Exploring the World of Acting with Adinia Wirasti

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. Adinia Wirasti explores the depths of acting and the industry around it with DAMAN’s Ricky Ronaldo

Dress and boots by Fendi

Entertaining seems to be such a misleading word when one is trying to describe what the entertainment industry is really like. Take film, for instance. I’m sure everybody knows—to a certain extent—that it’s not all fun and games. But we’ve been sitting on this side for too long to understand the intricacies that happen behind the screen. In fact, it can be just a little bit overwhelming to see just how much effort it takes to make us, the audience, entertained.

After a long day and an exhausting photoshoot, I sit down with Adinia Wirasti to talk about the entertainment industry and acting. The 30-year-old actress, who is primarily known for movies like “Ada Apa dengan Cinta?” (“What’s up with Love?”) or, more recently, “Critical Eleven” where she played alongside Reza Rahadian, says that whenever she starts to embody a character, she needs to be able to differentiate her “self” from the characters she’s playing.

Top and skirt by Michael Kors Collection

“I have this hot object that acts like a stimulant for me, which differentiates ‘me’ from the characters,” Wirasti says of the process. She claims that this “hot object” acts as a switch that turns her character on and off. in her most recent movie, “Critical Eleven,” the hot object she chose was Anya’s [her character] wedding ring since marriage is a big thing for her. Wirasti also mentions dyeing her hair lighter or painting her nails when she’s not in any films or projects. As a matter of fact, at the time of the interview, she was rocking white nails. “It’s like, this is Adinia and those are the characters. But me is me,” explains Wirasti. “This helps me get in touch with my personality.”

It was interesting to hear how much Wirasti talked about her “self”—as opposed to about herself—which offers us a completely different point-of-view. In fact, throughout our conversation, she often uses words like being, persona or self, and even refers to herself in the third person as she tries to differentiate her “self” with herself. It goes without saying that this can get a little confusing at times, but it nicely sums up Wirasti’s struggle of capturing all the different personalities she plays on the screen.

Coat by Chanel

Speaking of which, Wirasti stated that Anya in “Critical Eleven” was a really difficult role to embody. Unlike, say, Karmen in “Ada Apa dengan Cinta?” she shares nothing in common with Anya. Having never experienced marriage or pregnancy, she still had to portray a character that has to overcome the tragedy of stillbirth. “I was unfamiliar with the grief, sadness and anger of the situation; that’s why I needed to just imagine a lot of that,” says Wirasti. “And it’s not really a healthy mind. But as an actress I just have to do that, and that was really tricky for me.”

Tricky, though, doesn’t even begin to describe what happens after you embody a role. “Think of it like this: You put yourself in other’s people shoes, then you walk with it for days,” Wirasti illustrates. “You can either have this newfound perspective of life from that character’s point of view, or everything just becomes a mess inside your head.”

“Finding out and digging out a character inside us is actually a form of self-exploration,” Wirasti continues. “It’s kind of like taking a look at yourself in a mirror and finding stuff that you would never do, but you did it in films anyway. There’re a lot of little things that you can take from the character.”

Fur coat by MICHAEL Michael Kors

On the flip side, playing all these different characters and personalities can completely mess with your head. When Wirasti was playing a ghost named Nadia in HBO Asia’s dark fantasy thriller series“Halfworlds,” she had quite a bit of trouble letting go of the character following the shoot in Batam. “I got a little bit stuck in the darkness and sadness of the character,” Wirasti claims. What’s more, the series has a lot of gory scenes, which Wirasti wasn’t exactly fond of. “During the couple of weeks after shooting, I would always call my best friends to stay home with me,” Wirasti says with a laugh.

In contrast, Wirasti found that Karmen—her character in “Ada Apa dengan Cinta?”—wasn’t a particularly challenging role to get into. As she mentioned earlier, she and Karmen shared a major personality trait: both are tomboys. “It is very easy for us to lose ourselves and drift off into a character,” she explains, “because maybe, if we play that character, we feel more comfortable as opposed to being us in the present.”

