Mohd Yusof bin Md. Haslam Khan or better known to the filmmaking industry as Datuk Yusof Haslam, is a director, actor and producer of films and dramas that has made his mark in Malaysia. About 17 years ago, the visionary personality had managed to break records when his fourth movie "Sembilu II" raked in a local box office gross of RM $6.3 million which had never been achieved by any other filmmaker in the country, thus Haslam was dubbed as "The Six Million Dollar Man", a name he is still synonymous with till today.
Among the films and TV drama's he has worked on so far are "Permintaan Terakhir", "Bukit Kepong", "Penentuan','Bayangan Maut", "Pemburu Bayang", "Sembilu", "Sembilu 2", "Maria Mariana", "Bara", "Gemilang", "Pasrah" and "Gerak Khas The Movie'. Lately, his latest production "KL Gangster" which was directed by his son Syamsul Yusof, has dazed the local film industry with its success and is currently the highest grossing local movie in the nation surpassing the RM $10 million mark to an estimated RM $12 million.
Yusof Haslam interview with Cinema Online conducted via email recently.
Q: First of all, congratulations on the success of "KL Gangster" which has managed to be the highest grossing local film of the nation. How much has the movie collected so far?
Yusof: Thank You. So far the collection at our local cinemas has been about RM $12 million.
Q: "KL Gangster" has been a phenomenon at the local film industry and the public is still raving about it, what are your thoughts on that as a producer of the film?
Yusof: I am thankful that the film had brought over a paradigm. Even more so since the film is well received by the majority of the Malay audience that admit that the film is not only commercial, but has a quality to be proud of.
Q: Whose idea was it to approach Rosyam Nor to star in "KL Gangster 2"?
Yusof: It is all Syamsul's idea. From the very beginning he had always wanted Rosyam Nor to star in his movie.
Q: Do you feel that Rosyam Nor has the capabilities of conducting the extreme stunts as seen in "KL Gangster" which may seem more suited for the younger generation?
Yusof: Why not? Rosyam is not even old and he's only about 40 plus years old. Everybody knows that Rosyam Nor is a good actor.
Q: Since both of your sons Syamsul and Shafiq have followed your footsteps as a director, what are the differences between them and the expectations you have with them?
Yusof: Both have their very own style and attitude. Syamsul is firm while Syafiq [youngest son] is rather on the cool side. My hopes for them are to continue on my legacy and I am certain they will go very far.
Q: Will you venture back into directing soon?
Yusof: I have the hopes to do so, but unfortunately time, at the moment, does not allow me to do so since I'm busy with producing TV dramas that need 100 percent commitment.
Q: When was the last time you saw a movie at the cinemas and what was the movie?
Yusof: The last movie I watched in the cinema was "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2" about a month ago.
Q: In your opinion can Malaysia make films like "Transformers" and "Avatar"?
Yusof: At this moment not yet. But I don't believe it is impossible to do so someday.
Q: There are many production houses now that are racing among one another to make a 3D movie, does Skop Production have a plan for a 3D movie as well?
Yusof: As of now, no. We are the stages of doing 3D research.
Q: What is upcoming line-up up for Skop Production?
Yusof: Our latest project will be "KL Gangster 2" which will commence in November 2011.
Q: Since Hari Raya is just around the corner? What is the Haslam family's plan this year?
Yusof: We will celebrate it as usual and it's very simple. We make sure we donate to the surau, masjid and orphanages with what we have.