Not many Malaysians could have achieved the level of fame that Malaysian actor-director Afdlin Shauki did, who is also known as Chief Kodok to his fans. Most locals may know him through his hosting duties on the late night talk show "Bila Larut Malam" and the comedy sketch show "Ah-Ha", while Singaporeans will be familiar with his appearance on their sitcom hit, "Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd", in which Afdlin played the series regular Bobo in seasons seven to eight. As for foreign moviegoers, his rotund figure may be familiar for those who have watched locally-shot "Anna and the King", starring Jodi Foster and Chow Yun-fat, although his proper local debut as a film actor was as part of the supporting cast for Pesona Pictures' "Mimpi Moon". With several awards under his belt, the comedian definitely has the last laugh and Cinema Online is not one to miss the opportunity to catch him doing so by interviewing this happy-go-lucky actor to find out more about his latest, "Berani Punya Budak!
The interview with Afdlin Shauki was held at the premiere of "Berani Punya Budak" at e@Curve.
Q: Can you tell us a little about "Berani Punya Budak"?
Afdlin: The film is actually a loose remake of the Thai film titled "Brave", which was shown three years ago. We took the idea and rearranged the plotlines and voila, you have "Berani Punya Budak". Every scene with Johan Raja Lawak and Adlin Aman Ramli I actually filmed in Malaysia last year.
Q: What did you want to highlight in this film?
Afdlin: I want to highlight the type of action film from Thailand that became all the rage in Hollywood. I took this collaboration as a step to spread the wings of our film industry further to other countries. Who knows, after this film, other countries would want to distribute our films. This whole movie is part of my business strategy for Malaysian films.
Q: In this film, there are a lot of daring stunts. Did you perform all of them yourself?
Afdlin: [Laughs] Half of this film is filled with action and fight scenes are my ideas, but not all of the stunts are done by me. I only do the light and easy ones because of my figure and weight.
Q: What is your opinion on Thai artists?
Afdlin: I am very impressed with the credibility of the actors there. All of them are so independent and well-trained. All the dangerous fight scenes are done by them. It is also why I chose them for this film as I felt that they can help us to improve in film production.
Q: What is the most memorable moment during filming "Berani Punya Budak"?
Afdlin: I am very excited to be able to work with actors and a crew from Thailand. They are very friendly, which made it very easy for us to talk to them during filming. I also got to see the person behind my voice dub in action.
Q: During re-recording, did you follow the script?
Afdlin: I only followed the script about 20%. The remaining 80% I used my creativity as we had to lip-synch in Thai with the actors who are speaking Malay.
Q: Where did you get the inspiration for the film?
Afdlin: I had the idea for the film from "Kung Pow: Enter The Fist". I also got a lot of ideas from comedic skits on YouTube and from brainstorming with Awie, the main actor of the film. Oh, but the poster design was inspired by the video game "Grand Theft Auto".
Q: There are a lot of people who did not like the film and even criticised your skills. How did you feel about that?
Afdlin: I made this film for Malaysians to laugh non-stop. If you think this film is stupid, it is because I intentionally made it to be the stupidest film you'll ever watch. For those who cannot accept that, they are entitled to their personal opinion. However, if they just don't like comedy films, they can still watch this film for the action sequences and be impressed by Awie and the cast's skills.
Q: If there is demand for a sequel, would you make one?
Afdlin: God willing, if there is demand for it, we will definitely make a sequel. However, at this time, I'm more focused on other films such as "Boboi The Movie", "Datin Maimon", "Baik Punya Cilok 2" and "Papadom 2".
Q: Thank you Afdlin and we hope to see you again.
Afdlin: You're welcome and I hope we meet again too!