Jefri Nichol Shows He is More Than Just Drama

QUALITY GUARANTEED. Jefri Nichol chats with DA MAN’s Riga Ramadhan about his early steps into film-making and his passion for nature

Outfit by John Varvatos

There is no easy way to break into the world of acting. Beginning actors must often take their own first steps towards auditions and casting calls. But, if you’re lucky enough, these two will somehow come to you when you least expect it. This is how Jefri Nichol got his break. In fact, hearing him recount his life’s story feels like going through the flashback journey of a supermodel. There’s the regular person doing regular things in real life, then suddenly comes a random person who just happens to be scouting. The rest, as they say, is history.
“When I was in junior high school, one time I was just strolling through the mall with my family and I accidentally met Baetz,” Nichol recalls. “He approached me and asked: ‘Do you want to be an artist? You’ll play in a series first and then shoot some commercials.’ Without hesitation I said yes and afterwards, I got a couple of series and ads that led to ‘Pertaruhan,’ my very first movie.”

Outfit by Diesel

Debuting in “Pertaruhan,” which literally means “Gambling,” was quite an experience for Nichol, especially since it meant an opportunity to work with one of Indonesia’s top actors. “I performed with Tio Pakusadewo himself,” Nichol says with pride in his voice. “He was my first mentor and I consider him to be my own father. We just talked about everything and I learned a lot from his experience.”
Since that moment, Jefri Nichol drew more and more attention. It certainly helped that he got to play as Nathan, a classic heartthrob role, in his second movie, “Dear Nathan.” At 18 years old, the Jakarta-born actor certainly has an impressive resume compared to most of his peers. So far, his filmography includes such titles as “Jailangkung,” “A: Aku, Benci & Cinta,” “One Fine Day” and the upcoming “Surat Cinta untuk Starla.”

Outfit by Ben Sherman

Interestingly, even though most of his films are dramas, Nichol doesn’t want to be remembered as a drama actor. Like many young artists, he wants to do something that will create a lasting impact among the people who watches his movies. For his dream role, Nichol says: “I want to explore something dark like crime drama. Something like Brad Pitt’s role in ‘Se7en,’ Robert De Niro’s ‘Taxi Driver’ or a complete trilogy like ‘The Godfather.’ I want something as memorable as possible.”
That being said, he still remembers and appreciates the childhood moments that shaped him. “Basically, I grew up watching a lot of movies,” Nichol goes into more detail. “And my interest in movie really grew.” Of the movies and actors that inspire him, he says: “From ‘the Great Gatsby’ to the ‘City Lights,’ from Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro to Mathias Muchus and Tio Pakusadewo. I watch a lot of them and somehow that made me realize I wanted to become like them. They are my role models.”

Outfit by Paul Smith

Acting, however, was not the only thing that Nichol is passionate about. Nature is another issue that constantly draws his attention. “I grew up watching National Geographic and Discovery channel. I really, really love nature,” he gushes. “The way they talk about animals that will go extinct, about hunters that target sharks for their fins, about the world’s growing appetite for burning forests in order to get palm oil. Many people out there don’t care about stuff like this, but I have concern about that.”

“Many people out there don’t care about these kind of stuff, but I have a concern about that”

As the questions turn to the future and whether he has aspirations to become an activist or an actor who maintains a job like leonardo Dicaprio, he says: “Yes, I can see myself like him in the future, as an actor who happens to be an environmental activist. Maybe also becoming a director like Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson and Gaspar Noé.”
Lofty aspirations, for sure; but Nichol is still young. How will he eventually grow? Only time will tell, of course. Still, the world can always use another artist with a passion for his craft and compassion for his world.

Outfit by Ben Sherman

Outfit by Ben Sherman

Out Takes:

Outfit by John Varvatos

Outfit by Paul Smith

Outfit by Paul Smith

Photography Vicky Tanzil
Styling Peter Zewet
Photography Assistant Kezia Adina
Styling Assistant Koko Namara
Grooming & Hair Arimbi
Videography Dimas Anggakara