Exclusive Feature: Pevita Pearce

YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL. The sweet girl next door with an extraordinary drive, Pevita Pearce is full of sweet contradictions. To Olivia Hidajat, she reveals a softer side under layers of an otherworldly persona.

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Dress and bracelet by Michael Kors

Opening the heavy doors to a whitewashed studio flooded with blaring lights, Pevita Pearce, in a simple black T-shirt and jeans, steps into the threshold with the effortless gesture of a swan treading gently in the water. Amid numerous pairs of hands grappling to prep the current silver screen sweetheart for her photoshoot, Pearce appears every bit in her element and gets right down to business with a sharp adeptness that seems to betray her age.

Born to an Indonesian mother and a Welsh father, the young actress was raised in a multicultural household where the children’s talents were nurtured and plenty of encouragement to pursue one’s dreams was generously given. With her love for theaters and films, it was easy to spot where Pearce’s talents lie, even at an early age. “I had a unique upbringing where the arts, film and theater were always present,” explains the doe-eyed starlet. “I started acting when I was in grade school. I was very lucky to realize early on what I wanted to do, what I was passionate about.”

Pearce’s early experiences in front of the cameras molded her into a driven character with an insatiable appetite for sharpening her craft. Having secured a bevy of credentials under her belt—among them, a 2008 FFI Best Actress nomination for her role in the movie “Lost in Love”—the passionate thespian is only getting started.

Her latest venture, the national blockbuster flick “Tenggelamnya Kapal Van der Wijck,” reveals Pearce’s diverse range as an actress. Landing the role of the leading lady, the determined actress was faced with a challenge of embodying the role of a woman living in a different era, whose oppressive background immensely contrasted to Pearce’s own independent upbringing. “I was doubtful at first. Absolutely,” she admits when asked about her preparation for the role. “After the table reading, I approached the director and told him that I don’t think I’d be able to personify the character. But in spite of what I said, he still had faith in me. That gave me the motivation to do the film.”

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Outfit by La Perla

Overcoming her insecurities has its rewards, as ravings of her performance in the film are spattered across review pages. When asked about bridging the gap between the tragic life of her character and her own experience, she candidly explains, “To me, Hayati’s innocence is what brought her downfall. It was because of her lack of experience and her blind obedience that she suffered a tragic end. I could relate to her because there are times when I still feel like I haven’t had much experience in life.”

Although there are indeed similarities between Pearce and her character, the lives of the two could not take on more contrasted shapes. The former is bound for a more fulfilled, independent existence and, with her thirst for knowledge, the keen, bright-eyed actress confesses to a pastime of reading biographies of renowned entrepreneurs. “I like reading about how successful people get to where they are,” she opens up. “From these books, I’ve learned that if you want something, you have to work hard to get it. Nothing is given to you for free.”

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Blazer, pants and necklace by Michael Kors

“I had a unique upbringing where the arts, film and theater were always present. I was very lucky to realize early on what I wanted to do.”

Putting her decree to practice, Pearce makes time amid her busy schedule to create an accessories line aptly monikered Hippearce, with pieces bearing signs emblematic of the flower power era. Working with materials like gold-plated chrome, the aspiring entrepreneur enthusiastically exhibits one of her creations: a dusty gold necklace displaying a symbol of peace. “If I could have it my way, I’d like to experience what it was like to live during the hippie movement,” she animatedly exclaims. “I’d like to explore the philosophy of the era.”

Aside from putting her entrepreneurial skills into use with her accessories line, Pearce also experiments with her design sensibility by collaborating with denim label Pop Meets Pop. Assuming the roles of both the brand ambassador and a designer, the multi-talented actress created an underworld-meets-streetwear-themed collection consisting of overalls, reversible jackets and vests, launched during the 2013 Jakarta Fashion Week. “I had a lot of fun conceptualizing and designing. I wanted to create something timeless, because, to me, denim is a fashion item that’ll always be there,” she elaborates.

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Dress by Etro

Staying true to her love for acting, Pearce has high hopes for the future of the Indonesian film industry. “There are so many undiscovered, talented individuals here,” she enthuses. “I hope Indonesia will keep on churning out films and showcase the talents of our filmmakers.” Naming Johnny Depp, Chloe Moretz and Leonardo DiCaprio among her role models, the driven actress doesn’t plan on slowing down and aspires to portray darker, more complex roles that place on the opposite spectrum to her own sensibilities. “That’s the fun of acting, isn’t it? To embody someone else completely and to be lost in that character… you really learn a lot,” she muses.

As the interview approaches its end and the questions take a personal turn, the sprightly actress appears bashful when asked about the special person in her life. “Well, right now, there are many special people in my life,” she shyly replies. “I have my family, my friends and people whom I cherish, but I’ve just been too busy to find that someone.” The self-proclaimed workaholic tells that the majority of her time is filled with work and that she has not taken enough time for herself. But when the rare chance of having a vacation comes, her favorite tropical island serves as a go-to spot for the much-needed relaxation. “I love Bali. There are always beautiful, untouched places to discover in Bali.”

Slipping out of her cozy slippers and into a pair of sky-high heels for the photoshoot, the fresh-faced starlet completes the last step of her transformation from a youthful actress to a femme fatale ready for everything the world has to throw in her way. Poised and posed for the first click of the camera, Pearce casually adds, “Whatever I’m doing, I hope that I’ll always be happy. It’s the most important thing,” she concludes with an endearing smile.

Check out the behind-the-scene video:

Photographer Ricko Sandy
Stylist Asti Tiara
Makeup & Hair Arimbi
Videographer Dimas Anggakara