Actress Sitara Hewitt has been leading a distinguished career. Having been a dancer, host, model and an actor, the delightful actress has now been bringing her talents to CBC’s hit sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie, as the devout, Rayyan Hamoudi.
With the actress being kind enough to participate in an interview with us and Little Mosque on the Prairie approaching its fifth season for January 2011, we took the opportunity to discuss her character and the series in general. In particular, we discuss how she connects with the character of Rayaan, her view on how the character has developed over the course of the series, what is in store for the fifth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie and much more.
1.Your mother’s side of the family has an Islamic background and you spent a few years as a child in the Himalayan mountains of Pakistan. How has this part of your background helped you relate to your character and overcome some of the challenges in portraying Rayyan?
Staying in the Himalayan villages with my mother while she did her PhD and studied the people’s lives for her book was an incredible experience. I met some of the most generous, kind people who live in complete synchronicity with nature – we could learn a lot from them. They were all devout Muslims. I learned a lot about how and why women cover their heads, and a great deal about modesty and devotion. And I learned to be very comfortable in a ‘Chador’ or Hijab!
2. How do you think Rayyan has developed over the course of the series?
Rayyan has grown up over the years. She started off as more naive, then after an engagement that didn’t work out she became more focused on her career and being a good person for herself, and not for a man. While she remains quirky and sarcastic, she has also become less immature, and more compassionate and relaxed. As we all do as we grow.
3. In last year’s season finale, Rayaan and Amaar finally professed their love for each other. What was your reaction when you found out about this storyline and why do you they think they waited so long?
I was delighted. It just felt right. . and I think they waited so long so that viewers would enjoy the anticipation. (smile)
4. Can you please give us an idea as to what story lines and surprises are in store for the fifth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie, both in terms of the series in general and for Rayyan?
Mmmm, well I can’t say much though I’d love to. Rayyan and Amaar take the next step and getting to know each other in a dynamic (with chaperones hehe) that they both never dreamed that would occur. It’s not always a smooth ride though . . . Oh, and Thorne is a lot nicer and human. Two favorite characters make a surprise return as well. It’s a really nice season.
5. Do you have a message for fans of the series, which you would like to convey?
Thank you for giving this show a chance, and for being so loyal. It’s a concept that has never been done before, and though we may not please everyone we truly love making this show, and hope you all continue to enjoy it.