Bunga Citra Lestari (BCL) is a name well known in the Indonesian entertainment industry as well as in Malaysia, even more so after tying the knot with the dashing Malaysian actor, Ashraf Sinclair.
Despite having the looks, BCL does not rely on her appearance alone as she is talented not only in singing but also acting.
BCL is set to appear on the silver screen soon with her latest movie, a heart-warming drama entitled "Surat Kecil Untuk Tuhan".
Adapted from a popular novel, it is 30 percent inspired by a true story of two orphaned siblings, Angel and Anton, who are forced to become street beggars by a syndicate.
However, an accident later causes the two to become separated. After 15 years, younger sister Angel is determined to return to their homeland to look for her brother who has gone missing without any news.
BCL was recently in Malaysia to promote the movie along with the producers and Cinema Online had the chance to talk to them.
Continue reading to see what the "Surat Kecil Untuk Tuhan" actress has to say.
Cinema Online: Can you tell us more about your character in the movie and why you decided to accept the role?
BCL: In the movie I play a character named Angel, who is an orphan and has only an older brother called Anton to take care of her. We were later taken in by a syndicate which forces us to become beggars. Even though I only play the adult Angel, but what attracted me to the movie is the script.
It is a 'beautiful' story and when I read the script, it gave me goosebumps and made me cry. When I told Ashraf about it, he also cried. The second reason is that in the movie I play a lawyer. I am a fan of dramas or movies that are court-themed.
This is your first time working with Joe Taslim, so how do you find that chemistry with him?
Joe and I have been friends for a long time and we are close like siblings. So it was quite awkward to act as lovers since off the set we tend to be "crazy". But to find that chemistry, it was not hard as we already know each other.
We also often do rehearsals and discussions before entering the film set, as in how to play the characters and what to do, so it was not difficult for us to portray our characters as a couple.
The movie is in a way inspired by a true story. Have you ever seen children [street beggars] like these before?
Yes, if you go to Jakarta, you will see children begging for money or singing for money. There are times they have to work until late at night. It is very sad to see these small children forced to earn money when they should be going to school and having fun with friends.
How did you prepare yourself for your role as Angel?
Apart from reading the script, I also had the chance to spend some time with the street children and we talked about their lives, and from there I tried to understand them and put myself in their shoes to play my character.
Did playing the character affect you?
Yes, the character affected me personally because I still stayed in character even when I wasn't on set. I would be depressed and preferred to be alone. Even when filming is done, I still can't 'shake off' the character and now I am in the process of recovering. I am thankful that my husband understands and also assists in my recovery process so that I will become like the usual BCL again.
What are your hopes for this movie?
I hope that with the movie's release, it will open the government's eyes when it comes to these street children, who we've always assumed as lazy and had just wanted to look for easy money. We do not know that they are victims of syndicates that misuse children to gain profit.
Will you be more inclined to play 'heavier' characters in future projects?
Not really, I wish to play a variety of characters on the silver screen. I do not want to be known for one character only, like previously, you would've seen me in a comedy movie called "My Stupid Boss".