Fame not Lisa Surihani's game

Malaysian actress Lisa Surihani who will star in an upcoming musical movie called Sinaran.

As one of Malaysia's most prolific actresses, Lisa Surihani often finds herself in the spotlight.

Not only is she a familiar face on the silver and small screens, she is also wife of Malaysian actor-director Yusry Abdul Halim.

She even scored her own E! News Asia Special earlier this year.

Still, Lisa - who has more than two million followers on Twitter and close to 600,000 followers on Instagram- finds fame a difficult thing to grasp even after all these years in showbiz.

"There is a part of me that will never get used to it.

"When someone approaches me, the first thing that comes to mind is, 'Is this a relative from my mum's or my dad's side?' until that person asks to take a photograph," Lisa, 28, told M last month.

TWO MOVIES COMING

Being the centre of attention is something that Lisa has to continue to grapple with as her popularity is likely to soar with two movies slated for release later this year.

She was in town to shoot the musical, Sinaran The Movie.

She will also be starring in Cicakman 3, an action film directed by her husband.

Sinaran centres on hits by Malaysian singing legend Sheila Majid and also stars Evan Sanders, Nadiah M. Din and Syarif Sleeq.

In the movie, Lisa plays poetry-loving engineering student Shila.

For the role, she was asked by director Osman Ali to be "different from all the roles she has previously played".

Taking it as a challenge, she dyed her hair a mix of flaming red, purple and ash - a drastic change for the actress whose natural hair colour is dark brown.

Calling it "hard to maintain", Lisa said she had to touch up her hair colour three times during the movie's 27-day shoot.

During our interview, she was sporting a brand new hairdo, her locks now dyed black.

Fiddling with her tresses, Lisa said: "I asked Yusry what he thought before I had this haircut. It's the shortest it's ever been.

"He said I should cut it any length I like, as long as it makes me happy."

SING AND DANCE

While filming Sinaran, Lisa also had to tap into her dancing skills, something she hadn't done in more than a decade.

"Thank God for basic ballet (classes). I did modern pop for the movie and although it was tiring, it was so much fun.

"It was an honour to work with Zaini Tahir, one of Singapore's most talented choreographers," she said.

Asked about the greatest challenge while making the movie, Lisa said she had never cried that much in a film.

"I've always doubted myself when it comes to crying scenes.

"Even (in my personal life), I don't really cry that easily."

"So this was really tough but when you are given a task, you do it the best you can," she said.

Shortly after filming was done here, Lisa took off for Paris to shoot a telemovie.

But she hopes to slow down during the fasting month of Ramadan, which begins on June 28 this year.

"I want to focus on my spiritual well-being as well as spend more time with the family. I have also been thinking of performing the umrah (minor pilgrimage) then."

"I've stalled the plans for months so God-willing, this year I get to go," she said.


This article was first published on June 4, 2014.
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