Actress Sharifah Amani wants to stand up for the weak, just like her character in La Luna
Much like her character in the film La Luna, Sharifah Amani believes in speaking up for the weak and those who find it hard to stand up for themselves.
Having grown up in a family of four girls, the 37-year-old actress and director was taught to be the voice for women.
She told TNP during a roundtable interview for the film: “I think it’s very basic to want to stand up for your fellow human being. It’s humanity. There are many atrocious things that are happening in the world. So, if this is a small thing that we can do to lighten the burden of others, why not?”
In the Singapore-Malaysia co-production, Sharifah plays Hanie Abdullah, an optimistic woman who opens a lingerie shop called La Luna at Kampong Bras Basah and fights the “bullies”.
Despite the villagers warming up to Hanie, the village leader, Tok Hassan, played by Wan Hanafi Su, 73, tries to influence them by saying the shop “disturbed the peace of the village”. He asks the villagers to sign a petition to close it down.
Last Friday, the film’s Singaporean director M. Raihan Halim and actor Hisyam Hamid were joined by Malaysian stars Sharifah, Shaheizy Sam and Nadiya Nisaa to promote the film at Golden Village Bugis+.
With a budget of $1.1 million, La Luna premiered globally on Oct 24 in the Asian Future Section at the renowned 36th Tokyo International Film Festival.
Interestingly, Raihan, 41, was inspired to make the movie after he “read about a shop that was burnt down” in the Middle East.
“I was wondering why a group of men with no knowledge of the shop would be so threatened to bring the shop down. I couldn’t find the answer. So, I made a movie trying to answer the question,” he said.
Raihan shared that it was a satisfying movie to make because he had a good team of actors.
“There was no diva attitude on the set. This is literally an ensemble piece. Although Sam (Shaheizy) and Nani (Sharifah) were on the poster, there were days where they just came for three shots, then they went home or Sam would makan (eat).”
Actor Shaheizy Sam, 41, who gained fame as Inspector Khai in the Malay crime-action trilogy Polis Evo, plays a cop again but said his character was more “human” this time.
“This time around, he’s just a police officer whose challenge isn’t to catch criminals but to nurture his daughter alone,” he said.
“It made him realise that he needed a female figure to help him take care of the child all along. He had to be a father and a mother at the same time to his daughter.”
@tnpdigital Laughter, love and lost voices: La Luna breaks down barriers and lingerie stereotypes in Kampong Bras Basah! 🌙✨ Get ready for La Luna in Singapore on Nov 16! 🎉 #fyp #sgnews #laluna #lalunathemovie #sharifahamani #shaheizysam #hisyamhamid ♬ original sound - TNP
Local actor Hisyam Hamid, 38, known for his role with TV3 drama Ariana Rose (2014), stars as Pa’at, an abusive husband.
When asked which scene was the hardest for him, Hisyam shared that it was the one where he had to express “extreme anger and rage” as his wife runs away from being abused by him.
“I was shouting. I lost my voice for two or three days,” he said.
“In real life, no matter what she's done, hitting your spouse is wrong. That’s something I have promised to never do – hit a woman.”
Nadiya Nisaa, 38, from the 2012 drama Adam And Hawa, rounds up the cast. She plays abused wife Yam.
“When you feel betrayed by people that you love and the home is not a safe place for you anymore, how can a wife seek help?
“Sometimes people misunderstand religion. There are a lot of solutions you can get from religion. Everything’s about love and it’s never about restrictions. It’s not about promoting violence against humans.”
The movie opens in cinemas on Thursday.