Farid Kamil: Local actors are on par with Hollywood

Farid Kamil: Local actors are on par with Hollywood

Farid Kamil says that local actors can also work well with Hollywood directors.

Farid Kamil is no doubt one of the biggest names in the local movie industry, having starred in more than 30 movies.

Aside from acting, Farid is also a filmmaker, who, through his directorial debut "V3: Samseng Jalanan", was nominated for Best Director at the 23rd Malaysia Film Festival (FFM23).

Recently, the actor-director has joined a new big budget project, an adaptation of the popular novel "Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba".

Farid will be playing the role of Amaruddin, alongside Zul Ariffin who plays the titular Tombiruo. Other cast members include Nabila Huda, Dato' M. Nasir, Faye Kusairi and Dynas Mokhtar.

Cinema Online recently had the chance to visit the set of the movie – produced by Astro Shaw, Ideate Media and Grup Buku Karangkraf – at Hulu Langat, Selangor.

Farid spared some time to sit down and talk to us about his experiences filming the upcoming movie, ""Tombiruo: Penunggu Rimba".

Farid Kamil watching a playback of his scene.

Cinema Online: How has the filming been?
Farid Kamil: We're into our 44th day now and everything has been going smoothly and as scheduled so far. We have about a month more to wrap up filming.

What are the challenges you've faced during filming?
Alhamdulillah, I did not face any trouble during filming as we have done practice before going to set, so when filming started, everyone already knew what to do and this made it easier for everyone, even the actors.

It's also a new experience for me, working with a production that uses a "Hollywood approach", where they don't work for more than 12 hours and are not rushing to finish every scene. So I am able to focus and give my best commitment in every scene that involves me especially the action scenes.

You did almost all of the action scenes even though you have a stunt double, care to share with us why so?
I've always done my own action scenes if I feel that I am capable of handling them, because they gave me a sense of fulfilment. Just like in this movie where almost all of the action scenes I did them myself without using a stunt double. I will only use the double for a few light action scenes that don't show my face.

Doing his own stunts is no big deal to the actor, despite injuring his hand when he
accidentally punched a camera during filming.

How is it like working with Nasir Jani, who returns to directing after 30 years, and Seth Larney, who has worked on a few Hollywood productions?
It's a very memorable experience for me. Both directors are well aware of their own tasks, Nasir Jani focuses more on the story-telling, drama and acting, while Seth Larney focuses more on the technical aspects, bearing responsibilities for the action scenes. As an actor, getting to work with a director who's worked on Hollywood productions made me more determined to give my best, to prove that local actors can also meet the requirements set by a Hollywood director.

Hence, everytime I do my action scenes, I will give my best and will keep asking Seth [for approval] in every action scene. If he only says "okay", I will keep reshooting the scene until he finally claps his hands and says "good".

Did you injure yourself during filming?
Only a minor injury. We were filming a fight scene and I was too focused until I didn't realise the camera was too close to me and I ended up punching it. It happened so fast and my hand was bleeding. But it was not a serious injury.

Your character, Amiruddin, aren't you afraid of what others might say of the way you portray it since everyone already has their own image of the character?

Not at all. This is not the first time for me to play a role adapted from a novel as before this I had also starred in the "Lagenda Budak Setan" franchise. As it is with this movie, I know every reader has their own image of the character and I will not be able to satisfy them all. So what I do is I neutralise Amiruddin so that audiences will be able to accept the character.

What are your hopes for this movie?
I hope that the audiences will support the movie once it is released. It is a high quality movie and it definitely will not disappoint the audiences. Just like my previous movies, I want this one to do well at the box office and I also wish for it to be released internationally.

(Photo source: Farid Kamil's Instagram)

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