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
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.
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.