Ramy Youssef Speaks To Directing More Episodes For Ramy Season 3, And ‘Out-Of-Body’ Experience He Had As An Actor This Season

Over two years following the cliffhanger ending of Ramy Season 2, the award-winning Hulu series returns to explore the fallout of Ramy Hassan’s marriage ending just shortly after he said “I do.” The series’ creator and star, Ramy Youssef, returns in multiple capacities in Season 3, including sitting in the director’s chair for more episodes than ever in addition to his titular character having a rather powerful arc. 

Ahead of the new Hulu release, Ramy Youssef spoke to CinemaBlend about his dual roles behind and in front of the camera. First, he shared his experience as a director this time around with these words: 

I got to do like a majority of the episodes and part of why I wanted to do that was just because I have so much fun writing for our family and writing for the cast. And so, there was this scene we did in our ninth episode and it's between May Calamawy, who plays Dina, and Laith Nakli. And, they're outside of this restaurant and they're having this conversation with each other. And, it was probably like the most fun I've ever had directing because it was this really kind of tender moment. And then I kind of pulled Laith aside and I asked him to add something to the scene. There was this spit that I kind of asked him to do in the middle of it that May wasn't expecting. And it was kind of like one of my favorite things that I ever got to witness because he just was kind of like, really? And I said, Yeah, just do it. And then she didn't know what was coming. And it was, it was kind of one of my favorite things that just to get to do from that position. So I mean, I think a lot of the scenes with the family are always really fun to direct. But yeah, that's one that really comes to mind.

Youssef started as a standup comedian before beginning his A24 produced streaming series, and as a director, he was able to bring more comedic moments to the screen, such as the moment he shares in Episode 9. When it comes to bringing Ramy Hassan to life in Season 3, he had an especially memorable moment on set, saying this: 

We have this scene in our finale, it's like our last scene of this season. That for me was kind of like an out-of-body experience and it was really cool and it was kind of like every scene has different setups and camera setups to grab certain parts of it. And so, it was this scene that when people see it, there's kind of like choreography to it. And I was only supposed to do the first half of the scene and the camera setup that we were in, but I kind of just did the whole scene in that setup and because I just wasn't like, it truly flipped where I wasn't thinking. And, that's kind of my favorite way to make something and I really wasn't thinking at all. And, we ended up using most of the take that we weren't supposed to use with how things were blocked and that was like a really fun accident, you know?

When speaking to the new season, Youssef also told CinemaBlend that he felt like he and the other writers “dug a hole” for him in Season 2, which he admits is a “really fun” place for the character to go for him. To the Ramy creator, exploring the character’s journey has been one of illustrating the struggle between one’s lower and higher self. In Season 3, Youssef felt it would be unrealistic to build him up quickly, so this season follows the character “wading around in the waters” of his actions from the season prior. 

The third season of Ramy comes off Ramy Youssef co-creating Netflix’s recent series Mo with Ramy’s Mo Amer. Since the end of Season 2, two of his cast members have joining Marvel projects, with Laith Nakli being part of the Ms. Marvel cast and May Calamawy playing a key role in Moon Knight. Youssef has broken a lot of ground regarding telling an honest Muslim American story in a landscape where only a few great portrayals of Muslim characters in movies and TV

It’s great to see Ramy Youssef continue to be in control of the narrative of his series as it continues to touch up important (and often hilarious) topics within the Muslim and Arab American community in a unique and non-stereotypical light. 

All ten episodes of the new season of Ramy will be available to stream with a Hulu subscription on Friday, September 30.  

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.