As Yoshi Sudarso sets to return to Indonesia, DAMAN catches up with the actor for a chat about his and a special photoshoot in collaboration with Under Armour
Yoshi Sudarso never envisioned a career in acting when he first set foot in the United States. His initial dream was to become a math teacher, but then he took a leap of faith and auditioned as a stuntman. This seemingly serendipitous decision altered the trajectory of his life in ways he could have never foreseen. Within a few short years, Sudarso found himself donning the iconic mantle of the Blue Ranger in the popular series “Power Rangers Dino Charge.” His journey into the world of entertainment didn’t stop there. Sudarso’s talents shone brightly as he became part of well-known films and TV shows, leaving an indelible mark in Hollywood with roles in “Easy A,” “The Maze Runner,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Bullet Train.” Today, fueled by newfound ambitions and a desire to make his two children proud, Sudarso is embarking on a new chapter in his career.
DAMAN: Hello Yoshi, welcome back to Indonesia! What brought you home this time?
Yoshi Sudarso: I’m doing a couple of things. I have a project in October, “Wedding Agreement: The Series Season 2.” I’m doing a promo for that and working on a project called “Still Single” here. The director is my friend from the U.S. She was born in Bali, but we met in the U.S.; and now she’s returning to Indonesia. It will be the first series she’s directing here and I get to be a part of that.
DA: Are there any particular roles that have been especially meaningful or challenging for you this year?
YS: At the beginning of the year, I got to play a major part in the new season of “Wedding Agreement: The Series Season 2”. I’m pretty excited about it. I got to play a new stud, so I had to learn many different things. There were things I had not gotten used to, especially the language and the culture. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully, by the time it airs, you’ll be able to watch it. Then, I went home. Within a week or two, my wife delivered our second son. That has been the focus of our lives up until now. Leaving my newborn and whole family for this trip wasn’t easy. This is a good time to announce that I’ll permanently move to Indonesia starting next year. I plan to bring my family because I want my children to have roots in Indonesia. I had roots in the culture and the language; it would be remiss of me not to give that opportunity to my children as well.
“I THINK IT’S EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAT I CONTINUE TO PLAY ROMANTIC CHARACTERS BECAUSE A BROAD SPECTRUM OF ASIAN AMERICAN MEN AREN’T CAST IN ROMANTIC ROLES”
DA: You’ve explored many genres, from action to romance. Which genre do you find most enjoyable?
YS: I love being able to play in a lot of different genres, mostly because I get bored easily and love trying new things. They all come with their own set of challenges. Action will always have a spot in my heart. I love it, enjoy it and I’m good at it. But romance has become such a big part of my life, especially in America. I think it’s even more important that I continue to play romantic characters because a broad spectrum of Asian American men aren’t cast in romantic roles. In Indonesia, I love doing both. But I’ve only ever done one action project in Indonesia, so I plan to do more. The only thing that I’m afraid of is horror. I don’t watch horror movies, so I don’t know how I would feel about doing them. For me, romance and action are my wheelhouse.
DA: Could you highlight the key differences you’ve experienced as an actor in the American and Indonesian entertainment industries? And what challenges have you encountered in each country?
YS: First, it’s the time we get to do a specific project. There’s a lot more time given in the Western market. It’ll take us about six to nine months to do a movie, and the film might sometimes not come out for another year and a half or two. I did “Bullet Train” in 2020, which just came out at the end of last year. The “Wedding Agreement” that I completed earlier this year is coming out in late 2023.
Most of the movies or series I’ve done here in Indonesia are pretty fast. It’s quite exciting but, at the same time, you don’t have as much time to prepare and be on set to embody these characters. I get bored easily and enjoy the fast pace in Indonesia, but it was challenging at first because I’m used to the processes that occur in Western media. Second, in Indonesia, I’m an actor. But in the U.S., I’m an Asian actor. There is a difference in how people perceive me and the roles that are available to me. The four projects I’ve done in Indonesia have been very distinct with unique roles; whereas in America, many of my roles end up feeling similar. It’s not necessarily everybody’s experience, but that’s what I found. And the biggest challenge of being in the U.S. is how I look. Conversely in Indonesia, I know less about the culture and haven’t really mastered the Indonesian language yet. But it’s getting easier every time I return to Indonesia, as my language is improving. I want to become more local so I’ll able to play a wider variety of characters.
“I THINK MY PERSONAL GOALS HAVE CHANGED. IT’S NO LONGER FOR ME. EVERYTHING THAT I DO IS FOR MY KIDS”
DA: What are your personal career goals and aspirations as an actor?
YS: My personal goals have changed. It’s no longer for me. Everything that I do is for my kids. I want my sons to be proud of what I do. Other than that, I want to continue to enjoy what I’m doing and have fun with it.
DA: You have quite a strict fitness routine. Could you describe your exercise regimen and the types of workouts you prefer?
YS: I love fitness. I do hypertrophy training four to five days a week for muscle building. I spend one and a half to two hours in my garage gym. Then, I like to work on mobility, so I do a lot of movement and mobility exercises as well. And, of course, I always maintain my flexibility. I want to be able to keep up with my kids, right? I’m enjoying Brazilian Jiu-jitsu too and do it once a week.
DA: We’re here for a special collaboration with Under Armour. What do you think about the brand?
YS: Well, it’s something that I’ve been using for years in my fitness world and I use their products every day, especially when I do Jiu-jitsu. I really enjoy them. I have their compression shirts and pants. I’m pretty sure I have way more than I even need.
DA: What do you like the most about Under Armour products?
YS: You know what? I only have compression shirts from Under Armour that I’ve been wearing for almost a decade and are still in good condition. They are still battling with me every day. Their products are reasonably priced and the quality is so high that they will last a long time.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Panji Indra
STYLING Peter Zewet
Styling Assistants Isabella Harahap, Vanessa Yofania
Photography Assistants Firman
Location Senayan City Jl. Asia Afrika Lot 19, Jakarta Pusat; +62 21 7278 1000; senayancity.com
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