First of all, congratulations on being the female lead in "Hanyut The Movie"! How does it feel to get a chance to work with director U-Wei again?
It's really exciting as I didn't expect this opportunity after 17 years since I last worked with him in "Perempuan, Isteri Dan..." Long isn't it? I actually know about the plans for this movie but I didn't expect that I would be given the role of Mem. When he asked me whether I was interested in the movie, of course I said yes!
Besides getting the chance to work with U-Wei again, what was it about this movie that appealed to you?
The storyline was good and the characters were interesting. Moreover, my husband gave me his full support to be a part in this production. Thankfully, my children are all grown up now and I haven't gotten a good script such as this. If I had skipped this, I might have to wait for another 10 years to get a good role with a good script.
Did you read the novel or made some research on the character of Mem?
I have read the novel before. Not to say research, but I did list down all of Mem's loathing and a couple of other points. I've always used imagination to develop my character. Just six weeks prior to filming, the entire cast had rehearsals to form their characters and to read out scripts with other cast members. Apart from that, I'm constantly discussing my character with U-Wei as he was the one who wrote the script so he should know better.
Tell us about your character Mem and her influence in this movie?
Mem is intelligent and can be said "powerful". Many thought she was crazy, but the fact is she isn't! She's the only sane one throughout the whole movie. In one scene, her child Nina (Diana Danielle) was taken by a group of individuals and she dives into the ocean to get her back; through this scene, audiences are able to see the Mem's determination to get her daughter back. When her ex-husband Almayer, portrayed by Peter O'Brien, tries raise their daughter in the Western culture, Mem puts a stop to the idea. If Malaysian poet and novelist A. Samad Said can said that "Perempuan, Isteri Dan ..." was hot, my role as Mem is even hotter!
Share your experience working with Peter O'Brien and Diana Danielle?
Peter is a good actor as he is very experienced and it feels great to be able to work beside him in "Hanyut The Movie". We often talked a lot about things on location. There was one instance where Peter tried to remember my line in Malay. It's sometimes hard to interact when both individuals speak different languages but thankfully this wasn't a stumbling block. When I see Diana, I'm able to see myself inside of her as she is willing to work hard and is continuously learning. I'm impressed with her as she didn't complain about the conditions on location.
What are your upcoming plans after the filming of "Hanyut The Movie"?
Hopefully I will be involved in a theatre stage production called "Natrah" at the end of this year. After that, I would take a break and wait for U-Wei's next script, maybe within the next 10 to 15 years later! Which I am willing to wait!
Click HERE for more info on "Hanyut The Movie", due out in 2011!