Hari Raya gets Jurassic twist for Singapore actor
That's when KL-based Singapore actor Hisyam takes a week off to be with his two children, who are in Singapore
Local actor Hisyam Hamid, 31, relocated across the Causeway with his wife for the sake of his career, which was taking off there.
But his nine-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son still live in Singapore and are taken care of by his mother, brother, grandmother and helper.
In a phone interview with The New Paper from Kuala Lumpur, he said being away from his two children is "mentally challenging".
"I miss them a lot. There was once I didn't see them for five weeks because I was so busy with work.
"It is so challenging for me to try to control the feelings of missing them while I am working, but there is constant communication as we do keep in contact with WhatsApp messages and FaceTime calls," said Hisyam, whose 36-year-old wife Rosmawati Hanafi, a manager, shuttles often between KL and Singapore.
He said: "At the end of the day, I would want to keep my family together. There are plans to bring (the kids) over and register them at an international school... but I wouldn't want to rush it."
The children spent the June holidays with him in KL and he usually returns to Singapore a day or two before Hari Raya for a week-long break.
He said: "What Hari Raya really means to me now is that it's a time I cherish to be with my family and to embrace the time that I'm with them.
"Having relocated, this is one of the few moments we get together. It makes Hari Raya more meaningful."
Around this time last year, Hisyam was admitted to a hospital in KL after a rubella scare.
He said: "During Ramadan, (work) gets a bit hectic. Last year, I was quite busy. During the day, I would do my filming and in the evening, I would go for events.
"One day, I had a fever, but I continued my day's schedule for three days while I was sick because I felt like it was an obligation I had to fulfil. I was pushing myself too hard, I guess.
"On the third day, when I came home, I just collapsed on the bed and started shivering. I couldn't move and my wife started to get worried."
Hisyam was rushed to the hospital a week before Hari Raya, was warded for four days and was hooked to intravenous fluid drips.
When he tested negative for dengue fever, doctors suspected he had rubella as his blood platelet levels had "fallen way below normal".
"When I was discharged, it was diagnosed as just a high fever and that came as a relief," Hisyam said.
The episode changed the way he spent his Ramadan this year.
He is more cautious about what he consumes for his pre-dawn meals and he makes sure he takes supplements and drinks more water.
"This year, we were careful with my schedule. For example, if I have a shoot during the day, I try to avoid any events at night. As much as possible, I've avoided running round from place to place. I've been focusing on one thing per day," he said.
His voice on dubbed movies
Hisyam Hamid's latest gig is voicing Owen Grady - Velociraptor expert and trainer at the Jurassic World dinosaur theme park - in the upcoming Malay-dubbed version of the 2015 action adventure blockbuster Jurassic World.
US actor Chris Pratt played Grady in the original Hollywood movie.
HBO Asia's Bahasa Melayu edition of Jurassic World premieres this Hari Raya Aidil Fitri tomorrow at 11pm on HBO On Demand (StarHub TV Ch 602/StarHub Go).
When he was in primary school, Hisyam remembered being a fan of the first Jurassic Park movie in 1993.
"I used to imagine myself being in a theme park full of dinosaurs and to be involved (more than) 20 years later, it's kind of cool. It's almost like a childhood dream come true," he said.
This is not his first time lending his voice to Malay-dubbed versions of Hollywood blockbusters.
His first job was wig store owner Floyd Eaglesan from 2014's animated hit Despicable Me 2.
He went on to voice Autobots leader Optimus Prime from the 2014 sci-fi flick Transformers: Age Of Extinction.
Hisyam said: "I'm proud to show it off to my children. My boy is actually even more excited than I am.
"He refused to believe (Optimus Prime) was me, but now that he's a little older and understands it, he thinks it's cool. He suddenly likes Owen (Grady) because I'm voicing him."
Hisyam said voicing a human was "much tougher" than voicing a robot.
"With human beings, you have to take into consideration the facial expressions, the intonation and lip syncing.
"You are also re-enacting what has been done by someone else. So that's the hard part - channelling yourself to be someone else.
"But I enjoy doing these voiceovers and there's a sense of satisfaction when I watch the end product," he said.