‘Play­ing my war-hero dad in film was chal­leng­ing’

New Straits Times - - News -

KUCH­ING: When Cor­po­ral Langgi Kanang was ap­proached to play the lead role in the pa­tri­otic movie, Kanang Anak Langkau: The Iban War­rior two years ago, he turned down the of­fer.

Langgi, who is at­tached to the Royal Ar­tillery Reg­i­ment, doubted whether he could play the role of his fa­ther, the na­tion’s most dec­o­rated hero, the late Datuk Te­meng­gong Kanang Langkau.

“It all be­gan when I de­liv­ered salted ikan terubok to a mem­ber of the film’s pro­duc­tion crew at Kuch­ing In­ter­na­tional Airport.

“He later in­tro­duced me to film di­rec­tor Bade Azmi. At that time, they were look­ing for an ac­tor to play the adult role of my fa­ther.

“They wanted the ac­tor to be from the Iban com­mu­nity and to know Iban rit­u­als, in­clud­ing the mir­ing cer­e­mony.

“Bade of­fered me the role, which I turned down. I don’t know how to act and I don’t know if I am qual­i­fied enough for the role,” the 35-year-old sol­dier told the New Straits Times yes­ter­day.

After much per­sua­sion and with per­mis­sion from the armed forces, Langgi ac­cepted the of­fer and en­rolled in an act­ing class for two weeks be­fore film­ing his scenes for a month.

Most of his scenes were filmed in San­tubong, Sarawak, as well as Kuala Kangsar and Taiping in Perak.

“There were some scenes in the jun­gle. Dur­ing the film­ing of such scenes, I kept in mind my fa­ther’s do’s and don’ts in the jun­gle. One of his ad­vices was that to outdo our en­e­mies, we must en­sure that an­i­mals can’t sense our pres­ence.”

Al­though Langgi had been ex­posed to phys­i­cal training in the army, he had to go through chal­lenges dur­ing film­ing.

“It (act­ing) was emo­tion­ally and mentally chal­leng­ing.

“We even had to spend an en­tire day to shoot a scene just to get it right.

“I am in­debted to the pro­duc­tion crew and fel­low actors, who had sup­ported and coached me.”

The movie stars Adi Pu­tra, Jo­han As’ari, Ruzana Ibrahim, Jer­rica Lai and Jimmy Leong. It opened in cin­e­mas yes­ter­day.

“I hope peo­ple, es­pe­cially Sarawakians, will learn many things after watch­ing the movie. I hope we can con­tinue to ap­pre­ci­ate the sac­ri­fices made by our an­ces­tors to pro­tect our land.”

Kanang was born in Ju­lau, Sarawak, on Mar 2, 1945.

In 1962, he joined Sarawak Rangers as an Iban tracker. At that time, the para-mil­i­tary force was part of the Bri­tish army. He was ab­sorbed into Malaysian Rangers in 1963.

Kanang had been con­ferred many awards, in­clud­ing Pan­glima Gemi­lang Bin­tang Kenyalang, Seri Pahlawan Ga­gah Perkasa and Pin­gat Ga­gah Berani, a medal for brav­ery.

The na­tion mourned when Kanang died of a heart at­tack at Sarawak Gen­eral Hospi­tal here on Jan 3, 2013.

He was 68.

Cor­po­ral Langgi Kanang hopes peo­ple will learn many things from watch­ing the film.

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