Interviews

Raja Ilya happy she gets to star in her first action movie, "KL Vampires"

Writer: Ashraf Nasser

Raja Ilya is happy that she got to work with two of Indonesia biggest action stars, Cecep Arif Rahman and Donny Alamsyah.
Raja Ilya is happy that she got to work with two of Indonesia biggest action stars,
Cecep Arif Rahman and Donny Alamsyah.

More than a decade into her entertainment career, Raja Ilya, born Raja Ramilah Begum Raja Mohammad, is finally leading an action movie.

"KL Vampires", her latest movie, is currently showing in Malaysian cinemas. The 34-year-old said that she did not hesitate to accept the starring role offered by Daven R, as she had always wanted to work with the director.

The movie is a fictional piece related to the vampires often depicted in western movies but with a touch of local element as the director has infused it with the local folklore, Raja Bersiong.

During the movie's recent gala premiere, Cinema Online had the chance to talk to Raja Ilya about "KL Vampires".

Read on below!

Raja Ilya seen here with the cast and director (Daven R, middle) of "KL Vampires".
Raja Ilya seen here with the cast and director (Daven R, middle) of "KL Vampires".

Cinema Online: Hi Raja Ilya, can you tell us a bit more about your character in the movie?

Raja Ilya: I play a vampire queen, Ratu Citra Sari, who is the daughter of Raja Bersiong. What's different about this role compared to my previous ones is it's serious and there's no comedic dialogues for me to deliver. What makes this movie more exciting for me is it finally fulfils my dream of starring in an action movie.

Aside from the action, what else attracted you to it?

Previously, I've always wanted to work under Daven R's direction and I almost did but the project did not take off. Then when I received the offer for "KL Vampires", I couldn't reject it because I have faith in his work.

For the action scenes, did you do the stunts yourself or use a stunt double?

The production team did prepare a stunt double but I decided to do the stunts myself, since I've always dreamed of working on an action movie. So as long as the stunts were something that I could do, then I'd do them myself.

 

The presence of famed stunt choreographers from Indonesia must have made you more excited for it?

Yes, definitely! At first, I couldn't really believe it when the production team said that they were bringing in choreographers who were also stars of the action movie, "The Raid: Redemption". But I am amazed by the team's effort to produce a high-quality movie that will suit everyone's taste.

The movie is finally screened after three years, do you think the movie is still relevant?

I initially almost gave up on my hope to see it screened in cinemas because whenever I asked the director, he would say that he was unsure because it was a long process to get the movie finished. I want that action movie "profile" so I was really hoping that it would be screened. But Daven then told me it might be screened before this year's end and Alhamdulillah, it did.

I think it is still relevant as no other local filmmaker has done a fiction movie like this. It's something new and I hope that audiences will like it.

You're appearing less on the big and small screens, are you more selective of your offers now?

Not exactly selective but I've set a target to act at least once a year. Even though now I'm in Australia more after getting married, but I'm willing to travel to and fro between there and Malaysia for my career.

What's the latest update on the movie you were set to produce?

We had to delay it because a lot of things are still not done. We did not want to rush it, we wanted to make sure everything was in place before we started the filming. I've informed the investors about the delay as I did not want to waste money producing a movie with bad quality.

Cinema Online, 19 November 2019



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