A face that you’re already familiar with—or will be. Refal Hady has played in 8 big movies so far, from Galih dan Ratna, Critical Eleven, Susah Sinyal, Dilan 1990, Teman Tapi Menikah, Orang Kaya Baru, Antologi Rasa, to Dilan 1991.
He actually has been working his way to the showbiz industry since his uni years but since the parents didn’t approve, he postponed the career until he graduated. He then interned as a TV host, years passed by and Refal got himself a manager. And well, the rest is history. Though he has been linked to many romantic movies, but he actually loves watching thriller movies. To Letter F, he said that it drives him crazy to just be able and even get the chance to explore those characters’ mind.
You starred in many movies that hit bullseye to the romance side, especially to the viewers—how did you actually start your acting career?
“I took broadcasting as my major back in uni cause it’s something that I’ve always been interested to explore in. During my internship, I was offered to become a host, and honestly I tried my luck because I was quite the reserved kind of guy. Didn’t have the confidence to even talk in front of camera, but I took a shot and has since been a learning process as it gives me new insights and boosts my confidence.”
So how has the career affected you personally so far?
“Well, my first role was as Galih. Becoming an actor has opened my eyes to the truth behind the camera—how hard it is for actors to immerse themselves into these characters they’re playing because the characters could be very different from ourselves, right? Honestly, as I fell deeper into the acting, I fell in love immensely, I keep on learning and improving.”
Which character that needs more practices—the most difficult for you to portray?
“Every character has its own uniqueness to be studied and none of them are easy. The character in Detak is the trickiest one that I’ve ever played, as Dr. Jati. He’s a 36-year-old doctor who’s also a psychopath. The character’s background is so dark, but it also allowes me to deepen my understanding as a doctor. Dr. Jati’s layer spectrum is wide, I enjoy the learning process of a character the most. To play Dr. Jati, I had to learn the mind of a psychotic, the adrenaline rush when they see blood, that crazy excitement they got from being a murderer. I can’t play a psycho without understanding his point of view, right? So I went under a great stress to be Dr. Jati, I watched how animals being killed multiple times that I went numb when I see the blood—it’s completely insane. We shot for four months and I had to reconnect with myself again, the leftover was I was a bit temperamental during the transition. But as I went over to my daily routine, I sobered up and became myself again.”
Wait, so what were the steps you did to recover from that crazy character?
“I did all of my old routine again. I tried to press down the memories that I shouldn’t recall about Dr. Jati so I went to a holiday for a bit, I went to the beaches, and I did many things for self-healing. After playing such a character, I see that my family is a big part for me to come back and be myself again.”
So what was the process when it comes to immersing oneself with that character?
“During my experience in playing Galih, I was taking an acting course but in reality, what I learned from the course is totally different with the actual shooting process. Was a bit hard but that’s what made me fall in love even more with the acting world. It taught me the character development phase, to dive into a new character, what needs to be done and whatnot. It’s important to stay true and honest in every moment in the movie, including the relationships I had to build with the co-actors on set.”
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“Still being an actor, but maybe in 10 years I hopefully widen my capacity into becoming a director, I wish to direct a movie and perhaps having my own production house. I wish to be able to feel the sensation of directing my own movie, but most of all, I’d like to achieve my own happiness, having a family. By 10 years, I need to learn all the steps to achieve all of that because to be an actor, I took so many steps and things to learn, hence to become a director means I have to retake everything from zero again. But I wish to make all of these come true.”
Editor: Galuh Tathya
Writer: Windyannisa Cindrati
Photographer: Vicky Melly
Digital Imaging: Ari Angga
Stylist: Salsabila Sari
Wardrobe: Fofo, available at TheFThing.com
Location: Lei Lo Jakarta