The Woman Who Takes It All – Jessica Iskandar talks about her business ventures, the TV industry and shares a special message for her son with DAMAN
Jessica Iskandar, famously known as Jedar, has a long career in the Indonesia’s entertainment industry. At the beginning of her journey, before entering the world of entertainment, Iskandar attended the John Casablanca modeling school. She then tried out for multiple castings and finally landed a role as Karra in the movie “Dealova.” That marked her debut on the silver screen and was also became the one that catapulted her to fame. Her career continued with the movie “Diva” back in 2007. After that came soap operas as well as a lot of television movies starting from 2008. She also became the host of multiple TV shows. Safe to say, Iskandar has definitely grown into one of the most familiar faces on TV and cinema alike.
Aside to that, Iskandar, who has hosted variety shows like “Dahsyat” and “Pesbukers” (Facebookers), released a mini album back in 2010, and two books, titled “Jedar: Jessica is Jessica” along with “Jedar Power: Love, Life, Lord.” Of the latter, she mentioned that the book recounts her experiences while she was expecting her first child, El Barack Alexander.
Besides acting and becoming a TV host, it seems that there’s also a businesswoman’s brain inside her head, as Iskandar also operates Baby El Bakery and is the creator of the Jedar J cosmetic brand. Iskandar is, essentially, one of those figures who is not only successful in the world of entertainment, but also made it in the business world with ventures into fashion, F&B as well as beauty. Jedar cosmetic in particular, was the culmination of her dream to create her own brand. She has fallen in love with cosmetics from a long time ago and has become rather obsessed with it. Following that revelation, she decided that it was time to make her own formula.
If anything, her recent works speaks volumes of her talent and, perhaps more importantly, her impressive versatility: From model to singer, TV host to comedian, to mother and also a businesswoman. Then, there’s also her work outside of the TV industry and outside the reach of cameras. With new episodes from TV shows “Ngopi Dara” and “Netijen” well under way on national TV and her latest venture into the realm of YouTube, Iskandar certainly has a lot on her plate these days. Still, she manages to fit in a photoshoot into her busy schedule, alongside her fiancée, the actor, model and presenter Richard Kyle.
As for Richard Kyle, having made his acting debut only a couple of years ago, Kyle is technically still a newcomer in the Indonesian movie industry. But then again, despite being relatively new, Kyle’s early years were filled with notable roles in notable productions. We first had the chance to chat with the model-turned-actor back in 2015 for the Fall/Winter issue of DAMAN Style and then later on our October/November 2016 edition, before appearing on the cover of our February/March 2018 edition.
All in all, some artists are hailed as having, or being, a “complete package.” If Iskandar isn’t one yet, she’s certainly on her way to becoming a prime example of it. Even though she’s not always a woman of many words, Iskandar certainly has a tale to tell. But then again, don’t just take our word for it; let the actress and entrepreneur herself tell you of her recent adventures and future goals.
DAMAN: Hi Jessica, thanks for having us. What keeps you busy these days?
Jessica Iskandar: Hi! Thanks for having me! I’ve been busy being a mother, and then shooting for my TV shows, my projects as well as my YouTube channel, taking care of my business. To top it off, I just got engaged to Richard Kyle. Now, we’re still preparing for the wedding day. So, yeah. In other words, I’m completely busy living my life to the fullest. I think I need more than 24 hours a day.
DAMAN: By the way, would you say that this has been your dream since childhood? To become an entertainer, that is…
Jessica Iskandar: Unfortunately, it’s a no. When I was a kid, I wanted to become president. I wanted to have my own country and I wanted to rule the world. But, life happens and I’m here, becoming an entertainer. First of all, when I was 16, I entered a modelling school. after that I started my modelling career. And the rest, as they say, is history.
DAMAN: To say that you have done a lot of things would be an understatement. From modelling, then acting, then becoming a singer, a TV host and also a comedian. What was it that motivated you to try your hand at so many things?
Jessica Iskandar: I don’t know why, but maybe because I do everything with my heart. With my passion. So, everything went kind of really easy for me, and that’s why I keep doing this for more than fourteen years. No reason at all.
DAMAN: You’ve also created your very own cosmetic brand: Jedar Cosmetic. What’s the story behind this?
Jessica Iskandar: The story behind it was just because I do make up every single day. I like make up and I like to make myself beautiful. Also, I like to share my tips and my secret weapons, so that’s why I created it in the first place.
DAMAN: Are you involved in all facets of this business? Or do you just run parts of it?
Jessica Iskandar: Actually, the one who running this business is my brother Erick. But to answer your question, it’s a yes. I am involved in every aspect from the design, color, formula and everything about Jedar Cosmetic. He will ask my opinion about all of them and then we make a decision.
DAMAN: You mentioned about your new YouTube channel. On that note, how important is social media for you?
Jessica Iskandar: It’s important enough. Because through social media, you can share about your world, giving tips and sharing your life with your followers and your fans. To top it off, social media also can give you money. Like a lot of money.
DAMAN: Does this mean that you are planning to become a full time content creator?
Jessica Iskandar: Definitely. It feels like I can do more shows on my own YouTube channel. To be honest with you, actually I started my Youtube account six years ago. Why? Because at that time everyone’s making it, so I did it too. But I have never done it properly. Only in the last couple months I started seriously making the content. I hired a videographer, editor and I’ll be the director and the creator.
DAMAN: What do you think about the state of the TV industry?
Jessica Iskandar: When it comes to the TV industry, it’s exciting for me because every single time you can meet a lot of new people and you can learn something new every single day. Personally, for me, the TV industry is my world. Because there are so many different kinds of people down there and you have to deal with everything. You have to do your job as a professional. In short, it’s my second family. Regarding my hopes, I just hope that this industry can be stable and it can go global.
DAMAN: Do you have any particularly memorable projects on television?
Jessica Iskandar: Of course. There was a time when I was shooting in South Africa and I had to jump from a plane. It was 40,000 feet in the air. It was crazy but I did it.
DAMAN: What is it that you love about motherhood?
Jessica Iskandar: First of all, It’s a wonderful thing to be a mother. Even though there are a lot of
challenges, but I love it. It’s beautiful to be a mother. Because there’s one person coming to this world for you to take care of, and that person will always be dependent on you. It’s kind of powerful and amazing at the same time.
DAMAN: What has been the biggest lesson as a mother?
Jessica Iskandar: The biggest one is for me to be not too selfish, because I have to share my life, my time, and basically my entire world with my son.
DAMAN: What are your hopes for El?
Jessica Iskandar: I hope el can be a good man. A man that can be useful for the environment, or family or at least for himself. I hope he can be responsible, full of love, and full of hope. I hope he can grow up into a gentlemen.
DAMAN: Do you still have any dreams that you want to reach?
Jessica Iskandar: I want to help others. I want to be useful. I want to find the reason why God put me in this world. But still, I want to be more useful for others.
Photography Hariono Halim
Styling Paul Dela Merced
With special participation Richard Kyle
Styling Assistant Jerdi Anarchi
Hair and makeup Archaengela Chelsea
Location Keraton at the Plaza, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Jakarta; Jl. M.H. Thamrin Kav. 15, Jakarta; keratonattheplazajakarta.com; +62 21 5068 0000
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