Lisa suri­hani

Lawyer-ac­tress Lisa Suri­hani delves deeper into act­ing.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - by MuMTAJ beGuM mumtaj@thes­tar.com.my

JAn­gAn PAn­dAng

be­LAkAng 2

LISA Suri­hani may be nurs­ing a mi­graine when meet­ing the press at the pre­view of Jan­gan Pan­dang Be­lakang Con­gkak 2, but the 24-year-old re­mains pleas­ant. Even when she’s hounded by pho­tog­ra­phers and re­porters, she tries to ac­com­mo­date each request and even takes charge to main­tain or­der.

At that point, it quickly be­comes clear that she is not only a tal­ented ac­tress, but is also an in­tel­li­gent and con­fi­dent woman – a fact that is con­firmed when she re­veals that she stud­ied law in Help Uni­ver­sity Col­lege and grad­u­ated with a de­gree from Aberys­t­wyth Uni­ver­sity in Wales in 2007.

“My late fa­ther was a lawyer, and he in­stilled in me a le­gal mind and a pas­sion for the law,” she ex­plains. “He wanted his chil­dren to be al­ways learn­ing. Even to­day, I see my­self as a sponge and I am ab­sorb­ing as much knowl­edge as I pos­si­bly can as an ac­tor.”

While she is not aban­don­ing her ca­reer as a lawyer com­pletely – she hopes to pur­sue it in the fu­ture once she’s ready and af­ter she has earned the Cer­tifi­cate of Le­gal Prac­tice – she is keen to pur­sue act­ing.

She is not new to act­ing, hav­ing ven­tured into this field at the ten­der age of 11.

“My cousin told me that I could gain new ex­pe­ri­ences, meet new peo­ple and earn money if I did com­mer­cials. At that age, I was more in­ter­ested in hav­ing new ex­pe­ri­ences and meet­ing new peo­ple than earn­ing cash,” she re­calls with a smile, “al­though cash is good for rainy days too. So I pre­pared a port­fo­lio. But in­stead of an ad, I got a part in a tele­movie.”

She made her de­but as the lead ac­tress in TV1’s drama se­ries Ger­gasi. She found the ex­pe­ri­ence on the set very ex­cit­ing and de­cided to give act­ing more se­ri­ous thought.

With her mother’s en­cour­age­ment, she got in­volved in more TV and film projects. She also ap­peared in a num­ber of TV com­mer­cials at home, in In­done­sia and the Philip­pines.

»The chal­lenge is be­ing good at what you do«

lisa suri­hani

Upon com­plet­ing her ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion, she was cast in I’m Not Sin­gle, op­po­site Farid Kamil. This project not only earned her new fans but also the best new ac­tress award at the Malaysian Film Fes­ti­val in 2007. Since then, she has ap­peared in Ob­sesis, 3 Janda, Seputih Salju, Atoi The Ajaib Boy, Tudung Ek­spres and Jan­gan Pan­dang Be­lakang.

This year alone, she has acted in a num­ber of films – V3: Sam­seng Jalanan, Zoo, Se­merah Cinta Stil­leto, La­genda Bu­dak Se­tan and Jan­gan Pan­dang Be­lakang Con­gkak 2.

She is also the host of a 13-episode show, MYEG Xtra Time: Bring It!, on StarS­ports chan­nel on Astro.

“I thank God that I am blessed with good for­tune,” she says mod­estly of her in­creas­ingly im­pres­sive ré­sumé. Her en­thu­si­asm is fairly ob­vi­ous: “I want to learn ev­ery­thing, try dif­fer­ent gen­res – com­edy, drama, ev­ery­thing – and do dif­fer­ent things. The chal­lenge is be­ing good at what you do,” she says.

In Jan­gan Pan­dang Be­lakang Con­gkak 2 (the se­quel to last year’s Jan­gan Pan­dang Be­lakang Con­gkak, which made RM6.3mil at the box­of­fice), she plays Mustika, a vil­lain who is de­ter­mined to stay young for­ever. To achieve that, she has to ex­tract the youth from two in­di­vid­u­als.

Play­ing a will­ing slave to Mustika is co­me­dian Azlee Jaa­far (of Senario fame).

“It was very hard be­ing sur­rounded by co­me­di­ans and act­ing se­ri­ous. Al­though Azlee re­mained pro­fes­sional through­out our scenes, main­tain­ing a strict com­po­sure with him around was not easy,” Lisa ad­mits.

It wouldn’t be to­tally un­true to say that if there is a rea­son to watch this horror/com­edy by Metrowealth Movies Pro­duc­tion, it is to view Lisa’s per­for­mance. Play­ing up Mustika’s evil­ness with fa­cial ex­pres­sions and ex­ag­ger­ated head move­ments, Lisa of­fers some­thing dif­fer­ent from the usual loud comic mo­ments found in the rest of the film.

“Mustika is ac­tu­ally very old, cen­turies old. I had to con­vey her bit­ter­ness and anger phys­i­cally so the di­rec­tor (Ah­mad Id­ham) and I came up with the head ges­tures.”

Lisa is some­what hum­bled that fans and the peo­ple in the in­dus­try have shown an in­ter­est, and says that she is still learn­ing and hon­ing her skills. Jan­ganPan­dan­gBe­lakang Congkak2 opens in cine­mas to­day.

For­ever young: in Jan­ganPan­dan­gBe­lakangCongkak2, lisa suri­hani plays Mustika, a vil­lain on the quest for eter­nal youth.

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