JEROME KURNIA – IT IS WHAT IT IS
Out of the three actors here, Jerome Kurnia is the most courageous. With a commanding presence, he led his cast mates through the interview.
The casting director for “Gossip Girl Indonesia” did a great job with the cast of the series. When the production team first announced lineup of actors in the adaptation, Jerome Kurnia’s name was there. In the series, he portrays Chicco Salim, adapted from the character of Chuck Bass from the original “Gossip Girl” who was played by one of DA MAN’s former cover stars, Ed Westwick. Even though Chuck’s character is not exactly a crowd favorite, it’s one of those roles that needs special treatment because it is such a strong character to play. And Kurnia is up for the challenge.
He auditioned for the roles of Chicco and Nathaniel and eventually got the former. Kurnia himself admitted that he was more comfortable playing Chicco. Talking about roles, 2019 was the breakout year for this 26-year-old actor. If Baskara Mahendra or Arya Vasco started out their careers in modelling, it wasn’t that way for Kurnia, who was announcer for a local radio station in Jakarta before he jumped into acting. No wonder that out of the three, he was the best at holding a conversation and keeping a conversation going. He is articulate, confident and knows how to lead.
Kurnia eventually landed a role on the film “Dilan 1991” which was a huge success and overnight Indonesia found its new heartthrob. That movie opened up new opportunities for Kurnia as he continues to challenge his acting range. His next project was the biopic drama “Bumi Manusia” by director Hanung Bramantyo, based on the iconic book by Pramoedya Ananta Toer. That role got him a Piala Citra nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Indonesian Film Festival. After “Dilan 1991,” he would take part in two other movies—a horror flick and a romance film.
Back to “Gossip Girl Indonesia,” Kurnia tells DA MAN that he conversed with a friend who is a true “Gossip Girl” fan to get the gist of Chicco’s character. He has never watched the original series before, so after landing the role, he watched through the first season and formed his own adaptation of the character. Even though he’s expected to act like Chuck Bass, he wanted to perform his own take on the character while still following the script. Chicco is essentially the bad guy that everyone loves to hate. And by “bad guy” we mean a guy that sexually-harasses women. That being said, he is just the way he is—in a very troubled way. He’s not a hypocrite like Baskara Mahendra’s Danny. Kurnia said that he would definitely not want to be friends with Chicco, but all in all, it’s a fun character to play.
Halfway through the interview, I asked the trio whether they would hang out together when not on set seeing how the interacted with each other—it was as if they’ve known each other for a while. Turns out, that they do share the same circle of friends and hung out together a couple of times before they joined the “Gossip Girl Indonesia” cast. As we touched on the topic of fan reaction to the web series, Kurnia confidently says that of course people would be skeptical about the show, even before they actually watched it. While it’s fair, the show is in good hands and has a respectable director. He’s quite proud to be in this adaptation. That kind of attitude will definitely take him places and we’ll be watching.
PHOTOGRAPHY Hendra Kusuma
STYLING Safina Harys
STYLING INTERN Lebrina Stephanie Yesayas
LOCATION TRS Diner
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