CAUGHT IN THE ACT. With a slate of lauded acting performances, Tara Basro is undoubtedly Indonesia’s most promising actress. Gabriela Yosefina delves into the many phases of the starlet’s acting transformation and discovers her genuine personality
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Tara Basro drives her own car in the midst of Jakarta’s unfavorable traffic. She barely complaints, even though the actress is on her day-off from shooting a new movie in a location with little to no resemblance to the overly populated metropolitan. “When I got out of the plane at the Soekarno-Hatta [International] Airport the other day, I realized how hazy Jakarta’s sky really is,” she frankly speaks. “That view only reminds me that I cannot permanently be here. I have to design a life somewhere out of the big city with my future family—living a very healthy, balanced life.”
For the past two months, Basro’s “workplace” has been in Sumba, a serene island located in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. There she acts in the upcoming drama-action movie “Pendekar Tongkat Emas” (The Golden Cane Warrior), where she plays her first antagonist role, Gerhana. Produced by the renowned filmmaker Mira Lesmana and directed by the award-winning director Ifa Isfansyah, the movie centers around a crumbling kingdom that seeks to find a long lost Golden Cane Warrior to fully restore its glory. “It is a colossal movie from Mira’s and Ifa’s inspiration after reading silat comic books. The story involves power and revenge, which sound really simple and rather cliché, but packaged in a unique way,” the 1990-born explains.
Despite the straightforward storyline, the filming process is not exactly smooth sailing for the starlet. “Together with the other three main casts, I had to learn how to fight using a cane. We had to undergo a rigorous training for seven months. The whole process was a rollercoaster for us, from knowing nothing about martial arts to being able to do it on screen. Additionally, we had to read a book ‘Andai Aku Seorang Pesilat’ (If I were a Fighter), written by Whani Darmawan, to comprehend our roles better.” If any, the extensive training and the close bond between the cast trigger one unexpected problem: the cast are now too close. “We are supposed to be enemies, but we are very close in real life,” she chuckles. “The assistant director even prohibits us from hanging out together!”
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There are actually a lot of firsts for Basro in this movie, aside from getting her first antagonist role and doing action-packed scenes. Having pocketed experiences from playing roles based on real-life figures, this is the first time she portrays an imaginary character. “I have to create the character myself—it is not easy because I cannot relate it to just anyone. It is also hard since the dialogue is using a very formal version of Indonesian.” A quick draw of breath, then she calms and edits herself, “But I am having fun, you know. Those are also the reasons why I love my job so much. I get to play different lives, to be in a different situation, and to use my imagination. Being an actor truly is the best job anyone could ever have in the world, although it is not all about the glitz and glam.”
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“Being an actor truly is the best job anyone could ever have in the world, although it is not all about the glitz and glam”
THE FIRST BIG BREAK
“I forayed into acting in 2011 when an offer for ‘Catatan Harian Si Boy’ (Boy’s Journal) came. But getting into the film industry was not really my plan. I previously joined a model search done by a teenage magazine simply because I like to be photographed and dress up. But then I moved to Australia and when I was back in town, I had to struggle my way up, starting from the bottom and knowing nobody.” A couple roles after, the 24-year-old lady stumbled upon an unforgettable character during the making of her third movie, “Rumah dan Musim Hujan” (One Day When the Rain Falls). “That movie required me to embody a complex character. Suddenly I realized that this [acting] was something I love to do, that acting turned to be the outlet where I could explore a topic and relate it to myself a lot.” That better understanding over acting encouraged her to explore further in the field. Yet it was the psychological thriller movie “Killers” that struck her whole awareness as an actress.
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Despite scoring only a small role—where eve the few scenes she were in didn’t make it into the final editing for some reasons—Basro knew that the game had changed for her, “For the first time I was not trying to act anymore. I was really living the life of my character. It was like living in my own bubble.” The beautiful thespian excitedly embeds, “The movie I am currently shooting is also sick. I feel like being thrown out of my comfort zone. For someone who is scared of heights and adrenaline rush, riding a horse and using slings during the scenes are not exactly easy. To do my role, I really force myself to overcome my own fears.” Having discussed her acting far and wide, she jokingly makes a comment on how people often perceive her falsely. Basro tells in raw honesty what the few wrong first impressions she unwillingly imposes when meeting new people are.
“This is tricky, because usually people who meet me would think that I am very cocky and bitchy. Blame my strong facial features! What people don’t see is that I am very loud and such a goofball,” she chuckles once again and her eyes beam with such vivid quality of happiness. Basro’s enthusiasm for life is strongly apparent and, for the better part, inspiring to witness. “And that music is my life-saver,” she randomly changes the subject, revealing another wonderful layer of her admirable human quality that is relatable and fond. “If I don’t listen to music, I might as well be dead. In the future I’d love to do a musical project, it would be my dream,” her warm smile concludes the anticipated future ambition that only time will tell.
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Take a look at the behind the scene of the photoshoot:
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