Meet the three young actors who rule the world of “Gossip Girl Indonesia.” DA MAN’s Anindya Devy chats with the three individuals about the hit web-series.
BASKARA MAHENDRA – THE HUSTLER
Baskara Mahendra plays as the outsider in the series but in the film industry, he is definitely not.
Baskara Mahendra is on the path to make his name in the film industry. Before landing his role un “Gossip Girl Indonesia”, he was already involved in several Indonesian films—and successful ones too, if one might add. But he hasn’t always been an actor. Mahendra actually started his career working in an office while being offered modeling jobs. It wasn’t until he landed a supporting role in a film titled “My Generation” by director Upi Avianto and learned about the film industry that he realized that he wanted to be in the biz. Not long thereafter, Mahendra resigned from his day job, joined a management agency and began his acting career. From there, he appeared in local music videos, web series and soon enough, more films. In a mere three years, Mahendra has joined six film projects and now, he landed a role in the GoPlay original series “Gossip Girl Indonesia.” So, that decision to quit the office life seems to work out just fine for him.
In the “Gossip Girl Indonesia” series, Mahendra plays as Danny Hakim, originally Pen Padgley’s character Dan Humphrey. You can say that Danny is the outsider, the sensitive boy next door who longs after the most popular girl in school, who is way out his league. Casting for the role was held back in September 2019 and it was not an easy process. Nia Dinata, the director, mentioned in an interview that she was having the hardest time casting the male actors. While DA MAN asked all three actors featured here about their respective characters, Mahendra admitted that he was originally interested in Chicco (Jerome Kurnia’s role). Mahendra eventually auditioned for the roles of Danny and Nathan (Arya Vasco’s role) and ended up with Danny, which is perfect for him, because he doesn’t really have that approachable aura about him—a trait that is seen on the characters he missed out on. The production team then started filming in early November and wrapped things up in January. By February, “Gossip Girl Indonesia” was ready to be streamed, with a new episode launched each week.
Mahendra admitted that he never watched the original series before and just watched the first season (the original series ran for six seasons) while researching for his role in the Indonesian adaptation. So, when filming started, he put his trust in the director and the showrunners. In return, he gave his best performance.
“Gossip Girl” may sound like a series intended for younger viewers as the story revolves around the lives of privileged upper-class adolescents and their love lives; but the characters in it are actually quite deep and complicated. They’re manipulative, narcissistic and full of hidden agendas. Naturally, we asked Mahendra about his character and what he thinks about him. To that, Mahendra honestly said that he doesn’t like Danny. Don’t take it the wrong way, mind you, but as a character, Mahendra thinks that Danny is a hypocrite. He hates the upper-class lifestyle yet he is always in the thick of it—which is what Mahendra finds particularly annoying. Needless to say, he is very much a different person compared to the character he’s playing. Even though he didn’t talk as much as his fellow cast members during the interview, Mahendra certainly seemed confident and was a natural in front of the camera. He makes acting effortless.
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