NOT many can say that they are doing exactly what they have always dreamt of since young. Some fell into a profession by accident, others slowly work their way around as they figure out “life”.
Then there are a few who strategically chart their path to reach the end goal, just like Sasha Abedul’s dream to become an actress since she was an ambitious little girl.
She shares: “Weird as it sounds, when I saw Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam for the first time as a kid, I wanted to be Maya Karin in all that makeup and the traditional outfit that she wore; the story inspired me.
“I remember when I was in primary school, my friends would ask ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and my answer would always be ‘an actress’ because growing up, I spent most of my time watching TV shows. Seeing actors do their job made me feel like it was such a compelling form of art.
“At the age of 16, I told my mum that I wanted to go for an open audition but being a parent, we know that education always comes first for them.”
The 24-year-old broadcasting graduate who started her career as a TV commercial talent while she worked at a casting agency managed to gradually build her courage to audition for local TV dramas.
Shasha’s acting debut in the Malay drama Isteri Bukan Untuk Disewa in 2018 propelled her into the local entertainment scene.
“Now that I’ve achieved my ambition to become an actress, I will stop at nothing to show the world what more I have to offer, and of course learning along the way,” she added.
Congrats on your brand-new TV series, Project: Achor SPM! Could you tell us a little about the show and your character in it?
The series follows a group of high school students in their final year, with each of them facing different personal problems, yet they decide to work together to help their academically weak friends to pass the examination.
I played the role of Jaja Zubir (Maziatul Zubir). She is a very chirpy and bubbly person and also very bad at hiding her emotions. Her happiness always depends on someone else until one day she finds her purpose in life with the help of her sister, Aaidaa Zubir.
Like the character, do you consider yourself an emotional person?
I am at heart. For every TV character I was given a chance to portray, I would study them first then allow my emotions to sink in so that I could fully be the character and make her come alive on screen.
And it brings me so much joy when I’m able to deliver the director’s expectation, be it on set or even during casting. There is also a different kind of fulfilment when a character that I play is able to make a huge impact on the audience.
Some actors refrain from watching themselves on TV, what about you?
Not all I’d say, only some. I will watch it if the storyline is interesting and different from what I’ve worked on before. Other times, I will watch myself just to see how I could improve my acting skills.
What would you consider to be the turning point of your career?
I think it was when I was given the role of a heroine for a drama called Lelaki Lingkungan Cinta on TV3 because up until then, I had been playing supporting roles so when I had the chance to be the protagonist in a drama, it felt surreal. It was good exposure, nonetheless.
You’ve been in the film and TV industry for about three years now, was there a moment that was particularly difficult for you?
It is more of the criticisms I receive; people would always question me, saying “How did she get to play that role? Her followers on Instagram are not even close to 100k”.
How do you keep yourself motivated, given the current precarious time.
Due to the nature of the job, I couldn’t work from home because most of the shooting takes place outdoors. However, when I’m at home, I spend time reading poetry and finding new hobbies or just about anything to keep me going.