Hiba Chader is best-known for playing the role of Hiba in Secret Life of Boys on CBBC, the best friend of Joel Guy’s character Chris Hughes, and made her first appearance in Series Three in 2018. Filming for Crypt TV’s Camp Monster as Little Eva, Hiba spent three days on set as the lead character and worked with a trained stunt professional for her role. Catching up with Hiba, she talks about filming Secret Life of Boys, working on a CBBC show and playing the main role in Crypt TV’s Camp Monster.
Can you tell us about filming Secret Life of Boys?
Filming Secret Life of Boys was a life-changing experience. I’ll never forget it or trade one single moment of it. Everyone I met there was amazing and I met so many great friends!
What were your auditions like and how did you feel when booking the role?
We had a lot of audition phases. We had the audition, then we had a recall, and then we had a chemistry test. I’m meant to be best friends with one of the characters, Chris – played by Joel Guy, so we did the chemistry test and I got along with him really well. When I got told that I got the role, it was incredible, we were all screaming!
What did you know about the series before being cast?
I actually knew nothing about the series before being cast. The only reason I looked at it was because my agent said they were auditioning for a new role – a girl called Hiba! I knew that I really wanted to get it, so I started watching it and now I watch it every week. It’s a great show!
How would you describe your character in the show?
I would describe my character as very kind, loyal, outgoing and she doesn’t hold back from saying the truth.
How have you found your time on a CBBC show?
Being on a CBBC show is amazing. We film in Ireland and I’d never been there before so that was really cool. We stayed in a nice hotel and every morning when we woke up, I couldn’t get wait to get up and get started!
You filmed for Johnny English Strikes Again, how did this go and who did you get chance to work with?
I worked with Rowan Atkinson. I thought he was going to be funny like his character Mr. Bean and be a comedian, but he actually wasn’t, he took his role very seriously. He came around and shook our hands and asked us to say our names, which was funny!
You’ve filmed for Crypt TV’s Camp Monster as Little Eva, how was this?
It was so amazing! It was a three-day shoot and we were in the middle of a forest. I really liked it because I was the main role so it was a bit different as there was a lot to learn and a lot to do. I also got to do stunt work on this shoot with a trained stunt professional, which was very cool. I also really liked seeing how they did the SFX make-up for the monster. The cast and crew were amazing too and I wouldn’t trade that either, it was brilliant.
Is there anything you can tell us about filming for Britain’s Most Evil Killers?
I’d never done anything like it before because a lot of the time they don’t use your face. They try to find key elements that happened, so they filmed me holding a key and things like that. It was also a day job so it was a bit easier than filming away in Ireland.
Do you have a favourite TV show or film you enjoy watching?
I watch a lot of different shows – I like the first series of Stranger Things, A Series Of Unfortunate Events and Anne Of Green Gables. They’re probably my favourites.
Having modelled for Tottenham Hotspur’s children’s clothing, would you like to do more work like this?
I really liked doing the Tottenham Hotspur shoot because I’m very sporty. I do Taekwondo, boxing and horse-riding; so I love anything that includes sport. I’d love to do anything like that again.
What do you enjoy about commercial work, such as when you appeared in Barbie DreamHorse?
Commercial work is different to TV because you don’t have any lines in commercials, so it’s a bit more expressive. In the Barbie DreamHorse commercial, I got to ride an absolutely beautiful horse called Sparky – a real life DreamHorse – it was such a great experience!
How did your acting career come about?
My acting career started by accident. I was around ten or eleven years old and someone emailed my mum saying that there was a free ‘drama workshop’. It was actually an open audition, but we treated it as a drama workshop because I’d never done any drama before. I went along and managed to get to the final round, and two weeks later, we got a phone call saying I’d got the role! It was playing Ruthie Joad in John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.
It involved lots of rehearsals, some days we did nine hours of rehearsing. It was really demanding, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. We had months of shows and we were on every other day. I lost my voice on one of the days and was just lying on the sofa. They woke me up and I said I was good and we could start. I then got noticed by my agent who asked if I’d come along for a meeting. From there, it just took off and we couldn’t believe it because I was the girl who’d never done acting before! It’s been such an amazing journey!
What do you enjoy most about your career?
The experience that I have, the people that I meet and the places I get to visit… it’s amazing.
We understand your sister, Rumaysa, is also an actress, have you had chance to work together and do you help each other with auditions?
We have had the chance to work together as we did a short film. I do help her with auditions and we support each other, so if she gets a job, I’m happy for her, and if I get a job, she’s happy.
What are your career plans for the next few months?
I have my Biology GCSE exam coming up and I’m really hoping to get a good grade in that because I want to go to medical school. About acting, I’m happy to take on any opportunities that come along!
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