Malaysian actor, Arja Lee is without a doubt, making waves in the local entertainment industry after being involved in a number of successful productions on screen and on stage. Arja took some time off to talk to MC about his passion for the art of performing.
How did you get involved in acting?
I started getting involved with theatre performances such as musicals where I was expected to act, sing and dance, and from there, I realised that I could act. I was in Puteri Gunung Ledang the Musical and Mahsuri and Kaki Blue at Istana Budaya and KLPAC.
How much has acting shaped you & your personality?
In some ways it has made me more disciplined and it has made me more in touch with my artistic side.
What do you do when you’re not shooting?
I love spending time with my beloved family, whether it’s going on vacations or just watching movies together. I’m also into extreme sports. On some days, which hardly comes by, I just enjoy having some ‘me’ time and I enjoy it by just relaxing.
What kind of roles/characters do you enjoy playing?
The kinds of characters that are slightly complicated such as Dr Aaron in Misiku Kuza, he has mixed feelings towards almost everything, he’s cheerful and masculine but at the same time he’s egoistic when it comes to relationships, but in the same time he enjoys the lady’s company.
What do you think of the film industry in Malaysia?
I think that it is thriving, however there’s an urgent need for us to produce more quality films but in a way that we should compare ourselves to the film industry in Hollywood as our productions should represent and remain true to Malaysian culture.
Who would you most like to work with and why?
I’d love to have worked with the late filmmaker, Yasmin Ahmad. Her works have the perfect blend of humour and heart and is the perfect example of films that revolve around the themes that truly identify with Malaysians such as identity crisis, race, culture as well as religion.
What’s the one movie that you’ve watched over and over again?
I’d have to say Avatar! The story line is really good as it revolves around a prolonged conflict based on issues that really run deep. Besides that James Cameron is a genius at conjuring up the graphics that makes the movie so visually moving.
Who’s your ideal leading lady?
My late mother, Puan Salmah bt Aziz. The reason I’m here today is because of her. She was a very strong woman in everything she did, as a wife and as a mother. I learned to be strong and understand that everything that I have right now is a blessing from God and her blessings as well.
You’ve recently just started a signing career. Could you tell us a bit about your new single Cerita Pada Mereka?
The song was composed by Keroz Nazri and tells about a relationship that might not last, but it consoles us in a way that tells us that good memories should be kept.
Do you have any plans of maybe one day sitting in the director’s seat?
Yes I do, but I’d like to make sure I thrive as a versatile actor before I venture into that direction.
What is it that you love most about movies?
The story line and conflicts that happens on screen is what draws me the most to movies. In a way it’s something we can escape into and immerse ourselves in to distract us from our everyday lives.
What’s next for you?
I hope I can be a more versatile entertainer. God willing, I’d love to able to play various kinds of characters and evolve in my career as an entertainer and to be involved in different types of genres.
Picture credits: Pitt AB Rahman