TRUE BEAUTY. Much more than just a pretty face, inimitable actress Raline Shah proves that beneath her captivating appearance, there is dedication to her work, eloquent thought and determination to be the best. Gabriela Yosefina discovers more
Dress, ring and earrings by Lanvin
There is no denying that Raline Shah is beautiful. With that irresistible doe-eyed look, long luscious hair and graceful demeanor, one can hardly take their eyes off of her. Throughout her photo shoot for DA MAN, the handful of guests who happen to catch a glimpse of her frequently stop to admire her persona in action. However, after spending some time in her presence, it is brilliantly clear that the beauty of Shah is beyond skin deep. This 29-year-old actress possesses a kind of composure and self-control that can sometimes make people nervous—she is that self-assured and it is hard not to feel a little intimidated. And yet, Shah is simultaneously extremely candid while also not being afraid to let out her infectious laugh. Case in point: When on the subject of beauty, she utters statements like “I think there are not many beautiful people who live happily” or “People should be proud of their wrinkles.” Such statements plainly show another side of Shah that does not always come across on camera.
Beauty is a familiar topic of conversation for Shah, as her initial foray into the entertainment industry was when she joined a national beauty pageant. Plenty of offers and projects over a relatively short period of time then helped elevate her name to stardom, especially following the release of her movies “5 cm” and “99 Cahaya di Langit Eropa” (99 Lights on the European Sky). Her latest venture, the highly anticipated, star-studded movie “Supernova: Ksatria, Putri dan Bintang Jatuh” (Supernova: The Knight, The Princess and The Falling Star) further solidifies her status as one of Indonesia’s most promising actresses. Although admitting that none of her successes have been planned, Shah commits to advancing her acting craft. “For my latest movie, I take on the role of Rana, a wife of a public figure. She has a perfect husband but she is not happy. So she ends up cheating on her wonderful husband with someone equally wonderful. Being in that situation requires my character to cry a lot. And crying … no, not only crying but acting with real emotion is difficult, especially when the screen is so big, it has to be real. If you flinch or you don’t fully believe in what you are doing, the audience is going to know immediately. Therefore, throughout filming I did not see any of my friends and I did not have fun. Because this character is really quite distant from who I really am as a person.”
“I have to be the best at what I am doing, so if I am a girlfriend, I want to be a great one”
Dress by Diane Von Furstenberg
Dress by Michael by Michael Kors
Growing into a character, albeit one facing difficult emotional challenges, is actually an experience something that Shah can relate to. “My character and I, we are at the same age, and as Indonesian women, we face the same pressure to get married to a certain type of guy. There is family expectation involved and I think a lot of women will be able to connect to this character. It happens all the time: women get married young, and down the line they realize that it is not someone they are looking for.” Perhaps as a result, the Medanese actress appears wary of becoming committed to a relationship before she is ready. In fact, she seems suspicious of being in any kind of non-platonic relationship—for now, at least. “I am not seeing anyone but I am simply not available at the moment. I think I am not ready for a relationship because I am too busy with all my work. Let me put it this way: I have to be the best at what I am doing. So if I am a girlfriend, I want to be a great one. If I am an actor, then I have to be really serious and dedicated. Now is the time for the latter.”
The March-born thespian’s focus on her career shows that she fully understands the level of commitment required of her. Yet when the conversation shifts to talking about what kind of woman she aspires to be, she has similarly admirable ambitions. “I want to be the kind of woman who can do what she wants, when she wants, how she wants it,” Shah exclaims brightly. “And some men can’t handle that, right? Although there are some men who can, I am just not really interested in anyone right now.” Returning to her career, she explains, “I am just so in love with my job and my travels. I do meet amazing guys and friends during the trips, but a relationship requires intimacy, enough to reach a certain depth. Moreover, I personally don’t believe in dating. The men I meet will either be a friend or a husband-to-be! Friends with benefits, complicated relationships—they practically don’t exist for me.” With this comment, it seems certain that many men will live in hope of being in the right place at the right time for when Shah does eventually settle down.
Dress by Diane Von Furstenberg
Yet such well-formed, confident statements are those that can be expected of Shah. At university, she studied political science, new media and communications, and now she finds use of those skills within her acting career. “I learned how to analyze and predict the outcomes of different political situations. Now I use those skills to analyze my characters. Additionally, politics is a study about power, and acting is also about power: who has the power in the scene, what one character wants out of another. Our life, even, is full of politics and acting. Humans are natural-born actors—they act a certain way to certain people.”
Calmly exhibiting such smartness, candidness and gorgeousness, it would seem that Shah really does have it all. However, it is her mindfulness and presence within the moment that puts her in a whole different category. “I always feel that no matter how tired I am, how busy my schedule is, I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing, being in the best place with the best people.” And this is not an overtly philosophical take on life coming from Shah, simply because she actually practices what she preaches, “Indonesia is where I want to be. Before, I always thought that I wanted to go international, to Hollywood or to Europe, but this is no longer what I am striving for. Indonesia also needs good actors so I need to stay and be involved in the great movie scene we have here before I attempt to go abroad. I want people to understand what Indonesian culture is all about, therefore I must master my craft here first, so I can then take my Indonesian identity with me when I am under the international spotlight.” Not many actresses can envisage their career in such a way, but Shah can. For us, it only means one thing, we are officially besotted.
See what’s going on behind-the-scene:
Photography Adri Krisnadi
Styling Peter Zewet
Styling Assistant Triska Putri
Makeup Iwwan Haroun (www.iwwanharoun.com)
Hairdo Ipung De’eleriz
Videography & Editing Fickar Hajar
Location Cloud Lounge & Living Room
(The Plaza Office Tower 46th & 49th floor, Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 28 – 30, Jakarta; +62 21 2992 2450)
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