Exclusive Feature: Rio Dewanto Talks His First Big Break to Stardom, “Comic 8 Casino Kings” and More Upcoming Movies

LOOKING AHEAD. Actor Rio Dewanto is on a roll, with a stream of his upcoming movies set to grace the big screen in 2015. But off camera, the newlywed often travels far to dive into the deep blue seas across the country. No wonder the Calibre de Cartier Diver watch got his attention, while the down-to-earth thespian also took interest in the many other classy timepiece offerings from refined French brand Cartier


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Tank MC in steel case with black alligator leather strap
Outfit by Lanvin, ring by Cartier

The world of showbiz is unlike any other. People come and go at the speed of light, and the cutthroat environment sees many dreams go up in smoke. It’s a rather fickle industry, one could say, and many who have been able to successfully bask in the spotlight for more than a few moments can often hardly keep their feet on the ground. Stardom can even become an invisible power; one that sets celebrities apart from mere mortals. And though perhaps a somber thought, this is simply the nature and the price of fame.

However these undeniably intriguing series of contemplations, of what fame can do to a person, don’t appear to resonate much with what Rio Dewanto is going through at the moment. Still just 27-years-old, the Indonesian actor has been churning out film after film over a short period of six years, starting when he first joined the cast of movie “Pintu Terlarang” (The Forbidden Doors). Up until now, it would seem that he just hasn’t had time to get caught up with fame.

“The start of my career was pure coincidence,” Dewanto fesses up with a shy smile. “Back then, I was completely unaware of what acting and showbiz was. The only time I had been in front of the lens was for a modeling gig for a now-defunct magazine.”

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Ballon Bleu de Cartier Extra-Flat in pink gold case with brown alligator leather strap
Outfit by Lanvin, ring by Cartier

Never afraid to reveal his infectious trademark smile, the talented thespian is blessed with versatile looks, which allow him to transform before the camera into characters of various cultures and races, from Bataknese to Chinese. “But not Ambonese,” he breaks in with laughter, recalling a role he was offered some time ago. “I don’t have those big doewy eyes, and I don’t think any amount of makeup wold help either in this case.”

The next ten minutes of conversation takes Dewanto back in time, to when he got his first big break into stardom. “When I auditioned for ‘Pintu Terlarang,’ I only snagged the role of an extra with no dialog. But then there was this one scene when I got to chat with Joko Anwar, the director, and he suddenly made a promise that he’d create a film for me.” Anwar made good on his promise in 2012 by directing a horror flick called “Modus Anomali” starring Rio Dewanto as the lead actor.

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Ballon Bleu de Cartier in steel case and bracelet
Outfit by T.M Lewin, ring by Cartier

Dewanto admits that in order to perfect his acting skills, he has over the years taken multiple courses, including being taught by senior actor Tio Pakusadewo. “It’s actually hard to describe what good acting is, but an actor should at least master basic acting skills that can be learned through vocal exercises, body gesture analysis and even yoga, will help us stay flexible and relaxed when stepping into a new role.”

 Speaking of roles, 2015 seems to be a golden year for Rio Dewanto. “Bulan di Atas Kuburan” (The Moon over the Cemetery) and “Love & Faith” are two of his upcoming films scheduled to premiere in the New Year. There’s also the sequel to “Comic 8,” in which Dewanto promises his appearance to be one of a kind. “I do my own makeup and I even have my teeth colored gold for the part,” he giggles excitedly. Also on the roster is a novel-adaptation film telling the story of writer Fira Basuki and her late husband. “Atiqah [his wife] will be playing Fira Basuki and I her husband. When offered the roles, at first Atiqah and I were concerned that playing husband and wife on screen might affect our prospects for future roles, that we would only be cast together rather than individually. But since the genre is quite interesting, we decided to take the risk together.”

“I like watches that can be passed down from generation to generation. If I have a son in the future, I’ll pass on the watches to him when he gets married”


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Calibre de Cartier Diver in steel case with black rubber strap
Outfit by Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, ring by Cartier

Dewanto later admits that he and his wife sometimes pair up when practising for roles. While some might take issue with the idea of having one’s spouse working in the same professional field, the newlyweds are determined to make the best out of the situation. Sharing the same passion for scuba diving, both often travel to remote islands to explore deep blue seas inbetween film shoots. “For instance, after I wrapped the film ‘Mursala’ in Sumatera, Atiqah flew straight out to join me in Tapanuli for a diving holiday.”

Asked about the dive sites they’ve been so far, Dewanto mentions Komodo, Wakatobi, Lombok and Bali. What about Raja Ampat? “Maybe sometime in 2015,” enthuses the amicable actor as he tries on the new Calibre de Cartier Diver timepiece. He observes it carefully and smiles once again before commenting, “I like this one the most. It’s manlier, and it’s black.” Like a child in a toy store, his eyes lit up just by looking at Cartier’s watch collection. “So far, I have 12 watches at home, some given to me by my dad. I like watches that can be passed down from generation to generation. If I have a son in the future, I’ll pass on the watches to him when he gets married.”

See what’s going on behind the scene:

Photography Panji Indra

Styling Peter Zewet

Styling Assistant Triska Putri

Photography Assistant Masrul Fadli

Grooming Ria Sambuaga

Styling Intern Yovana Elita

Videography Dimas Anggakara

Location Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta,

Jl. M.H. Thamrin No.1, Jakarta; +62 21 2358 3800