Actor Shaheizy Sam speaks to theSun about his excitement working with Dain Said in the noir thriller Interchange that will hit cinemas on Dec 1. The story was published today, Read the full story here
Headline: Acting With An Open Mind
By Bissme S
Award winning actor Shaheizy Sam has a complex role in Interchange, opening in cinemas on Dec 1, as a detective on a mission to find a violent serial killer.
“[My character] is driven by logic,” says Shaheizy, 34.
“But his case is beyond logic. There is some mysticism involved. His world gets shaken. You will see him undergo a transformation from a confident man to a tortured soul. And his ego will be his downfall.”
While his character may not believe in mysticism, what about Shaheizy himself?
He explains: “I have seen things that I cannot explain. I remember I once saw something that had the body of a horse and the face of a deer. [But] the thing was not scary [at all].”
Shaheizy has wonderful memories of working with director Dain Said.
“Dain takes time to have lengthy discussions with his actors about their roles before shooting begins,” he says.
“Dain is precise, and knows what he wants. There are many roads to your destination and Dain guides you to the right [one]. If you follow his advice, you will never get lost.”
In early August, Shaheizy and fellow cast members attended the world premiere of the film at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland.
“There was a huge crowd watching Interchange in the rain, with umbrellas over their heads,” he remembers.
“No one moved from their chairs. One blogger even said Interchange was a must-see movie at the festival.”
But while many Malaysian films have achieved international acclaim on the festival circuit, they often fail to connect with
audiences here. Will Interchange suffer the same fate?
“I cannot predict [the] response to Interchange,” Shaheizy says. “But sometimes, I wish Malaysians can accept Malaysian films the way they accept Malaysian [athletes] who have done well at international competitions. [Come] and support us, and watch Interchange in the cinemas. We are always hearing complaints that Malaysian filmmakers are churning out the same old boring themes. Well, Dain and his team are giving us something different in Interchange.”
The movie has three male leads – Shaheizy, ledil Putra, and Indonesia’s Nicholas Saptura. One wonders if there was any competition among them to shine onscreen?
“Acting is never about competing with each other,” Shaheizy says. “ Acting is all about complementing each other.”
He stresses that the actors have to work together if they want the movie to succeed.
“I know Iedil and Nicholas are great actors, and I must [be] on par with them,” he says.
Shaheizy’s own acting career began at age 12, when he made his debut in the 1995 film Sama Tak Serupa.
“I never thought I would last [this] long in the movie industry,” he says.
“Producers are always looking out for tall, fair and handsome actors. I do not fulfil those requirements. But thanks to [shorter actors like] Al Pacino and Tom Cruise, I learned that height has nothing to do with acting ability. They are successful actors. I need to be like them and be extremely good in what I am doing.”
While he is selective about his projects today, as a young actor he would accept any role that came his way.
“Some of the greatest actors in the world have accepted bad roles because they have bills to pay,” he explains.
“I’m the same. I needed to be financially sound before I can afford to be selective with my roles. You cannot always blame an actor if the film is bad. Sometimes I have a good script and a good role. But the situation would be totally different on the set.”
Instead of being frustrated with the way the industry works, Shaheizy believes in making the best of the situation he is in.
He has also just finished shooting his latest film, Pinjamkan Hatiku where he had to lose weight to play a cancer patient.
“As an actor, you [have] to make things believable, and I am just doing my job as an actor,” he say.