DA MAN Darling: Nadila Ernesta

Going with the flow. From playing a nerdy, bespectacled role to winning the Best Asian Supermodel in South Korea; actress Nadila Ernesta has taken it all in stride. As her career grows, Nadila wears her positive outlook on life like a goodluck charm. By Petricia Yuvita

 Dress by Red Valentino

Darling Nadila Ernesta tells DA MAN during a recent photoshoot  “I’m not the type of person who thinks too much, I prefer to just ‘go with the flow.’” When many other people Nadila’s age are struggling with how life works, Nadila thinks differently, “I’m actually feel blessed because I am already independent and moving forward in such an age.” Nadila also feels that now is the best time for her to try everything in her life, “I’m actually very curious about how office workers really work behind the desk. I always wonder how it feels to be working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., just wondering. In my age, I think it’s normal to try things, you know.” Being cast for the role as the funny girl in Inikah Rasanya (2004) was her first step in the entertainment world. “A friend introduced me to my current manager, along the way, somehow that friend just disappeared, you know. That friend just went missing without me having the opportunity to say ‘thank you.’”

Outfit by Etro

Asked about her experience playing for the first time for television, “It wasn’t easy,” she recalls, “I don’t have any basic education in acting, I was learning it all by myself, when we were shooting, the director would scold me, and won’t even talk to me because I just couldn’t get the right act for the drama. It was a bad experience, but even though it traumatized me, I missed acting, but here I am [laughs].” Lucky for her, she was inspired by her uncle to hold onto her dreams and continuing to pursue success in the entertainment industry. “My uncle is my inspiration,” comments Nadila. “He is an actor himself, he also teaches, he is the man! But the real motivator actually comes from myself, I want to do everything on my own.” Participating in so many horror movies, Nadila tells DA MAN that she has become afraid of so-called “kuntilanak” (a widely held superstition in Indonesia about ghost women who died after being raped) the most. There was one time when she was a part of a sitcom in a television, “It was late, around midnight, and when one of the crew took a look at pictures of the set, there was a figure of something in one of them, and when we were shooting, someone kept throwing little fruits at us, it was very scary!” she says.

 LEFT: Top by Lanvin, headpiece by Tolentino at Masari, ring by Mawi at Masari

RIGHT: blouse by Diane Von Furstenberg, maxi skirt by Kate Spade, earrings by Lulu Frost at Masari

After her first drama, other offers came in: The years 2007 until 2009 saw the release of a number of movies she starred in, such as Miracle “Menantang Maut” (2007), Hantu Jembatan Ancol (2008), Mau Lagi? (2008), Kereta Hantu Manggarai (2008), Cintaku Selamanya (2008), Hantu Rumah Ampera (2009) and in 2011, she won the Best Asian Supermodel in South Korea. ‘It was so thrilling, I met with a lot of different people, a lot of models in Asia, with different languages, it was such an amazing experience,” she gushes. Even after winning it, Nadila feels nothing different, she is still the same Nadila as always, while reiterating that she just prefers to ‘go with the flow.‘ Asked about how she ended up getting involved in the aforementioned competition in Korea, Nadila shares about how her management team was very persistent in marketing her portfolio out there for the people from the competition to see. “Well, the competition is held every year, and when they were visiting Indonesia in search for one model or actress candidate to take part in it and represent Indonesia, they chose me. It has been such an amazing experience, really. There was even this one time when I was doing makeup and the makeup artist said ‘shutter, shutter’ and pointed her finger to one guy, and I was like ‘what?’ She then googled something on her phone and showed me the film Shutter (2008), and eventually, the guy was the one who played in Shutter! What are the odds?” recalls the girl who adores James Franco (Spiderman) with a big smile.

LEFT: Blouse, skirt and necklace by Chanel, shoes by Gianmarco Lorenzi

RIGHT: Dress by Lanvin, earrings by Lulu Frost at Masari

Having been bitten by the travel bug with recent trips to different countries, Nadila shares with DA MAN that she really wants to go to the Netherlands. “I want to live in Netherlands, my big family remains there, and my grandma said that it’s really great there. Also, it’s very easy to go to other European countries from there, only by trains, that’s what excites me the most.” When DA MAN asked her about some controversial photos of her and some friends partying, Nadila shares comfortably about the news, “well, actually, it was just a party with a bunch of friends. It was just a party, a very normal party, you know. But then you just forget that you’re an entertainer, being an entertainer means people watch you, people know you and sometimes you just forget that you are different from ‘normal people’. The reason it’s different from any other ‘normal people’ is that people would make big deals about little things that you do, even the normal things, that’s why it was big. But fortunately, in the end, the bad news just disappeared,” she explains to us casually with a smile.

Back to the here and now, Nadila tells of her future project, “I’m working on a movie production for now, it’s called Finding Srimulat. Despite the fact that ‘Srimulat’ is well-known for its funny sitcoms and a modern art project in Indonesia, the movie will tell a dramatic side behind the big name” she adds, “If I got the chance to work behind the desk like a normal office worker, I would try it. Maybe later, when I think I’m ready, when I want it and the chances come, I’ll take it! As long as I’m comfortable and happy with it, why not?”

Photographs: Nurulita
Styling: Gabriela Batti
Videographer: Nadia Ve