“Gundala” star Abimana Aryasatya talks to DAMAN’s Anindya Devy about his upcoming role and the boundaries in acting.
Over several years, you have seen him as an introvert, a backpacker, a father, a comedian and even a gang member. He is never the same man twice. To say that he’s a veteran in Indonesia’s film industry seems fitting as he’s been acting since 1999, even though that was not what he had in mind as a profession. If he had his way, he’d rather be a sailor.
He was in a middle of the photoshoot when I arrived. This is the second time Abimana Aryasatya appears in DAMAN, the last time was in 2015 with some of his fellow entertainers. He looks a bit tired, maybe because his latest movie “Gundala” is playing soon in August and the promotion must be at its busiest. “Gundala” is a movie by Joko Anwar and this long-awaited project has been getting a lot of buzz as people are anxious to see this one. From what we have seen in the first trailer, it looks promising and could be something that has been sorely missing from Indonesia’s film scene.
After the shoot wrapped up, I approached him and asked if he’s ready for his interview. The Jakarta-born actor is quiet in person, even a bit serious. “I didn’t go to bed until four or five AM this morning; sorry if I didn’t get your answers right, “ he said. Talking about his upcoming movie, “Gundala,” he play as Sancaka, a security guard that gets struck by lightning and gets powers from it. Oh, did we mention that “Gundala” is of a superhero movie? “Gundala” is based on a comic character created by Harya Suraminata (Hasmi) in 1969. And with the movie, they hoped to create a benchmark for the superhero genre in Indonesia. He was afraid when he first held the “Gundala” script; he feels that the responsibility was too big. If the movie fails, there might be no more superhero movies in Indonesia. It is no secret that he once refused the role due to scheduling conflicts, but Joko Anwar has basically made up his mind that Sancaka has to be played by him.
There were few preparations needed for the role. Physically, for one, as Sancaka was only a simple security guard who comes from a humble economic background. Other than that, he did some research on the original character written 70 years ago and adjustments from the script that Joko Anwar had made. The movie script was then adjusted and reworked to attract the millennials and centennials, and to better relate to the problems we face these days. The movie took 53 days to shoot at 70 locations and the most memorable moments from the shoot for him was the never-ending rain. “I don’t know if it’s because ‘Gundala’ is the son of lightning but it rains all the time.”
Every superhero needs a special suit and “Gundala” is not exception. The production team specially ordered the suit from a company based in Los Angeles, California, who worked on “Watchmen” and “Daredevil.” Besides for the better quality, the details are also needed for best results. It took the team 30-40 minutes to help him put on the suit.
Talking about being an actor, one might be inclined to assume that it’s an easy thing for him. As it turns out, it is not as simple as that. “It’s hard being an actor, at least for me,” Aryasatya points out. “But the fulfilling part is that I can try something new, finding new feelings and become someone else for a moment of time.” He admits that he won’t be an actor forever but that he will still be in the film industry; in fact he already debuted as a producer back in 2018. Many actors decide on doing a project by looking at the script, but the 36-year-old actor looked beyond that. It’s about the team, the mindset to make a great and even greater film. He never picks a character or a role, he believes that everything that comes his way is destined. “I have always said and believe that the role will choose me.”
Getting into a role for him always depends on time, conditions and his family’s blessings. If there’s enough time, he will become the character and if there’s not enough time, he will just be pretending. And it all depends on how extreme a certain character needs to be—there is a line that doesn’t need to be crossed and having a family to remind him is extremely important. “If we can’t go back to ourselves then it’s a failure.”
PHOTOGRAPHY HILARIUS JASON
STYLING JERDI ANARCHI
OUTFIT BY TOMMY HILFIGER
LOCATION THE WESTIN JAKARTA
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