PETALING JAYA - His good looks and mastery of Bahasa Malaysia is giving Uzbek actor Daler Yusuf Khamrokulov Muhammad an edge in the local entertainment industry.
The 26-year-old actor shot to fame after playing the main character in a local drama series titled Encik Suami Mat Salleh Celup, alongside popular actress Nelydia Senrose.
He has received many acting offers after the show, and is currently filming Titian Cinta, which will be aired on TV3's Akasia slot.
Daler could not speak a word of Bahasa Malaysia when he first arrived here to pursue higher education in 2010.
He was motivated to learn the language and local culture due to his late mother's ties with this country.
"Because my mother was from Kelantan, my father sent me and my brother to study here," he said.
"I took about two years to master Bahasa Malaysia by mixing with the local community.
"I was able to master my mother's native tongue, but I still speak with an accent," he told mStar Online, The Star's Bahasa Malaysia portal.
Daler said his parents met while his mother was studying in Uzbekistan.
Even so, Daler and his brother Sherzod Yusuf, 24, had never stepped foot in the country until coming here to study.
When he first started in the entertainment industry, Daler was mostly in modelling and doing commercials.
He and Sherzod, who is a part-time model, took part in the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week in 2015.
After that, Daler started receiving offers to play foreign characters in local serials before landing the main role in Encik Suami Mat Salleh Celup.
He attributed the boost in his popularity to the show.
Daler, who has obtained the necessary visa and work permit, said he applied for a job as soon as he completed his studies in Business Administration at Westminster International College in Subang Jaya.
His brother Sherzod is still studying in the same college.