Young dyslexic star a natural actor
WHO would have thought that a dyslexic boy from Jitra, Kedah, would find fame in acting, and at such a young age?
Muhammad Ariff Abdullah, 12, debuted in hit drama 7 Hari Mencintaiku and captured the hearts of fans of the series.
A natural actor, he presented an honest portrayal of a slowwitted boy named Buntat, striking a chord with viewers, so much so that when the character died at the end of the series, viewers were heartbroken.
Viewers did not agree that the character be killed off. The matter was even discussed on social media and trended for some time.
Although Buntat was just a supporting character, he became an instant hit, bringing along a significant amount of popularity to Ariff.
“Since then, my school friends call me Buntat... I don’t mind at all,” said Ariff, smiling.
“I know that if I play another character, Buntat’s name will be replaced.
“I never thought I could act. But, my father thought it would be good for me and encouraged me to try.”
Ariff will mark his big screen debut in drama Jibam, slated for a September release.
He plays the titular role in this adaptation from the hugely-popular 1992 novel by one of Malaysia’s famous cartoonists, Ujang.
Prior to filming it, Ariff had to attend a 10-day intensive training with an acting teacher from Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan (Aswara).
“When I arrived at the film set, I was overwhelmed.
“Initially, I thought I would not be able to pull it off.
“However, with guidance from director Che Mie and his crew, I managed to deliver what was expected of me,” he said.
Ariff said the most challenging scene was the one involving his character Jibam being bullied by neighbours.
Jibam producer Jaafar Muhammad said although Ariff was dyslexic, he could easily memorise his lines after his script was read to him.
“He took on his role convincingly without much assistance. He became Jibam.”
The film also stars Esma Daniel, Fadlan Hazim, Mia Ahmad, A. Galak, Zaidi Omar and Farah Ahmad.
I never thought I could act. MUHAMMAD ARIFF ABDULLAH
Muhammad Ariff Abdullah.