Shooting Star profile: Maryam Hassouni


Complete Berlinale coverage

Dutch Shooting Star Maryam Hassouni is considered to be one of the most talented actresses in her country. At the age of 20 she won an International Emmy Award for her role in the TV-drama "Offers" (Sacrifices) in which she played a Palestinian terrorist.

The Hollywood Reporter:
Where were you when you were told you had been picked and are you happy to be in Berlin?
Maryam Hassouni: Claudia Landsberger (Holland Film) asked me during the Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht if I was interested in taking part. Of course I was! During an English course in Cambridge I was informed about my selection as a Shooting Star. I was delighted.

THR: What has been your career challenge to date?
Hassouni: "Without any question my leading role in "Offers" (Sacrifices). I played a young terrorist from Palestine. It took me a long time to get hold of this character. When we finished shooting it also took me some months to get her out of my system. It was worthwhile: I won -- to my surprise -- an Emmy for the part.

THR: How do you think being selected as a Shooting Star will help your career?
Hassouni: It is difficult to predict what will happen in Berlin. But I am sure I will make interesting contacts. I am also very interested in meeting my fellow-actors.

THR: Why kind of roles do you like to get?
Hassouni: "Until now I have played Dutch, Moroccan and Palestine characters. I hope to play more international parts in the future. That is why I have improved my English in Cambridge. In high school I always had good results in French. German is also not a problem.

THR: Are you worried about the right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who is constantly uttering anti-Islam-slogans in the Netherlands and plans to make a film on this subject?
Hassouni: No. My friends and I do not take him seriously. We only wonder what kind of tricks he will use to get media attention. For us he is a joke.

THR: What future projects are you working on?
Hassouni: I hope to start on "El Hob Arigato," a feature from director Danyael Sugawara about the love relationship between a Moroccan girl and a Japanese boy. Later in the year I might play the lead in the feature "Fatima By Day, Ninja By Night" about a Muslim girl with a double life.

Born: Sept. 21, 1985
Nationality: Dutch (parents come from Morocco)
Filmography: "Offers" (TV); "Dunya and Desie"; "Kicks"; "Blondje"