MARYAM HASSOUNI (b. 1985) made her acting debut at the age of fifteen. After a brilliant career and a degree in English Literature she decided to focus on her writing. She has previously published a children’s book.
Recent title – English Material
Wat de fak (What the Fuck), 2022
Excerpt from What the Fuck:
‘Maryam, this role isn’t about you, so stop taking everything so personally,’ I’d be told, and ‘you’re not like other Moroccans’ and ‘you’re modern’ and ‘don’t think about what you would do, think about what the average Moroccan woman would do.’
I felt dirty and used and I was ashamed of the image I was supposed to portray: negative, unloved, aggressive, passive. I felt ashamed around my colleagues and crew members. Did they think that’s what I was like too, just because I’m Moroccan? Because the Moroccan culture I know is completely different. Or were they right, did they have a better sense of who I was than I did? If Dutch people thought that I was the kind of person I portrayed on screen, I had to fix that shit. But how was I supposed to do that if no one was listening?
At the age of twenty, I didn’t know much, but I knew I didn't want to be what they were turning me into. I was more than that—all Moroccan women were much more than that.