A CLASS ACT. Award-winning actress Adinia Wirasti tells Gabriela Yosefina about her breakout role, combatting stereotypes and learning how to let go.
Fur by Diane von Furstenberg
Not just another successful actress, Adinia Wirasti knows her way with words. Articulate in expressing any emotional change, the Jakartan-born actress makes herself particularly clear on one point: She is a cinematic artist rather than a thespian. With more than a decade of experience and two Piala Citra awards the Indonesian equivalent of an Oscar under her belt, Wirasti has spent a fair amount of time in front of the camera. However, she remains extremely focused on her craft, speaking intently on the subject without a single trace of apathy.
Wirasti began her relationship with film during her teenage years. In 2002, she got offered a role as a tomboy high-school student in “Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?” (What’s Up with Love?) even though she was still a junior. The movie received an overwhelmingly positive response, cementing her stature as being one to watch among a new generation of actors. It was “totally unexpected,” she recalls animatedly. Conceding that her abrupt entrance into the world of acting was somewhat accidental, Wirasti’s decision to take it more seriously was almost made for her when she received a Best Supporting Actress award straight after her debut. It was for her second movie titled “Tentang Dia” (About Her).
White shirt by Adamist
Dress and belt by Michael by Michael Kors
“I am grateful for it, but at the same time, it also felt like a wake-up call. To discover that acting was not just a thing for me, that it was the thing for me, was a lot to take in at the time,” the 27-year-old explains regarding her first award. Since then, Wirasti has been extremely selective and responsible when filtering role offers, even traveling to Los Angeles to attend a one-year screenwriting program in 2008. “I like writing, but I actually learned about scriptwriting to enrich my acting skills,” she confides. “As actors, we have to be able to analyze a script because it is written with a certain vision. Therefore, learning how to properly analyze the words on a page helped me improvise better and also communicate with the writer and director more effectively.” Her attention to detailappears to be paying off five years later she won a Best Actress award for her role in “Laura & Marsha.”
Moving swiftly onto the next topic, the actress admits that she has found herself portraying similar characters in several movies. “A butch!” she exclaims loudly before the conclusion of the question. The sporty Karmen, the overprotective Rudi, the melancholy Filly, the happy-go-lucky Marsha and the identity seeker Gia are all on-screen proofs of the tomboyish persona she has come to embody so well. “It depends on your definition of tomboy, really. Mostly, I think it is the qualities of a free-spirited female character that I really identify with,” she says. “Even in the ‘tomboy’ territory, there are still a lot layers that I’m still working to perfect,” Wirasti concludes, ever dedicated to giving her best performance. Remaining on the topic of characterization, the actress continues to summarize her true calling. “What drives me when I’m acting is exploring different realms of human culture. While there will always be a stereotype to contend with, all I can do is be as honest as I possibly can, because I am the vessel of those characters that I play.”
“Fear is also a form of energy, so i neutralize its negativity by taking advantage of its power”
Though sounding impressively assertive, Wirasti does not deny that she has faced challenges. As a matter of fact, in almost all of her movies, the Cate Blanchett fan has had to overcome her fears. “On set I oftentimes realize, ‘Okay, I am scared now.’ But after this moment, it does not matter anymore. What really matters is learning how to incorporate that fear into the emotions I need to display in that scene. Fear is also a form of energy, so I neutralize its negativity by taking advantage of its power.” The confidence of her tone is striking at this point, as if neutralizing fear is something she was born to do.
Dress by Diane von Furstenberg
But apart from all this analysis, what is her take on being a good actress? “Slamet Rahardjo (legendary Indonesian actor) once told me that to be a good actor, you have to be insane which I agree. We have to cry when we are happy; we have to be cheerful when we are really tired. Some even utilize method acting when they are in character the whole time. Therefore, to be a good actor or actress, one has to be able to forget their own personality.” And she is apparently already making progress in the pursuit of this goal. “Until today I am still trying to shake off the ego in me. I want to be a mere entity, without a name, without a sense of style, without an allegiance. Of course it is really difficult to be that kind of transcendental, enlightened being. But it really is my kind of ultimate goal: to have that nothingness in me. At least for me, we live to learn how to die, to be nothing. Because, where else do we go after life?”
Watch the behind the scene video:
Photographer Robin Alfian
Stylist Peter Zewet
Styling Assistants Triska Putri & Koko Namara
Videography & Editing Dimas Anggakara
Makeup and Hairdo Yuceu Wiliasih (Utje)
Location DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jakarta (Jl. Pegangsaan Timur No.17, Cikini, Jakarta; +62 21 3190 4433; www.doubletree3.hilton.com)
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