For his second appearance in DAMAN, Jerome Kurnia talks about tackling every challenging role that comes his way and his continuing lucky streak.
Passion always finds a way. Just ask young actor Jerome Kurnia and he will tell you the story of how the universe has put his passion back on track. Kurnia has always found happiness in acting. He was involved in his high school’s theater club, joined a small community theater and even competed in a monologue competition. But at one point in his life, he let it all go. The reason? He was trying to find a line of work that was considered normal and deemed acceptable by his family and community. So, Kurnia got his law degree worked at a legal firm in Jakarta for some time … only to realize that acting is his true passion all along.
That being said, not everything was easy. Castings, for one, as there is a lot of competition. Often, Kurnia had to wait in line for hours and he would meet talented actors with better looks. But he realized that timing and luck played a big part, too. As luck would have it, things are going smoothly for him now. The young actor has been busy adding titles to his filmography since we last interviewed him, before the pandemic. Back then, Kurnia was promoting his web series, “Gossip Girl Indonesia.” Just when you thought that the pandemic would put everything on hold, here he is, eager to tell us about his latest projects.
Kurnia’s upcoming film, “Penyalin Cahaya,” is written and directed by Wregas Bhatuneja. The film tells about a student named Sur (played by Shenina Syawalita Cinnamon) who loses her scholarship after she is accused of breaking the school’s rules. So, naturally, she goes out to find out the truth. And that’s as far as Kurnia can tell us for the moment. Still, he insists that this story is important, especially for audiences of his generation who face the same issues. Basically, Kurnia finds “Penyalin Cahaya” as a way for him to speak up.
His character in the movie, Tariq, would seem to be the most intense and challenging role that he has ever played to date. As simple as the part may look on screen, it’s still challenging all the same. On that note, Kurnia points out that the role is particularly difficult because Tariq is the kind of character that he has never touched before. But as he delved deeper into his role, he realizes that there are a lot of people like Tariq amongst us. “Penyalin Cahaya” is currently on track to compete at the 2021 Busan International Film Festival.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that one of Kurnia’s films is showcased at an international film festival. In fact, he was cast in Monica Vanesa Tedja’s short film, “Dear To Me,” that was shown at Locarno Film Festival earlier this year where it was positively received. He got involved in the project when Tedja contacted him and personally asked him to come on board. The film was actually part of her thesis as Tedja worked to get a Master of Arts degree from the Film University Babelssberg Konrad Wolf in Berlin. Kurnia heard about Tedja and her works before and was impressed. So, Tedja flew in all the way from Berlin, because she wanted to do her thesis in her home country, with Indonesian actors and in the Indonesian language. Filming “Dear To Me” went smoothly and she ended receiving the highest mark for the film.
Looking back at all the different roles that Kurnia has done so far, it’s clear that he’s a fluid performer who’s ready to take on different genres of films.
Looking back at all the different roles that Kurnia has done so far, it’s clear that he’s a fluid performer who’s ready to take on different genres of films. To that end, he has a surprisingly simple list of dos and don’ts when it comes to what he looks for in a script. Basically, as long as he’s falls in love with a script and—more importantly—as long as he shares the same vision with the script writer, producer and director, he would gladly take on a role.
They say that with every role, you learn something as an actor … and maybe something about yourself. For Kurnia, though, it’s all about the new friendships that come with every production. He sees this as an opportunity presented to him by the universe— the chance to meet people he would otherwise never cross paths with. And for Kurnia, that is the biggest blessing that comes from joining different kind of productions with different crews. Other than that, he also realizes that exploring a character allows him to learn about new traits— both good and bad—that he would have otherwise never known about.
They say that with every role, you learn something as an actor … and maybe something about yourself. For Kurnia, though, it’s all about the new friendships that come with every production.
All that being said, does Kurnia have any regrets about missed opportunities? On that, he firmly states that he has none. Career wise, that is. It’s tempting to ask him about his love life and beyond, but that’s another story for another time.
There is, however, still plenty of room in this story to talk about the biggest changes in the profession, especially now that Kurnia has added quite a few more films to his portfolio. On that, the Jakarta-born actor notes that being involved in a film or series gives him a bigger platform to reach the audience. This, in turn, would give him better chances in securing more work opportunities.
Now that it’s clear that he be in the industry for years to come, how does he see the world of acting and filmmaking change in the future? For sure, Kurnia thinks that the platform will change. Online media will reign, as the pandemic has shown how people will act when “forced” to watch everything on tiny screens—even in a relatively short period of time.
In the long run, however, Kurnia simply wants to keep on working, together with new people as well as those he worked with before. In the future, though, he also hopes to one day get himself involved behind the scenes—perhaps as a producer. His passion for this world is what drives him. And once again, Kurnia tells us how lucky he is that he can do what he loves. And how every time he wakes up, he does so with a smile on his face because he’s happy to be doing what he does.
PHOTOGRAPHY IKMAL AWFAR
STYLING SAFINA HARYS
STYLING ASSISTANT LINTANG HUTAMI
GROOMING IFAN RIVALDI
SHARE THIS ARTICLE