Dress by Lanvin

The challenge for anyone looking to make it in the film scene also lies in getting into the industry. “the film industry is harsh,” she asserts. Huge responsibilities, hard work, sleepless nights and sacrifices are needed in order to make it in the business. “Just get to know yourself a little bit more before you go into the industry,” Wirasti points out. then she adds: “Take some time for yourself and have a good support system like family and friends.”

“You can either have this newfound perspective of life from that character’s point of view, or everything just becomes a mess inside Your head”

She also notes that if there is one thing she could change about how the entertainment industry is run, it would be how social media aspect is handled. “It’s really hard because I’m only human—I have feelings and thoughts like everyone else,” she says, referring to the negative online comments so prevalent these days. Wirasti said she was lucky as her support system never sees her as the persona that other people see. “They know that I am a person and not a commodity,” she exclaims. This system, in fact, was also what helped her deal with the pressure of being under the spotlight as she tries to differentiate Adinia and Adinia Wirasti, which is the persona that the general public sees.

Asked what the best part of being an actress is, she mentions the ability to share the essence of human-to-human connection on film. “I just want to share emotions, feelings and how humans react to situations and conditions,” Wirasti continues. “As an audience, we strive to see something on screen that impels us. So, being there on the other side is a very interesting idea.”

Out Take:

Dress by Louis Vuitton

Our conversation then veered to Wirasti’s plans for the future, particularly about whether she has any plans to write her own screenplay. It should be noted that she joined a screenwriting program from the New York Film Academy. “i have a couple of those,” she begins, “but i’m not sure when and how it will go.” Wirasti indicates that she wants to bring them to life one day, but it was not a something she needed to do just yet. Interestingly, differentiating needs and wants is another habit of hers. “To be able to actually know what I need and what I want in life saves a lot of time and effort,” she mentions.

“It’s kind of like taking a look at yourself in a mirror and finding stuff that you would never do, but you did it in films anyway. There’re a lot of little things that you can take from the character”

Of course, her schedule for now and the immediate future is pretty hectic. As a matter of fact, Wirasti is now preparing to appear in a comedy-drama film entitled “Susah Sinyal” (“Bad Signal”) to be released next December. “I’m going to play a character eight years older than me,” she says. “She is a lawyer and singlemother.” The film, which revolves around Wirasti’s character, Ellen, a busy working parent who rarely sees her daughter Kiara (played by Aurora Robero), is going to be directed by Ernest Prakasa, whom Wirasti has collaborated with for last year’s “Cek Toko Sebelah” (“Check the Store Next Door). “I cannot wait to work with him again,” she exclaims. “He’s witty, smart and I admire him very much.”

The main scenes of the film will be shot on the island of Sumba, in East Nusa Tenggara. The story will revolve on how Ellen and Kiara, who are vacationing there together, are forced to put away their phones and talk with each other since—as the title suggests—signal strength on the island is pretty bad. Still, this choice of location is actually an exciting element for Wirasti as she’s most happy when she’s at the beach. “A friend of mine called me Moana because I love the ocean so much,” she adds with a laugh.

And much like the Disney character she mentioned, she has indeed come a long way since the last time she appeared in DAMAN—which is a good three years ago. there’s no way of telling how her story will unfold for the next three years or so, but if there’s a thing or two we can learn from “Moana,” it is that if you go, there’s just no telling how far you’ll go. Cue the movie’s epic soundtrack.


Photography Panji Indra
Styling Peter Zewet
Model Adinia Wirasti
Styling assistant Primawan Hakim & Koko Namara
Makeup and hair Archangela Chelsea
Videography Deny F. Setiawan & Sadam Dwi Satria
Text Ricky Ronaldo
Location Laflo (jl. Simprug Golf ii Vip 3
+6221 721 0240 jakarta Selatan 12220,