New Straits Times

Alternate reality


The wife of singer, actor and director Yusry Abdul Halim added that she was the antagonist in the series, although she didn’t want to spoil the surprise for viewers by spilling the beans on it.

“I play Mona, who owns a famous event management company. Everything gets interestin­g when something happens during one of the events that I organise. On the surface, I’m a successful and confident woman but there are other things to discover along the way,” said the mother-oftwo on her femme fatale role.

The “event” here is a technology conference where a prominent figure is assassinat­ed. But the crime is executed in a very peculiar manner that it stumps everyone.

Enter Bidayuh actor Tony Eusoff, who plays a police detective assigned to the perplexing case and is pressured by his superiors to get to the bottom of things quickly. “I play Captain Jonathan Tuah Merawi, a police detective from Sarawak, who is forced to seek the help of a lawyer with a spotless record of winning cases due to his uncanny ability to meticulous­ly collate details in order to tackle these hard-to-solve mysteries. As the investigat­ion deepens, many other things come to light,” said the 41-yearold Kuching-born actor, who has starred on the big and small screens as well as in many theatre production­s.

Tony, whose real name is Anthony Joseph Hermas Rajiman, added that the story was exciting and fresh and convenient­ly set in an alternate version of Malaysia.

“It’s kind of like a parallel universe, so anything can happen. Of course, it’s still within a logical and plausible setting. But watch out,” said the star of P Ramlee The Musical, Saloma and Kelip-Kelip Di Kota London.

With Jibril’s various oddities, someone needs to interpret them to make sense of his world. That task falls on a fellow lawyer, Jackie, played by Sangeeta Krishnasam­y.

The spunky and ambitious character is assigned to assist Jibril on his case, where she deciphers his unconventi­onal approaches. “Jackie is the heart of the team, she is the gateway for the viewer to understand Jibril’s world. She’s tough and courageous and making her mark in a male-dominated world,” said the 33-yearold actress on the empowering role.

Sangeeta, who speaks fluent Malay, English and Tamil, studied law at the University of London. “Playing a lawyer was something I was already privy to and comfortabl­e with. One of the more challengin­g aspects was in doing some of the action scenes. Overall, my character is basically like what Watson is to Sherlock,” she said.

Sangeeta became a household name after playing an inspiratio­nal teacher in the biographic­al drama Adiwiraku last year, which won her Best Actress award at both the 29th Malaysia Film Festival and Anugerah Skrin 2017. Already an establishe­d actress in the Tamil scene, Sangeeta is also credited with being the first Malaysian to appear in a Kollywood movie, Goa, back in 2009.

The aim of Jibril, produced by Konda Kondi Studios and Playground Production­s, is to give local viewers something different to the usual soppy, conflict-ridden love and relationsh­ip TV dramas that abound.

Playground Production­s co-founder and director of Jibril, Megat Shahrizal Mohamed Yusoff, 39, said that this would be Malaysia’s first legal investigat­ive drama. Apparently the initial idea for Jibril came about after he attended a mock trial presentati­on at Universiti Teknologi Mara five years ago.

“It was written and directed by Imran Sheik Muhamed. We became good friends, kept in touch and we had always wanted to work with him. He’s very passionate about this character Jibril,” he said.

The opportunit­y finally came about last year and Imran has been very involved in the project as an associate producer. Talking about the cast, Megat explained that they were individual­s that he had wanted to work with from the very beginning.

“We had written some of the scripts with them in mind and it’s great that they said ‘yes’ to the project after reading it,” he said.

As for the all-important titular character, he added that Aeril possessed a certain aura that fits the role perfectly.

The actor with a steely gaze won Megat over with his intense portrayal of a criminal profiler for the police force in the crime thriller Mandatori which aired last year. “I was particular­ly impressed with his lead role in that TV drama and thought that he would bring a certain gravity and realism to Jibril.

“Also, Jibril looks really good dressed in suits, so the actor playing him had to look sharp and carry it off well. Fortunatel­y, Aeril fit the bill nicely,” he said with a laugh.

Producer for Jibril and Playground Production­s co-founder, Tuan Faisal Azmy Tuan Kob, said that one of the biggest challenges of making Jibril was to get the legal elements of the show right.

“It’s in essence a legal investigat­ive drama. So creating a setting with a legal background takes a lot of technical legal Producer Tuan Faisal Azmy

 ??  ?? Aeril Zafrel
Aeril Zafrel
 ??  ?? Aeril plays Jibril, a Sherlock-like lawyer who never loses a case.
Aeril plays Jibril, a Sherlock-like lawyer who never loses a case.
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