Iedil Putra and Prisia Nasution at the Piazza Grande where their film
"Interchange" made its world premiere. (Photo Source: Iedil Putra Twitter).
From reel to real life, Malaysian actor Iedil Putra and Indonesian actress Prisia Nasution - both 32-years-old - found love on the set of Dain Said's upcoming film, "Interchange".
Iedil plays Adam, a forensic photographer who has to face dead bodies as part of his job. He then tags along Detective Man (Shaheizy Sam) as they both investigate a series of murders that are taking place in Kuala Lumpur.
Adam soon meets a mysterious girl named Iva, played by Prisia Nasution, who is also his neighbour. They both start falling in love, but there is a darkness surrounding them which involves the said murders, black magic and a supernatural being called Belian, played by Nicholas Saputra.
With such a dark subject matter surrounding this supernatural crime thriller, it's amazing how Iedil and Prisia managed to find love and tie the knot earlier this year!
We talked to the wonderful pair at the world premiere of "Interchange" at the Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland, where they divulged details on how they first met, what is was like working with Dain Said and how they embodied their characters in what promises to be an exciting film.
Cinema Online: What made you want to take on the lead role in "Interchange"?
Prisia: I knew of Dain and his crazy ideas! When he delivered the premise of the story I was blown away. You only get to play a role like this once every 10 years maybe?
Iedil: I have to admit that I'm a fanboy of Dain [laughs]. The opportunity to work with Dain is a dream come true. Knowing the story and what it stands for, made me drawn to it even more.
Would you say that your role in the film is more different or similar to your past roles?
Prisia: This is the first time that I'm getting to play an old soul trapped in a young body. It's completely different from my previous work.
Iedil: It's definitely very different. I don't think I've played a role like this before. It's a challenging but wonderful experience.
Did you take inspiration from other actors or movies similar in style to "Interchange" for your role?
Iedil: What's great about the whole process is that Dain guided us. There was a lot of discussion and a lot of reference given in terms of literature. For my character he gave me some books, some films to watch too. It was also trying to understand the idea of existential angst that is not very normal for someone in Malaysia. It's such a western ideology but I guess that's the fun of it. It's trying to incorporate that for the local landscape by matching it with local culture and mystic.
Prisia: For me, Dain kept saying Femme Fatale and I didn't really get it. Hopefully I managed to deliver what he wanted. I asked him for references but he said he can't borrow me his DVD's on that genre because others who borrowed them never returned it to him! [laughs] What I can say is that Eva is very sensual and interesting, and she has this thing about her where she is never afraid of death.
Iedil and Prisia at Locarno. (Photo Source: Iedil Putra Instagram).
Iedil, what was the hardest part about playing a role like Adam who has to witness horrific murder scenes as part of his job? Did you follow any forensics team to study this role?
Iedil: Thanks to a little of my medical studies experience, I did a month of elective in the emergency department. I dissected a few cadavers during my University days. That part of it kind of helped with the whole idea of 'seeing dead bodies'. However, to adapt that for Adam is a different ballgame altogether as in comes the forensics part of it. During the film's rehearsal process I was introduced to forensic photography. There was also a super thick book on forensics I was supposed to read, but I only read the intro part of it. [laughs]
Did you have to undergo any make-up effects? We saw some stills of you looking rather drained or zombie-like. What was that about?
Iedil: I think when you get into the character so much, you psychically mimic the whole mental process of it. There were no make-up effects. It's just me embodying the character. It's like how if someone says 'you look sick' then you really will start feeling sick.
Prisia and Iedil at the premiere of
their film, "Interchange".
What about you Prisia. What was the hardest part of playing your role?
Prisia: It is to find who Iva really is. At first I was like who is this girl? She keeps making people in the film confused and myself as well. So like everyone else, I never really understand the mystery behind her until I was close to finish filming. Then I figured out the motives and what made her to be who she is.
What was your experience like working with a talented director like Dain Said who ventures into unusual film territories and also your diverse fellow cast?
Prisia: What I like about Dain is that he doesn't put himself up there. He is really open to anything and he does not treat us like puppets. We are free to find our own characters but he knows the boundaries. I got to be an actor in his film. Everyone was really giving it their all into creating the film. It's what I like about it.
Iedil: Dain is very meticulous when it comes to the details. I'm bias because I'm a fanboy as well. The fact that when you see him for the first time and he is very intimidating, but he is just someone with a big personality! As for the cast, I'm very thankful to be in the same room as all of them who are very giving, driven and passionate throughout the whole process. As an actor you can get lost sometimes, but when you see the other person then you realise that you can do it together. It's good to have that support system.
What are your thoughts and feelings about "Interchange" having made its premiere at Locarno?
Prisia: I hope now the Europeans don't look at Asian movies and think that they are all the same. Hopefully they can see what are the different things that we can come up with and deliver.
Iedil: It feels big. The magnitude of it is surreal. With everything that is happening back home this is a chance to redeem ourselves and show that we still got it. It's great! we brought the whole 'kampung' here via our delegation.
(From L – R) Shaheizy Sam, Dain Said, Prisia Nasution, Iedil Putra and Nicholas Saputra.
On a more personal note, congratulations on your marriage! Can you share how that happened and how and when you guys first met?
Iedil: We met for the first time during the rehearsal process. The first time that I met her I had a meeting with Dain. So when you see an exotic girl, as a guy I was like 'who is this chick?'. I guess subconsciously we both felt it. It was only after the whole shooting process I felt like I was missing something. It could have been me just missing the shoot, but when I dug deeper I realised it was her. Not the character, but the actual person. So one thing led to another and here we are in Locarno! [Laughs]
Prisia: The funny thing about me, every time something happens to my character in the film, it happens to me in real-life as well. Same goes with "Interchange". My character meets Adam and the chemistry started since reading I guess. I mean back then he had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend, and at that point we understood each other as actors I guess.
Prisia and Iedil in a scene from "Interchange".
What are your upcoming projects that we can look forward to?
Iedil: This is the only thing that I'm looking forward to this year! [Laughs] Oh and I also star in the September release, "Pekak" and then in November I will be Tokyo for the staging of "Nadirah" under Asian Cafe Theatre section. Jo Kukathas is going to direct it!
Prisia: I have several films that I have shot and they're not out yet. In September I will be shooting in Australia with an Australian cast.
"Interchange" comes to Malaysia this 1 December 2016.
Cinema Online, 16 August 2016