Tara Basro absolutely nails her second DAMAN Darling spread

IN THE NAME OF ART. Riga Ramadhan catches up with Tara Basro in her second appearance on DAMAN to talk about horror, the movie industry and playing in the theater for the first time

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Working with familiar faces is always fun. Put simply, you know what to do; they also know what to do; so all the preparation gets done in no time and then voilà … the entire job goes well. That is pretty much how it went with our latest interview and photo shoot with award-winning and multi-talented actress Tara Basro, in her second outing as DA MAN Darling. Yes, she also appeared in the June 2014 issue and, of course, she has moved forward in leaps and bounds since then

For instance, Basro nabbed the Best Actress trophy at the Indonesian Film Festival, the nation’s most prestigious award show, for her portrayal of a salon worker entangled in a political scandal. Following that, Basro played in several more movies—from “3 Srikandi” as one of the three female archers who won silver for Indonesia during the 1988 Olympics in South Korea to “Ini Kisah Tiga Dara,” the modern version of the 1960’s classic “Tiga Dara” and finally “Pengabdi Setan,” a remake of a popular horror flick of the same name from 1980.

Outfit by Vince from Jade Boutique

“Pengabdi Setan,” by the way, currently stands as the number one horror movie in Indonesia, having successfully drawn in more than 4,2 million viewers. Still, even though she starred as the lead actress of the movie, Basro admits that she is not really into horror movies. “To be honest with you, I don’t hate horror movies; I just don’t have the guts to watch them,” she explains with a laugh. “Why? Because I’m scared easily. If I have the option to not see horror movie, I will definitely choose that.”

For someone who self-admits to be easily scared, playing in a horror movie can be quite the challenge. Still, Basro managed to overcome her fears. “For this particular role, I forced myself to overcome my own fears,” she asserts. “How? Well, whenever I read the script for this movie, I always do it in the morning. I don’t want to read it at night and I definitely don’t want to be alone when I do it.”

“Pengabdi Setan” is not the only new update in Basro’s career. At the end of last year she performed for the very first time on a theater stage. She notes how it’s actually very important for her—or any aspiring actor, for that matter—to always try something new, in order to keep growing each and every day.

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“At the end of last year, I did my first theater performance in a play titled ‘Perempuan Perempuan Chairil’ as Sumirat, a woman who fall head-over-heels for Chairil Anwar,” she spells out. In the play, Basro—who stars alongside some of Indonesia’s brightest stars like Reza Rahadian, Marsha Timothy, Chelsea Islan and Sita Nursanti—reveals a side of the legendary Indonesian poet which most people are unaware of, based on Hasan Aspahani’s book “Chairil.”

“For my role as Sumirat, I had to prepare extra hard. I trained my body language, my voice, as I have to own the stage. In terms of research and how to explore more of the character, it’s pretty much similar,” Basro recounts of her stage debut. “But the main difference was when it was the time I to step on the stage.”

“When I took my first ever step onto that stage, I wanted to vomit, I almost fainted,” she continues. “Why? Because it was live performance and I can’t re-take the moment.”

Still, it wasn’t all bad. “But I’m very happy about it. Now I know how it feels like,” Basro says. “The excitement is different between shooting for a movie and taking on the stage for live performance. I fell in love with the creative process of it. I learned new things and discovered so much about everything that I didn’t know before through theatre.”

As the questions turn to the future and whether she wants to focus more on theater, she replies: “I can’t say yes, but I also don’t want to rule out the possibility, because deep down inside I really love art. Who knows? In the future I might also try new things like maybe painting or sculpting. And that’s because I love the crafts so much.”

Outfit and shoes by Saint Laurent

And what of today? “For 2018, I’m just chilling, man,” Basro replies easily. “I need a break for a while. I don’t want to be ambitious. Many people asked me: ‘What is your next movie?’ and my response is simple. I’m not in a rush to do a new film. Why? Because I want my next movie to be ‘right.’” Then she adds: “I want the audiences for my next movies to be happy with the outcome. I don’t want to make a movie just for the sake of what people want.”

For Basro, when it comes to making a movie, everything should be at the right time and at the right moment. So, how does Tara Basro chose her projects? “The most important thing for me is the story. It has to be special. When I read the script, does it spark any emotion inside me or not,” she expounds. “After that, who’s the director? Which production house? It doesn’t always have to be an award-winning director or a big production house; I would gladly accept any project as long as the story is special like I said earlier and that, at the end of the day, it’s a fun project to do.”

Outfit and shoes by Valentino

She also notes that right now, the Indonesian movie industry is changing. “Compared to in other countries, I think our movie industry is still a baby. But, then again, we are still in the improving phase,” she asserts. “With a lot of new genres and a new style, I think we are going somewhere. As a matter of fact, right now, the audience also getting smarter, because they know what they want to see in the movie theater.”

“There are a lot of options for TV series and people can  get a cinematic experience while watching in their homes,” Basro continues. “Meanwhile, if you go to the cinema—whether with your friends, family or just by yourself—you want to feel that you’re going into a different world, a different era, a different situation. You’re moving away from the reality and daily life. Well, at least, that’s how it is for me, personally.”

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Our conversation then veered to Basro’s hopes for the future, especially in this time of growth for the industry. “In terms of my own career, right now I’m in a position where I don’t want to sacrifice my happiness in order to achieve something, whether it’s an award or anything,” she goes on. “I want to work with people with the same mindset and the same vision. Not only in Indonesia, but also outside of our country.”

Outfit by Alexander McQueen

“I was wondering about how it feels to work in a different country,” Basro adds. “Not necessarily Hollywood; it could be anywhere. In Asia or wherever. Because I want to see their working mentality and their take on what the most important thing for them is. I want to learn everything.” Then she concludes: “As a public figure, I also have a responsibility to help Indonesia to get to a better place, in terms of mentality. With those experiences, I want to become an inspiration that will bring about a positive outcome.”

It is certainly clear that we’re still far away from seeing the final chapters of Basro’s blossoming acting career. From overcoming fear of horror for her roles, playing in theatre for the first time to the spirit of learning in order to become an inspiration for her country, there is nothing the award-winning Indonesian actress won’t do in the name of art.

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Outfit and bag by Balenciaga


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Photography Robin Alfian
Styling Paul dela Merced
Styling Assistant Primawan Hakim, Devi Lesmana and Andrew William
Hair & Makeup Morin Iwashita