A woman’s strength
ATIQAH HASIHOLAN takes on the role of Fira Basuki in her latest movie, Cinta Selamanya, an adaptation of Fira Basuki’s novel Fira and Hafez. “Fira is a unique character,” says the gorgeous actress. “Her story is very touching”
When I am acting, I just live the moment and the scenario,” says atiqah hasiholan. “acting is about empathy, and it is done through careful intellectual and emotional analysis.” atiqah plays the role of Fira Basuki in her most recent project, Cinta Selamanya (2015), a film adaptation of Fira Basuki’s novel Fira and Hafez. “Fira is a unique character. What I find exemplary is her extraordinary strength after her husband’s passing. her story is very touching. It’s a mature kind of romance, which isn’t something you come across very often in Indonesian movies.”
this is not the first time atiqah has portrayed a strong and ambitious female character. In Ruma Maida (2009), directed by teddy Soeriaatmadja, she played maida, an idealistic young woman struggling to build a charity school. the film revolves around the efforts of a true citizen fighting for a better society.
the holder of a Bachelor of arts degree in media and Psychology from monash University, melbourne, atiqah reveals details about one of the most challenging roles she has taken on - her role as Likas in the movie 3 Nafas Likas (2014), a touching biographical motion picture about the life of Likas, wife of Djamin gintings, a national hero from northern Sumatra. “this is a story of perseverance, of a woman’s strength that allows her to survive even in the toughest of times,” says atiqah. “every part an actor plays has its unique challenges, and I consider my role as Likas as one of the hardest I have faced. the biggest challenge was to portray a single character in three different life stages – from when she was 16 to the time she turns 50, from the years 1930 to 1970. I had to start from learning the physical aspect, one of which was the Karonese (West Sumatra) accent, and the emotional. I had to practice a lot, and I got to learn developmental psychology from the teenage years through the progressive years.”
the capricorn beauty goes on: “I’m very thankful for a lot of things that happened to me in 2014. I’ve worked really hard. I took this role also because of the people behind the production. I’ve always wanted to work with the director (Rako Prijanto, who won the FFI citra award for Best Director in 2013). I’ve worked with (writer) titien (Wattimena) more than once before, and I’ve always loved her work. Playing Likas was a challenge I felt I needed to embrace in order to grow in my career. as an actress, I treasure every opportunity to face such challenges because they make me a better actor. I learn so much about myself. that is what’s so interesting about acting – you transform yourself into someone else, a different person with a different character and life circumstances. and, as much as possible, you have to be able to relate that emotionally and empathically to your own life. You have to be able to sense how the character thinks and feels. I feel that this makes me a more understanding and wellrounded human being.”
atiqah, who is married to actor Rio Dewanto, began her acting career at teater Satu merah Panggung, a theatre group founded by her mother, Ratna Sarumpaet, a human rights activist and Indonesian theatre legend known for her provocative and politically themed stage plays. although atiqah has earned numerous Festival Film Indonesia nominations and the netpac (network for the Promotion of asian cinema) award for her role in Jamila and the President (2009), she admits that she did not originally plan to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
“Because of my mom’s work in theatre, I’ve always been familiar with the world of acting,” she says. “Initially, I had no interest in acting as a career. But after graduating from university, I tried to be more serious about acting and I discovered that I enjoyed it. at the same time, the Indonesian film industry was on the rise, which made acting a more promising career, and that motivated me to pursue this path. I am often asked this question, but I don’t have a dream role. I see every role I’m offered as a new set of challenges. I am still young and my priority is to improve my acting skills.”
“You have to be able to sense how the character thinks and feels. I feel that this makes me a more understanding and well-rounded human being”
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