New Straits Times
With heart and conscience
Newly-concluded TV drama Cinta Bukan Kristal’s main cast members tell Dennis Chua why the series grows on you
VIEWERS initially hated Ayda Jebat’s Cinta Bukan Kristal character Aryana and even sent hate mail to her Twitter and Instagram accounts.
“They called Aryana a monster, homewrecker and hubby-stealer. I wasn’t even spared the word ‘vixen’,” said Ayda at the preview of the final episode of Cinta Bukan
Kristal at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre in Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya recently.
But as the 28 episodes went by, viewers gradually became more reconciliatory towards Aryana.
They began praising her for daring to meet the wife of the man she loved, and for having the guts to admit she was wrong, and for walking away from the relationship.
“More often than not, the second woman in the love triangle is depicted as a materialist, gold-digger and spoilt child. She often ends up in a heated confrontation with the hero’s wife and first love,” admitted Ayda who costarred with Nina Iskandar and Sharnaaz Ahmad in the drama series.
Aryana is different... she has a heart and a conscience. She really loves the protagonist Adrian because of his honesty and kindness, and he reciprocates his love all the way.
“However, she becomes guilt-stricken when she learns that he is a married man and loves his wife Sofea and their children Danisya and Hakim dearly.”
Bruneian actress Nina, who played Sofea, agreed with Ayda.
“Aryana takes the trouble to befriend Sofea as best as she can, and gets chummy with Danisya and Hakim. She reasons that Adrian is willing to marry a second wife, and tries her best to be diplomatic and tactful in acknowledging this,” said Nina.
“As for Sofea, she does a lot of soul searching, and realises that her busy career has made her spend less and less time with her husband, resulting in his falling for Aryana who is one of his assistants.”
Nina also said she admired Sofea’s maturity, and her ability to see Aryana as a fellow young professional who had similar emotional needs.
“Both women want to be loved, and the object of their affection happens to be the same man. They both feel stuck and trapped, and have to find a way out of it without being emotional.”
Ayda, 26 and Nina, 27, expressed their gratitude towards director Shuhaimi Zulkefli for the opportunity to be part of the drama.
“The characters were well-sculpted. Nobody is perfect in the series and there’s no villain either,” said Ayda.
“It’s a realistic story. It reflects how people interact in the real world, especially devoted mothers with pre-teen children and whose husbands are thinking of practising polygamy,” said Nina.
The characters were well-sculpted. Nobody is perfect in the series and there’s no villain either. Ayda Jebat
VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCES
Ayda and Nina explained that Shuhaimi had discussed the character development of Aryana and Sofea before each of the hourlong episodes went on air from Mondays to Fridays.
“He asked us to give our input, and all of us came up with the best possible ideas on how to bring the story forward,” said Nina.
“Most of all, he insisted that he didn’t want the characters to look villainous or nasty in any way,” added Ayda.
Ayda admitted that she was initially nervous about playing Aryana.
“It’s nice to be an antagonist but I’m a little afraid of getting badly criticised on social media and in public.
“Thank goodness Aryana is more of a victim of circumstances than an adultress, she said, adding that Aryana also redeems herself by walking away from the marriage,” she said.
A first collaboration between Nina and Ayda, the two had no problems getting along on set.
“Honestly, Ayda may look a bit unfriendly from afar but once you work with her, you’ll realise she’s bubbly and nice,” said Nina, adding that Ayda was also playful and funny.
Ayda quipped: “I’ve seen Nina in some of her films, and she’s a great actress. A lot more serious than me though!”
The duo also praised Sharnaaz, who played Adrian, as a “cool” actor despite his “angry young man” image.
“No, he never blew his top at us, even if we forgot our lines,” said Ayda, who has costarred with Sharnaaz in two other drama series.
Ayda, who won Anugerah Top Top Meletop 2015 and 2016, and Popular New Female Artiste at the Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian 28, is a nominee for Popular Female TV Actress at Sunday’s ABPBH 31.
“Cinta Bukan Kristal will only be in the running next year, and I hope to be nominated again if all goes well,” she said.
As for Nina, she is busy on the set of a 30-episode drama series for HyppTV, Isteri Dalam Sangkar, about a long-suffering married woman. It is based on a novel by Wardina Aisyah.
“I play the title character, Aisyah who is married to a rich aristocrat, but is despised by her materialistic and class-conscious mother-in-law,” she said, adding that it will be out in two months’ time.