Popular Malaysian actor to portray Anwar Ibrahim in new biopic
PETALING JAYA - Popular Malaysian actor Farid Kamil says he took on a huge challenge playing the role of Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The biopic titled Jalan Masih Panjang (The Road Is Still Long) a joint production between Malaysia and Indonesia – is slated for release next year.
Set between 1993 and 1998, the movie was at its final stages of shooting. Mr Anwar became Malaysia’s deputy prime minister in 1993 and was sacked from his government and Umno party positions in 1998.
Mr Farid, 41, during a press conference for his latest film Remp-It 2 on Monday (Nov 21) revealed that playing Mr Anwar was difficult as it was his first time playing a political figure.
“I wanted to give an accurate portrayal of Anwar because he isn’t just a political figure, but a leader who’s globally recognised. That is why I spent lots of time watching videos of the man himself and listening to his speeches,” the actor shared.
However, watching videos of the PH leader himself wasn’t enough. For Mr Farid, there was no better way of learning about a non-fictional role than meeting the real person himself.
That was why he decided to meet Mr Anwar, 75, not once but twice.
“The first time I met him was for dinner where I asked him for advice about how I could embody this role. But that meeting was only two hours. I knew I still had a lot to learn, so I decided to meet him again before flying to Indonesia for filming,” Mr Farid said.
During their second meeting, he asked Mr Anwar to show him the scars that were inflicted from being punched seven times as stated in the health report.
“He (Anwar) took off his glasses and showed me that there was still a scar on his brow bone,” Mr Farid said, adding that this fuelled his will to bring justice to Mr Anwar’s character.
Every move of the real Mr Anwar is closely watched in the last few days following Malaysia’s general election last Saturday, as his PH coalition is up against the rival Perikatan Nasional alliance to form a new federal government.
Although Mr Farid is confirmed to lead the new Anwar biopic, he revealed that he was actually the fifth choice to play the PH leader.
“Four Malaysian actors were listed before me, but none of them accepted the offer,” he shared.
He went on to suggest that the actors could have been hesitant as the role carried lots of responsibilities, especially since it was about a present-day leader.
The biopic is helmed by Indonesian director Viva Westi and filming is currently underway in Malaysia and Indonesia.
It also stars Indonesian actress Acha Septriasa as Mr Anwar’s wife, Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and Malaysian actor Hasnul Rahmat as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad. - THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK