main goal for this year in to enroll in a Production course; I would like to gain the practical skills needed to make a movie, from pre-production to release, so that one day I might be able to create and manage my own production company and make my screenplays come to life.

NY Glam: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?

Self-mockery. A good helping of humor can make any movie’s theme easier to watch ! Take Jojo Rabbit by Taika Waititi for example. Who would have thought we could all be laughing about Hitler Youth during World War II ?

NY Glam: As a screenwriter, what is the most important aspect of building a character?

A goal that a character wants to achieve. When I trained at the Actors Studio in London, we worked on the Stanislavski system of Objectives. There are two types of objectives in a story: the short-term objectives and the Super-Objective. The short-term objectives are smaller objectives, they target minor goals and work on a scene-by-scene basis. The Super-Objective is the character’s primary motivation throughout the story, the thing they want more than anything in the world. All of the actor’s objectives and actions should connect to this Super-Objective. Examples of Super-Objectives could be “I want to rule the world”, “I want to become a star” or “I want to marry him/her”.

NY Glam: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?

  • The French TV series Gloria, adapted from the BBC series Keeping Faith, where I got cast against type since I was playing the leader of a gang of thugs mugging a woman on a parking lot. Believe it or not, we all had lots of fun on the set !
  • The Field Production Assistant job I had in Ireland last year ! We shot several short films in County Cork and slept in a lovely bed and breakfast where the owners were raising wild deer’s on the property !
  • The last favorite project I’ve been involved in has to be the commercial work in a global way. No matter what set I’m on, I always find a way to have fun. I have so many good memories and strange anecdotes of commercial shoots. This is actually what inspired me for my short screenplay COMMERCIAL ACTRESS.

NY Glam: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?

Yes, I do stand-up comedy too! I enjoy performing gigs from time to time, for the fun on doing an exercise of style.

NY Glam: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?

Patience, perseverance, productivity. You need to work on your craft, produce your own work, showcase what you can do. Be pro-active. And remember that it takes time to build a career. If you keep holding on to your dreams, it will pay off. 

NY Glam: What can we expect from you in this actual year?

Successfully finish the writing my feature screenplay and joining that Production Course I really want to attend !

NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…website

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