Across bor­ders with Aaron

Sin­ga­porean ac­tor Aaron Aziz is hav­ing a great year so far and is hop­ing for more creative col­lab­o­ra­tions, writes Aref Omar

New Straits Times - - SPOTLIGHT GROOVE - Aref@nst.com.my

TALL, mus­cu­lar and blessed with hand­some fea­tures, it didn’t take long for Malaysians to fall in love with Sin­ga­porean ac­tor Datuk Aaron Aziz. Al­though the Tampines-born tal­ent had al­ready graced the small screen in TV dra­mas and tele­movies a few years be­fore, it was his big screen role as a vil­lain­ous leader of a drug gang in Evo­lusi KL Drift in 2008 that made an im­pres­sion on lo­cals.

He later won an award for Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tor (Film) at Anugerah Skrin 2010 for repris­ing the role in the se­quel. From then on his rise as one of Malaysia’s big­gest stars was set, af­ter hav­ing starred in block­buster hits like Om­bak Rindu, KL Gang­ster and Abang Long Fadil.

When met re­cently in Kuala Lumpur, the 42-year-old ac­tor, whose career be­gan in the Lion City in 2001, said that he was just look­ing for­ward to head­ing back home for Hari Raya Aidil­fitri. “I’ve been pretty busy, so it’ll be great to spend time with my par­ents, cousins and the rest of them there.

“My first week of Raya will be in Sin­ga­pore, then we’ll make our way back to KL to con­tinue with the cel­e­bra­tions here,” he said. Aaron mar­ried D at in Di ya na H ali kin 2003 and the cou­ple have three kids: Dan­ish Anaqi, 13, Dwi Ari­ana, 11, and Dahlia Arissa, 7.

“I hope ev­ery­thing will be smooth for the rest of the year,” he said.

TIGHT SCHED­ULE

Aaron re­ceived his Datuk­ship from the Sul­tan of Pa­hang in De­cem­ber last year, and 2018 has, so far, also turned out to be a fruit­ful year. Fans of the fresh-faced ac­tor will get to watch him in the Raya tele­movie Renyai Tak­bir Raya, star­ring along­side Shar­i­fah Sak­i­nah and An­zalna Nasir.

“It’s a heavy love drama based on true events,” he said. “Af­ter Raya, I’ll be busy do­ing an ac­tion film again which will be fully shot in Jo­hor Baru.”

Touted as a crime and gang­ster film, it will be di­rected by Raja Mukhriz of Ophilia fame. “The ac­tual ti­tle has not been re­vealed yet but it is also based on true events that had hap­pened in Jo­hor Baru,” he said.

Once shoot­ing for the film wraps, Aaron will head across the Cause­way back to his home coun­try to tackle com­edy on TV. “I’ll be do­ing the sec­ond sea­son of Meet The MP there,” he said.

The English Me­di­a­corp dram­edy, which aired in Sin­ga­pore last year, will see Aaron re­turn­ing as a newly-elected and ide­al­is­tic Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment who dis­cov­ers that the job is hardly a walk in the park; he has to find the bal­ance be­tween work and fam­ily life.

With a newly-elected gov­ern­ment here in Malaysia, Aaron of­fered his hopes for the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try here. “I un­der­stand there should be bound­aries in any­thing but I do hope that the in­dus­try will be more open and free. Other­wise we’ll al­ways be locked up in a shell do­ing the same old things over and over,” he said.

He gave an ex­am­ple of South Korea which has be­come a prom­i­nent force in en­ter­tain­ment in­ter­na­tion­ally. “They are able to catch the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket be­cause they ex­plore and do things out of the or­di­nary. So hope­fully how we do things in Malaysia will change for the bet­ter, where we can do more col­lab­o­ra­tions and co-pro­duc­tions with for­eign di­rec­tors, cast, tal­ents and even scriptwrit­ers,” he said.

STAY­ING OPEN TO CRE­ATIV­ITY

The ac­tor is no stranger to col­lab­o­rat­ing on an in­ter­na­tional level, hav­ing acted in the Hong Kong ac­tion com­edy film Spe­cial Fe­male Force in 2016. Aaron also stars as a vil­lain in the Tamil sci-fi movie, Tik Tik Tik, which is set to pre­miere in In­dia next Fri­day.

“I’m al­ways look­ing out for over­seas

I’m al­ways look­ing out for over­seas ven­tures. Aaron Aziz

ven­tures,” he said.

Un­for­tu­nately he had to re­cently turn down a star­ring role in a HBO pro­duc­tion due to some steamy scenes that were in the script. “Maybe next time. I’m still open to other projects,” he said op­ti­misti­cally.

He had a lit­tle stint in the mu­sic in­dus­try af­ter re­leas­ing an R&B song, Salam Se­mua, in 2012 with Sleeq.

Does his “never say never at­ti­tude” see him go­ing into other creative as­pects of show busi­ness?

In terms of scriptwrit­ing he said: “I don’t see that for now but it was part of my thoughts at some given point in time.”

The for­mer Fear Fac­tor Malaysia host back in 2013 added that he might con­sider di­rect­ing again, af­ter star­ring in and helm­ing Romeo Kota in 2015.

“If there is an op­por­tu­nity and chance with a great script that I can re­ally re­late to and get in­volved in, I would def­i­nitely do it. Be­ing a direc­tor is some­thing I have to give my full at­ten­tion to; it takes up a lot of time. It’s not like act­ing,” he said. “But, you never know.

PIC­TURE BY NU­RUL SYAZANA ROSE RAZ­MAN

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