AT THE PEAK OF HIS GAME

ABIMANA

The Jakarta Post - JPlus - - Front Page - WORDS TERTIANI ZB SIMANJUNTAK

IThe trans­for­ma­tion of Abimana Aryasatya — from a run­away teenager to a fam­ily man fa­ther­ing four kids and from a small-timer to one of the most-sought af­ter ac­tors — is a wide tra­jec­tory that he at­tributes to his film ca­reer of 16 years.

“It changed me in many ways. It gave me fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity, but on top of that, it gave me a new men­tal­ity. Oth­er­wise, I would’ve still been hang­ing out in IKJ park­ing cars. I would not be here, hav­ing this in­ter­view. I might have used dif­fer­ent dic­tion or speak­ing man­ner.”

He re­ferred to the Jakarta Arts In­sti­tute cam­pus, lo­cated in­side the Ta­man Is­mail Marzuki arts and cul­tural cen­ter in Cen­tral Jakarta, his des­ti­na­tion when he de­cided to leave home at the ten­der age of 12. There, he got ac­quainted with film stu­dents and lec­tur­ers who in­tro­duced him to film­mak­ing and act­ing and opened the doors for him to en­ter the in­dus­try. He got him­self a mi­nor role in TV teen com­edy series

Lu­pus from 1995 to 1999 and was in­volved in some in­die movies by his older friends. Abimana ap­peared for the first time on the sil­ver screen in horror movie Miss­ing in 2005 and made his de­but as lead­ing role in an­other horror flick

Malam Ju­mat Kli­won in 2007. He was older — he mar­ried ac­tress and model Inong Nindya Ayu when he was 19, but his pas­sion for film had not yet grown at that time.

“I took act­ing merely to earn a liv­ing. What other op­tion can an un­e­d­u­cated kid have? If I could type, I could have been a sec­re­tary in­stead,” he said jok­ingly.

“Well, I tried run­ning a busi­ness not long ago, a burger diner. Be­cause I like to have my friends around just for a chat I in­vited them over and ended up treat­ing them. The busi­ness didn’t last long. I just don’t have the cut for busi­ness.”

The lead ac­tor of Bu­lan Ter­be­lah di Lan­git Amerika (Moon Split in the Amer­i­can Sky) the se­quel of which was just re­leased on Dec. 8 talked in a self-ef­fac­ing de­meanor about more changes in his life and his de­ci­sion to dis­ap­pear for a while from the screen.

COM­ING OF AGE

The name of Abimana Aryasatya was cat­a­pulted to fame as he bore it for the first time in Pu­trama Tuta’s film Catatan

Har­ian si Boy (Boy’s Di­ary) in 2011 where he stole the scenes with his char­ac­ter Andi.

In the film, he acted op­po­site the late Didi Petet – who he claims as the most in­flu­en­tial fig­ure in his ca­reer. “He was my guru, he taught me that the best act­ing is by be­ing one­self. He piqued my in­ter­est on act­ing and film­mak­ing and en­cour­aged me to de­velop my­self.”

But his ef­fort in in­vent­ing him­self to be a new per­son­al­ity had started long be­fore that.

The Jakarta-born ac­tor, who turned 34 on Oct. 24, had for years dur­ing the early phase of his ca­reer tried to get rid of

his birth name Robertino Can­de­las Aguinaga and re­place it with his cur­rent name that can be roughly trans­lated as “a fa­ther­less fighter for in­tegrity”.

There were me­dia re­ports on him meet­ing his bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther, a Span­ish ath­lete, for the first time last June af­ter em­body­ing the role in

Sabtu Ber­sama Ba­pak (Satur­days with Fa­ther) as a dy­ing man who re­fused to see his chil­dren grow­ing up without a fa­ther fig­ure.

It would give a nice emo­tional arc should it hap­pen in a movie, but Abimana pre­ferred to keep it within the fam­ily cir­cle.

“The one thing I would never do in life is desert my fam­ily. Mar­ried life and hold­ing your child for the first time makes you see life dif­fer­ently. And I’m em­brac­ing it,” said Abimana, whose el­dest son Abel is now a first grader in high school.

This sense of loy­alty, tak­ing full re­spon­si­bil­ity for what he started, is also pro­jected in his ap­proach to ev­ery movie role of­fered re­gard­less of the genre and bud­get.

“To be hon­est, I’m a bit tired of the archetype role of Mr. Nice Guy, a devo­tee who never misses his prayers. Be­ing given the role in a com­edy is re­fresh­ing and chal­leng­ing to me.”

STEP­PING UP

The com­edy re­make, Warkop DKI: Jangkrik Bos! Part 1, and his trans­for­ma­tion into the late leg­endary co­me­dian Dono were the hottest top­ics this year as the film recorded new highs for a block­buster movie with nearly 8 mil­lion view­ers in cin­e­mas. A se­quel is cur­rently on post­pro­duc­tion, sched­uled for re­lease next April.

As he is at the peak of his game, he has de­cided to re­treat from in front of the cam­era. Aside from some on­go­ing projects pend­ing re­lease next year he has de­clined new of­fers to be in a movie, un­less he can work from be­hind the scenes.

“I like the cre­ative process of film pro­duc­tion, but not the me­dia spot­light. Count­ing the years I’ve been in the in­dus­try, I be­lieve I have the ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge of mak­ing films. I ac­tu­ally have started to play the role as pro­ducer and as­sis­tant di­rec­tor for three doc­u­men­tary films but they have to wait be­cause of my tight sched­ule this year. “To be able to do so, I have to join a pro­duc­tion house. I’m cur­rently pitch­ing to a few of them, all be­long to my friends. Let’s see how it goes.”

Dur­ing the in­ter­view, Abimana, who was in a band called Drona with fel­low ac­tor Ario Bayu and whose song “Gadis dalam Mimpi” (Dream Girl) be­come the sound­track of film Repub­lik

Twit­ter (Twit­ter Republic) where he had the lead­ing role, fre­quently drops names known in the film cir­cle to whom he owes his ded­i­ca­tion to pro­duc­ing cul­tural-themed films.

“I have made a prom­ise to my­self to de­velop this over­looked genre, which has ac­tu­ally brought me to where I am now. But, please, not as an ac­tor. At least, not for the time be­ing.

“Oth­er­wise, the film would lose its pur­pose and be­come a mere com­mer­cial project. Es­pe­cially af­ter the hype of Warkop DKI, I need time for it to die down. My mere be­ing is now just too com­mer­cial.”

The one thing I would never do in life is desert my fam­ily. Mar­ried life and hold­ing your child for the first time makes you see life dif­fer­ently. And I’m em­brac­ing it.

Cour­tesy of Ka­pan­lagi.com

Cour­tesy of Fal­con Pictures

JP/Jerry Adi­guna

Cour­tesy of Ka­pan­lagi.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.