Who will be the next queen of Malaysian cinema?
Sat, Jun 12, 2010
New Straits Times

MALAYSIAN films are in need of a queen - one who is able to woo people to the cinemas and win the hearts of judges at film festivals.

The throne was previously occupied by Erra Fazira, who took over "the Queen of Malaysian cinema" title from Fauziah Ahmad Daud.

Erra's acting career took off when she was offered the leading role in Datuk Yusof Haslam's Sembilu. The role was originally offered to Sofea Jane, the most popular young actress at the time.

Erra hit gold with Sembilu and her career soared when she continued to appear in box-office hits like Sembilu 2, Maria Mariana, Pasrah, Mr Cinderella, Soal Hati and Cinta Kolestrol.

She won the best actress award at the Malaysian Film Festival twice for Soal Hati and Hingga Hujung Nyawa.

To date, she has appeared in 35 films, including an animated feature film, Putih and a Hollywood production, Hidden.

Unfortunately, many of her recent films failed to impress both local movie fans and film critics. Her most recent appearance in Andartu Terlampau 20 Hari Mencari Suami, only collected RM500,000.

Five names are currently on the list of Malaysia's most sought-after actresses. But is any one of them capable of replacing Erra Fazira as the next queen of Malaysian cinema?

Maya Karin Roelcke, 31

This beauty's film debut was Seri Dewi Malam in 2001 directed by Aziz M. Osman. She plays a girl who is in coma almost throughout the movie. Her sophomore effort was in the comedy, No Problem.

Maya's career took off when Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba took her under her wings and gave her the juiciest role of her career - the vampire in Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam.

Maya has appeared in 12 films, but only four were box-office winners - Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam, Pontianak Harun Sundal Malam 2, Duyung and Pisau Cukur.

She won the best actress award at the Malaysian Film Festival in 2008 for her role in Anak Halal.

Her latest film, a romantic comedy, Cun, is expected to be released by year's end.

Liyana Jasmay, 22

Liyana first appeared in the action-thriller Castello in 2006, alongside Rosyam Nor.

Fans and critics agreed that her stunning performance as the daughter of a criminal was outstanding.

Liyana continued to prove that she was a method-actress with scene- stealing roles in Syaitan, Maut, Kami and Papadom.

However, the film that propelled her name was the horror flick, Histeria. Her most recent film, Niyang Rapik, which is also a horror film, was a box- office hit.

She won the best actress award at the Malaysian Film Festival for her role in Papadom.

She is currently shooting a horror-comedy, Alamak! Awekku Pontianak.

Lisa Surihani Mohammad, 24

This beauty's first film role was in an independent film, Goodbye Boys, in 2006.

Movie-goers started to notice her when she appeared alongside Farid Kamil in the romantic comedy, I'm Not Single.

She also appeared in the box-office horror-comedy film, Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak as well as TV3's Samseng Jalanan.

Her pairing with Farid Kamil proved to be a winning combination - Semerah Cinta Stilleto was one of Malaysia's most successful romantic comedies while currently, Lagenda Budak Setan, is doing good business.

Next month, she will be seen in the superhero comedy Kapoww! and family comedy, Zoo. She will also appear in Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak 2 before the end of the year.

Diana Danielle Danny Beeson, 19

This young actress's film debut was in a small role in a film directed by Aziz M. Osman, Idola, in 2002. That film was a flop.

Her movie career ignited in Evolusi KL Drift, which was a box-office hit.

She also appeared in Bohsia Jangan Pilih Jalan Hitam, Maut and Setem.

Currently, she can be seen in Kecoh Betul, a comedy that also stars Saiful Apek and Nabil Raja Lawak.

She has two more films this year - the musical Magika and the controversial film about same-sex relationships ...Dalam Botol.

Diana is currently shooting Hanyut, directed by U-wei Saari.

Scha Al-Yahya, 27

This actress first appeared in the horror flick Histeria in 2008, and her brave turn as a lesbian in that movie, propelled her name. Her sophomore effort was the horror-comedy, Antoo Fighters.

Her recent two films, Papadom and Evolusi KL Drift 2, were box-office hits.

She has one more film, a dance flick, Dimensi Cinta, waiting for release.

Scha is currently shooting Awan Dania The Movie, a film based on a hit Astro Ria series about the life of a stewardess.

Immediately after that, she is expected to shoot Aku Bukan Tomboi, a romantic comedy which will be jointly directed by Datuk Yusof Haslam and his son, Syamsul.

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