Being an actor for more than 10 years makes Nyoman Oka Wisnupada Antara feel grateful of what he has now. Oka Antara is listed as one of the top actors in our country, starring more than 14 films and TV series, including the internationally well-known The Raid 2: Berandal and Killers.
The humble actor is of Balinese descent, yet he was born and raised in Jakarta. Oka also had the chance to live in Jogjakarta for 5 years, and another 5 years in the US. Other than acting, Oka also masters the art of being a great presenter, rapper, film observer, and the most favorite occupation: a family man. He was also one of the judges for the 2016 Festival Film Indonesia which will be held in November. Being an actor allows the 35 year-old guy to have an outlet to be emotionally expressive. From happy, sad, resentment, to deranged, and exploring this concept, BOmagz welcome you to our October List: Movie Talk. First off, Oka Antara.
How did you get involved in the movie industry?
“Everything came to me by accident. I started acting when I was 19, but back then I was just an extra and (it was) nothing serious. Someone offered me to do extra works and they only paid me transport fee and I was like, ‘Why not?’. As time goes by, I found myself falling in love with acting. So I decided I wanted to pursue acting. But then I learned to know more about filmmaking and other elements before I got into acting deeply. I got my first role in 2005, I was 25 and the movie was released in 2006, and I’ve been hungry for more ever since.”
So after more than 10 years being involved in acting, what is your most memorable movie or acting scene?
“I really can’t name one, it wouldn’t be fair because each film and role have their own difficulties.
When I look back at my first role, maybe it looks like an easy role right now, but back then it was my first attempt of having a significant role, so I would say the level of the difficulty is pretty much the same as my last film. I dont know, I mean I tend to challenge myself in every film, so I dont wanna do the same film (genre) over and over again.
“And I can select my role and which film that would complement my skill the best. Talking about a movie that leaves a big impact for me, maybe it’s The Raid 2. It has such a major impact, internationally. And it’s just easier for me to drop The Raid 2 on my CV and people already know it. Whether we like it or not, in Indonesia no matter how many films that you’ve done, people are mostly unaware about the film. They only heard about selected films which are big and well-known. I have to say, coming from a family and relatives who are not into showbiz or art industry, they don’t really know about my works except The Raid 2. They just know about that film because I starred in it.”
What does BO stand for according to you?
If you could star in a movie with actor/actress, dead or alive, who would that be?
“I would like to do a film with Ray Sahetapi, he’s a tremendous actor. And I would like to do a film with Robert De Niro, I know it’s impossible and out of my reach. But you know I grew up watching old, classic ‘80s and ‘90s films. I’m not a big fan of De Niro’s latest film though, his early works are always the best. The one that really caught my attention was Taxi Driver and Raging Bulls. That’s why I kept mentioning season actors like veteran actors. I don’t really pay attention to new acts, I’m more into the 1980s and 1990s. Back to Ray Sahetapi, I did a movie with him in Killers, but it wasn’t enough though. I only had 5 or 7 scenes with him. It was quite significant, but I was kind of expecting something like father and son role.”
Who is your inspiration when it comes to acting?
“Geez, I never really thought about it. This maybe not the answer that people are looking for, but I sort of got inspired by Advent Bangun. He is one of the season actors in Indonesia circa the ‘70s and ‘80s. He’s in the same era with Barry Prima. He’s an action actor but he stopped acting because he wanted to serve God, so he became a pastor. And he was offered by Gareth Evans, the director of The Raid, to star in his film but he refused it, because his life is dedicated to God now. When I heard the story, I was like ‘Wow Advent Bangun said that? He rejected the role of the Godfather in The Raid 2’. I mean, he found his true calling, so I was thinking (perhaps) acting is not everything afterall. In the big picture of looking at life on how it is, I just look forward to him. He is a true person, because I know a lot of people who are very hungry for fame, for awards or achievements, but he’s different.”
Tell us the process on how you get into character for every movie you’ve been in?
“At first I have to do a background check, who he was before the movie start. And what is his connection to other characters and how would he become interesting in the midst of other characters, or like how would he stand out among them all. Because if you don’t think about that character deeply, it’s going to be flat.”
What is your wildest dream that you have yet to achieve?
“To produce a movie, maybe. I frequently got asked questions about my ambition, do I wanna direct a movie, but I would answer that I don’t want to direct, I want to produce a film. I never really have the vision of being the director, I always want to produce a film. The thought of creating something from zero to something big maybe that’s my wildest dream, it’s still far for me to achieve though. Being a producer is not easy, being an actor—you just have to focus on your acting. But a producer has to focus entirely, not just getting your actors right, but also to make sure your other departments are settled.”
If you have a chance to produce one movie, which genre would that be?
“Family drama. Or something that incorperates sports, because I love sports and I play basketball. It’s easier to accept roles that involve character-driven kinda story, and I always like father and son relationship. Maybe I would incorporate a father and son in basketball theme story, basically a family drama. People may have seen me in thriller or horror movies, but honestly I’m not really a big fan of action. To be honest with you, I’ve never even seen Star Wars, I don’t watch Fast and Furious, maybe the only action film that I’ve been following was the Jason Bourne trilogy. People are actually surprise by it. It’s easier for me to incorporate my feeling with the story which is close to reality.”
Who is your favorite director and favorite movie?
“Denis Villeneuve, he made Enemy and Sicario. He also made Prisoners, I love all of his works.”
Do you have a motto to live by that you always hold on to?
“I saw The Godfather and there was a saying, ‘A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man’. The one which really gets to me is the quote about family.”
Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Photographer: Vicky Melly
Stylist: Hilarius Matthew
Makeup Artist: Nadia Renata
Video Director: Mario Raymond
Digital Imaging: Dela Naufalia
Graphic Design: Rusdah Ulfa
Video Editor: Iqbal Syafei
Wardrobe: WXG, available at BrandOutlet.co.id