DA MAN Darling: Amanda Rawles of “Gossip Girl Indonesia”

As she takes on increasingly substantial roles on screen, Amanda Rawles also looks to spread her wings beyond the realm of acting.

Outfit by Lanvin

Our chat with actress, celebrity and (apparently) YouTube artist Amanda Rawles began with the boring but pretty much typical question about what she was doing these days. “Right now, I’m busy with a new project,” she begins, “for a series that’s pretty…” Then she trailed off for a bit before adding: “The series is quite a big hit abroad and now there’s an Indonesian adaption for it and I’m in it.”

Unfortunately, it’s one of those projects where the talent is meant to say “I can’t really talk about it.” And it’s a big enough deal so that those who are privy to the details will go “you’ll know soon enough” with meaningful looks on their faces. That being said, official announcements about the series—and Rawles’ role—will come out soon, probably at the beginning of next year.

Of course, working with an international was quite an eye-opening experience. “Everything was done in a more serious and careful manner,” Rawles notes, “as there’s probably a lot of ‘heads’ involved in the approval processes.” In that case, she certainly managed to impress quite a few of those “heads” to get noticed, right?

Still, as this upcoming series is still heavily under wraps, we started talking about her works for Indonesian cinema. And here, too, she’s leveling up her game. After playing as one of the leads in “Bebas” (an adaptation of the award-winning 2011 South Korean movie “Sunny”) Rawles will appear in “Ranah 3 Warna” in 2020.

“Ranah 3 Warna is based on a bestselling novel and tells the story of Alif, who wants to study abroad, pursue a career and so on,” she explains. As can be expected, the road to success is full of obstacles and challenges, but the protagonist will find the motivation he needs from the lessons of his childhood, the late great visionary B.J. Habibie and the obligatory love interest. Hint: It’s Rawles’ character Raisa.

Outfit by Louis Vuitton

That being said, expectations for the movie is pretty high. The original novel has won rave reviews and the author, Ahmad Fuadi, has a long list of awards, fellowships and achievements to his name. While it might not be groundbreaking, “Ranah 3 Warna” (or “The Earth of 3 Colors”) is a well-written and intriguing story. And it made for the perfect story for Rawles to take her acting game to a new level.

“I’ve never played a film that is inspirational,” she begins. “Usually I appear in teen dramas and the like; so, this is something new for me. And the characters of the film are quite different. Here, we have more mature roles, quite unlike the sweet schoolgirls I often play. These characters are inspiring.”

Interestingly, Rawles’ latest movie appearance, the aforementioned “Bebas” (which means “Free”), was yet another “leveling up” moment for her. “It was a new experience for me as I got to work with Miles Films, which is known for awesome movies,” she explains. “I felt that from there I began knowing more people and that I was able to build new connections while also learning about a new approach to shooting.” For those unfamiliar with the name, Miles Films is the production house behind some of Indonesia’s most celebrated movies, from the internationally-recognized “Kuldesak” to the politically-charged “Gie” and the super-famous “Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?” along with its sequel.

Outfit by Louis Vuitton

Being noticed by a storied production house is, of course, no mean feat; so is being tapped for an international filmmaking project. “The film world is incredibly competitive,” Rawles notes. “I mean, there are always newcomers and new faces. To be able to maintain your standing and to always be noticed, I think consistency is what’s most important. Being consistent in our work, always giving our best in each project and, of course, not being afraid of trying out new things and so on.”

Another important factor for anybody involved with the entertainment industry these days is social media—which would probably come as a surprise to nobody. That being said, Rawles has quite a strong presence in this arena, with a strong following on Instagram along with a subscriber and average view count that many budding YouTubers would kill for.

“These days, a lot of jobs in the entertainment sector are basically dependent on social media,” Rawles elaborates. “Like, they would actually hire you based on our followers or the way you present yourself on social media. So, I think that this is an important platform.” It goes without saying that she has had her fair share of Internet trolls, angry netizens or just random weirdos who post unwelcome comments to deal with. But, it certainly seems that Rawles is much better at navigating the turbulent social media landscape than most of her peers.

That, and she’s much more than just a pretty face fishing for likes. For one, she’s a serious YouTuber with—as mentioned earlier—a serious channel that’s pretty popular. More importantly, she’s not just the face of the channel. “I literally do everything by myself,” she excitedly points out, “from the storyboard and concept. Then I shoot the video myself and I even edit the videos myself.”

Outfit by Red Valentino

Beyond filmmaking, her current passion is music—although this is more of a hobby, something she does “to chill, where I can have my own world and feel more relaxed.” So, no, we won’t be seeing “Amanda Rawles in Concert” anytime soon. Yet, she has one final big goal she intends to pursue.
“Well, actually, aside from the projects I’m taking right now, a dream of mine that has gone unfulfilled until now is to go to college,” Rawles exclaims. “So, since last year I wanted to go to college the following year, but I never had the time to do so. I hope that other than working on awesome projects and I can continue my education. The plan is for me to focus on that in the coming year.”

And what exactly does she intend to study? “I’m still mulling over what major to take, but so far I’m thinking about marketing—media marketing,” Rawles says with conviction in her voice. “I feel that this field matches my current profession. For my YouTube videos I often work together with brands on how to promote them. By studying media marketing, I can further explore this line of work and also build more connections. That way, I will be able to handle both sides—the acting part and also the marketing part.”

At 19 years old, Amanda Rawles still has her best years ahead of her. But it certainly seems that she’s not leaving anything to chance and is more than ready to seize the world on her own terms.

Photography Zaky Akbar
Styling Alex Zulfikar Lalisang
Makeup by Ryan Ogilvy
Hair Rangga Yusuf
Styling Assistant Safina Harys
Styling Intern Fitria Ayunisa
Location Pullman Hotel Central Park;
Jl. Let. Jend. S. Parman Kav. 28;
Jakarta; +62 21 292 000 88;