TRP talks to Aaron Aziz about his role in Budak Flat and directing his latest romantic film, Sayu Yang Syukur.
Most Malaysians are aware of Aaron Aziz’s caliber as an actor. Even if you are not an avid follower of the local Malay cinema, it is almost impossible to not be familiar with Aaron’s impressive acting chops.
The 47-year-old actor indeed has consistently proven himself as an actor since emerging in the local entertainment scene in 2004.
Be it his role as Joe in the KL Gangster film series or the romantic lead in 2011’s Ombak Rindu, Aaron has continuously pushed the envelope. Well, it looks like he has done it yet again with his role in Prime Video’s latest film, Budak Flat.
Fortunately for us, we got to sit down with him recently to talk about his role in the action flick – all thanks to our friends at Prime Videos!
What’s more, we also got to speak with him about his recent experience with directing his romantic film Sayu Yang Syukur.
- Congrats on your new film, Budak Flat! How was it like making the film?
My involvement with the project is actually not that big. It is a small and short role. Hence, I only had five days to shoot. But my character is an interesting one.
Also, knowing that this is going to be aired on Prime Video, it is considered a very important opportunity. This is because it allows local talents like myself to display our work.
So to be part of the project is a good opportunity not only for me, but also for everyone involved – from the crew, to the actors, and to the director.
- How would you describe what the film is about?
I would describe the film to be very raw, heartfelt and a story that people can actually relate to. When you talk about the underworld, it does exist. You talk about drug abuse, it does exist. You talk about the poor wanting to become rich, it does exist.
So, my character also exists. So, I think it is very relatable to the local market. And it is also an eye opener for foreign viewers seeing how it was shot, showing a different side of Malaysia.
- As compared to your previous action films, you are not as heavily involved in the fighting scenes, was it a conscious decision?
I would have been open to doing fighting scenes if the producer or director wanted me to do it. However, it would have been very weird to be the boss and be the one fighting. It is like getting a prime minister to go to war.
So, yeah my character had a lot of references to Al Pacino from The Godfather. You do not see him raise his voice. You do not even see him holding a gun. So, Boss X is the Al Pacino of this story.
- How was it like working with the cast of the film like Pablo and Balan Kash?
I had more scenes with Yang Raja compared to the others but I also worked with Pablo and Zahiril (Adzim). It was my first time working with them. I wish that we could have more scenes.
But that said, I was just happy to see people like Yang Raja. He was pretty nervous on set. I remember him calling me up asking for advice.
And like for every other foreign actor who wishes to start something here, I always advise them to have discipline, perform their best and behave.
- What do you hope to come out from this movie?
My only hope is for Prime Videos to push our local films and talents overseas. This is because I do not think we lack anything. I think we have actors for all the different genres.
If you talk about action, we have action stars. If you talk about love, we have romantic and comedic actors. So, hopefully when international productions are scouting for an Asian actor, they will find someone from Malaysia.
- Aside from Budak Flat, you also recently directed your romantic film, Sayu Yang Syukur. What was it like?
I directed two movies and three super tellies. I only wrote one of the film’s scripts. It was like 12 years ago. But the two movies and one broadcasting over-the-top (OTT) content were asking me if I could direct.
They wanted me to act only initially. Then the producers and investors suddenly asked me to direct as well. So, I took the challenge and directed my romantic film, Sayu Yang Syukur, which came out on 28 December.
It is a very in depth love story as it came from my past experiences of doing romantic films. As a director, I also managed to give myself a role that I have not done before. So, it is a breath of fresh air.
And I think people will like it because they are craving for the old fashioned kind of love story. Stories where you have a nice screenplay, nice location, the momentum, and the feel.
Even for me, I have seen it a dozen times because I did the editing. Yet, I still get teary when I look at the scenes because I really put my heart and soul into the making of the film.
- Was it challenging to direct?
Of course, it was not easy for us to direct, act and then be involved in making difficult decisions. For instance, I had to recast an actress because she was not performing.
It was also difficult because during that time, my good friend, Datuk Gulzar Mohamad Noor Mohamed (Mohd Atlas), the investor passed away.
He, unfortunately, could not have the opportunity to watch his own work because this was his story and music soundtrack.
So, the only sad thing that I regret is not having the ability to let him appreciate his own story.
- What are the types of projects you would like to work on next?
I would like to be involved in behind the scenes more. I think I am ready to fall behind the camera and offer something new. I think being in this line for almost 24 years, that is something I have not done much.