Words of success from Cristina
Writer: Erny Suzira
Cristina Suzanne received Most Promising Actress Award at FFM26.
Local actress Cristina Suzanne recently had her career breakthrough when she won the Most Promising Actress Award at the 26th Malaysian Film Festival (FFM26) held early this month.
Cristina received her award from two renowned actors, Datuk Rosyam Nor and Nasha Aziz. Other nominees in the Most Promising Actress category included; Uqasha Senrose, Nelydia Senrose, Nadia Aqilah and Siti Saleha, but Cristina still managed to rise to the top.
Thanks to her movie, "KIL", a contemporary fresh take of a local romance drama, Cristina's role as the girl who leads a depressed man for another shot at life is as charming and strangely quirky as the actress herself. How do we know? Well, here's our interview with Cristina Suzanne on her win, how she first started out and her acting ambitions in the local film industry.
Hi Cristina! What do you have to say upon winning this award?
I am truly grateful for this victory, because I am new in this industry, I didn't expect this at all. Usually only those who have been in this industry for long will get this opportunity. Nevertheless, I am very thankful that the jury acknowledged my talent.
What do you think made the jury attracted to your role in "Kil"?
Actually, not everyone liked my character in the film, but everyone has different taste, different points of view. For example, the jury might've liked the character, but the viewers might've not.
Redza Minhat and Cristina Suzanne as Akil and Zara in "KIL".
Who did you think would win this category if it is not you?
Nadia Aqilah. I think she is really talented. She has a lot of theatrical performance experience. Although she hardly appears on television, she has acted in a lot of theatrical dramas. I really admire her and I seriously thought that she would win.
Do you think this award will be a catalyst for you to act in more films?
Not just films I guess. Nowadays the production of films in our country is getting to be quite slow. I am a freelancer actress and in this industry, it is really hard to survive. I am a struggling actress, so I can't really afford to be picky. If I were to just choose films, I can't pay my rent which is why I also accepted dramas so that I can sharpen my acting skills and dialogue delivery. So once in a while, when I work in films, I get to know the basic ropes of it, but of course the way of acting in dramas and films are kind of different.
Do you think that after this, other people would have higher expectations of you?
This is my own responsibility because when you receive an award, it is normal for other people to have higher hopes in you and expect you to perform better. So, it is my job to make sure that I don't disappoint them; I have to work hard, work smart, learn more, and ask when I don't understand. I have to have the will to improve and not stop there just because I have an award. Because this award indicates that I won for this character, it does not necessarily mean that I will win again for some other role. So, once again, this would be my responsibility.
Cristina Suzanne also won Best Female Actress Award at the 2013 Screen Award.
Do you normally pick this kind of quirky/different characters in films?
I can't pick my characters. I accept whatever is given, unless I feel like I can't carry the role properly and then I reject it. So, yeah, it is not like I get to say 'I want this character because she's pretty', no, I have to try every character that is given to me. I also would prefer it if I get to play different characters each time. If I play the same character all the time, then it wouldn't be fair for other actresses.
Do you think others will be pressuring you more, now that you have an award?
It depends on the job I guess. To be honest, I don't like it when my work pressures me. Instead of letting the job pressure us, we should overcome the pressure and go through with it until the end. It is important to stay positive, because working is not fun. Tell me of one work that is fun. Nonetheless, we still have to do it, make the best of it and try to make it fun.
Any future projects?
So far I have none. I just finished shooting my drama, "Bums" that will air on TV3. I don't have any films yet so I guess I'll be resting for a while. I've been working non-stop since January, I think now is a good time for me to take a rest. You know sometimes you can accept a job offer but it doesn't mean that you have to start immediately, they will let you rest first and will tell you when it will start. But the problem is, I don't like that. I feel restless and at unease knowing that I have a job on my list. I prefer to take a break first without thinking about anything and when I am ready and satisfied, then only would I accept a job offer.
Cristina Suzanne along with the producer and writer of "KIL",
Tengku Iesta Tengku Alaudin (Middle) and Rewan Ishak.
How did you first get into acting?
Cinema Online, 01 December 2014
When I first entered the film industry, it was through the acting competition "Pilih Kasih" and it was on this very stage (FFM26) where I was cut off. This was where I learned how to do monologues, how to read scripts, and how to do a theatrical performance. After I was kicked off from "Pillih Kasih", I was scouted by Mama Erma (Erma Fatima) to star in some local dramas starting off with small roles.
How do you feel receiving the award from the person who first discovered you?
It feels magical! My first award (2013 Screen Awards) was with Mama Erma and my second award was with Abang Rosyam (Datuk Rosyam Nor). Both of them are my teachers. It is really unbelievable, because on this stage is where I was eliminated by Abang Rosyam. It is truly magical.