MISS UNSTOPPABLE. There is simply no stopping multi-talented actress Tatjana Saphira from realizing her full potential. With Gabriela Yosefina, she talks about her upcoming movie, her musical TV series and her penchant for writing
Dress by Lanvin
A mid Indonesia’s constant lookout for the next big star, Tatjana Saphira emerges as the perfect up-and-coming ingénue. She ticks all the boxes of what makes a star. Young, beautiful and talented, with just the right dose of cute-meet-sexy appeal, she leaves a lasting impression on pretty much anyone who sees her both on- and off-screen. Her appeal is just so convincing that after a relatively short acting stint spanning three movies and a handful of television series, she has been named one of the most promising actresses in the country.
Jumpsuit by Diane von Furstenberg
With such a rapid rise to fame, I cannot help but wonder: What makes people root for Saphira? Given how young she is—she turns 18 this year—doesn’t it seem a bit premature to laud her as the next big thing? However, this sense of pessimism quickly faded away when I eventually met her for this interview. Looking fresh even without any makeup on, the actress has indeed a one-of-a-kind beauty, thanks partly to her German-Indonesian lineage. Throughout the conversation she controls her voice with poise beyond her years and carefully threads her words, unlike other teenagers of her age who are oftentimes prone to a more blatant display of emotion. All in all, she could easily pass for a mid-twenty-something who has fully figured her life out.
Dress by Fendi
Her maturity and confidence come through because she has indeed figured out what she wants to do with her life since early on. “I have always wanted to be an actress since I was still a little girl. I would watch movies and said to myself ‘Yeah, I want to do that.’ Slowly but surely, I guess, the universe opened a path for me,” the Taurean says in a soothing tone. “There were many struggles at the beginning of my career but I do believe that to get something worth having, one should be ready to fight. There was a lot of waiting, rejections, negative commentaries … I did have a choice to give up, but I didn’t want to. Every rejection motivates me to try harder until I can make it.” Her persistence eventually paid off: After “Runaway” and “Get Married,” the starlet is about to star in one of her biggest movies to date, “Negeri Van Oranje” (The Land of Van Oranje).
Dress by Louis Vuitton
As hinted in the title, filming of the movie will take place in the Netherlands. Saphira will play a student pursuing a master’s degree there—a role that is quite a departure from her real life. “It is challenge for me because I have to be more mature and to have a mindset like a master’s student. So, these days I have been getting references from a handful of movies and hanging out with my co-stars a lot to get into the character. The story is about a group of friends who are studying in the country, so we have to be close with each other. We even have to address each other with our character’s names, and we’re ‘fined’ Rp.5,000 if we fail to do so,” she lets out a laugh.
The co-stars she mentions are actually a group of renowned Indonesian actors, each with plenty of movie credits under their belts: Arifin Putra, Abimana Aryasatya and Chicco Jerikho. In working with these seasoned actors, the young actress humbly admits that she is “quite new in this industry” before adding that she has learned a lot from them in this production. She also mentioned she has been tremendously inspired by the acting abilities of Reza Rahardian, one of Indonesia’s most talked-about thespians. “He is a versatile actor with roles that vary widely from one movie to another. I want to be like him. I want to take on more challenges in my future roles.”
Outfit by Louis Vuitton
Up to this point, Saphira’s feminine, soft-toned voice seems to belie an ambitious and determined personality. Somehow, her character in a musical TV series, “Stereo,” resembles that description, too. In the show, she plays Dara, a university student who is unaware of her musical talents, but steps up to lead a choir group once her potential is discovered. “I was initially surprised when they offered me the role because I am not a singer. Apparently, my mom uploaded a video of me singing to YouTube, and they checked it out. A week after the casting they called me and told me that I was in. At first I wasn’t confident with myself because, as I told you before, I am not a professional singer. I just perform with whatever I have. However, the other actors in the series are actually singers who also learn how to act. We are all learning outside of our comfort zones.”
“Go for it, don’t let anybody hold you back”
With so many projects on her plate, Saphira does seem unstoppable. Her motto “Go for it, don’t let anybody hold you back” has proven to be a mantra that has opened a lot of doors. So, what’s on the horizon after movies and music? “This year I want to write a fiction novel. I have been planning to do it for quite some time but my schedule is almost always busy. After this movie I’d like to take a break to just travel and use my time to write. I want to write a story that can change people’s point of view. It will be about an adventure—about understanding and discovering yourself.”