THE BEST OF ME. Samuel Rizal sits down with DA MAN’s Riga Ramadhan for a chat about “Eiffel … I’m in Love” and his ventures outside the movie industry
Outfit by Ermenegildo Zegna
Samuel Rizal rose to prominence as a cool teen heartthrob when he starred in the romantic comedy film “Eiffel … I’m in Love” back in 2003. In case you don’t remember this one, here’s a short recap: “Eiffel…I’m in Love” was a massive hit back in its day because the movie was shot in Paris and perfectly captured the magnetism of the love and hate relationship between Tita (Shandy Aulia) and Adit (Samuel Rizal). And, of course, it also featured the Eiffel tower—which is still a powerful symbol of romance—as the perfect backdrop.
We caught up with Samuel Rizal in the middle of January, only a couple of days away from the release of “Eiffel…I’m in Love 2,” the sequel of the above mentioned hit. That day, Sammy—his famous nickname—arrived at the photo shoot location wearing a basketball tee and shorts, which is something you wouldn’t expect from a male celebrity. During the shoot, the 37-year-old pulls off poses and follows directions effortlessly. That alone speaks volumes of his experience in showbiz.
Outfit by Burberry
“‘Eiffel…I’m In Love’ is special to my heart,” he says with passion, opening the conversation. “you want to know why? Because this film marked a milestone in my movie career.” As mentioned earlier, Rizal plays as Adit, the male lead who must deal with the fact that he’s often misunderstood and appears as harsh and unfeeling to those around him.
Looking back now, Rizal can’t hide his pride of being featured in the movie. “Even though this is my second movie, but somehow wherever I go, my fans always call out to me with ‘Hi Adit!’ or ‘Adit, where’s Tita?’ and so on,” he quips. “In the end, I guess it worked out for the entire cast, Shandy Aulia and myself. we had a lot of fun doing it.” Rizal also admits to having watched the first “Eiffel…I’m in Love” over and over again in order to prepare himself for the sequel and praises it as the most memorable movie he ever made.
“Even though this is a new business for me and my friends, I’m delving into this new endeavor with all my heart”
As the shooting process for “Eiffel…I’m in Love 2” wrapped up last year, the former basketball player sets his eyes on new ventures. “I’m now preparing for a new film called ‘Target’” he clarifies. “It’s going to be an action comedy, and will be released during Lebaran this year. that’s all I can say because, you know, I can’t talk about the rest of it right now, just like I can’t talk about the story of ‘Eiffel … I’m in Love 2’. I just don’t want to give out any spoilers.”
But what is it that drew Rizal to acting in the first place? “I was a national junior U-18 basketball athlete. One time, after practice, I was approached by a casting director and told me to try casting for the horror movie ‘Tusuk Jelangkung,’” he recalls. “I got the role, but, I think if you saw me back then during audition, you wouldn’t believe that I still am an actor today,” he calmly notes while adding that that he has never actually studied acting or filmmaking.
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For his dream role, Rizal wants to “play something different from my previous movies. I’ve already played a part in a horror movie, and then drama. Now I’ve got a chance in an action comedy. I’m really looking forward to seeing what life brings me.” Still, he points out that he’s up to the challenge of playing any kind of character in the future.
The conversation then turns to the future, including whether Rizal has any plans to try his hand at something outside of the movie industry—something that many of his peers have done or are doing right now. “Absolutely,” he concedes. “As I evolve, I always look for something new to play. Right now I have a new business with my friends in the food industry. It’s called ‘Warung Teduh.’”
Outfit by Lanvin
Going forward, Rizal is quite happy with his new business venture. “Even though this is a new business for me and my friends, I’m delving into this new endeavor with all my heart, because I always give 100-percent of myself for every single project,” he goes on. “Be the best and do the best, that’s always going to be my favorite saying as well as my way of life. So, whatever kind of work I do later, I will do my best, and then the rest will follow.”
Shirt by Burberry
Outfit by Gucci