Locked up for the role

Puteri Aishah and Hasnul Rahmat discuss their experience on the set of Disney+ Hotstar’s Special Force: Anarchy

THE latest local action drama series on Disney+ Hotstar, Special Force: Anarchy, showcases a number of prominent actors and actresses from the film industry.

Directed by the award-winning director Syafiq Yusof and produced by Skop Production, Special Force: Anarchy also features Dato M. Nasir who makes his drama series comeback after a four-year hiatus, taking up the role as the mastermind of the heist and leader of the criminal group Anarchy.

Aside from Nasir, Special Force: Anarchy also includes the incredibly talented actress Puteri Aishah and the well-known Hasnul Rahmat, a veteran actor who has starred in many of the country’s most acclaimed films and dramas.

Puteri Aishah plays Iman, a brave young police officer who investigates the bank heist, while Hasnul Rahmat portrays Commander Qabil, who leads an elite anti-corruption special forces group which is specifically formed to solve high-profile criminal cases. He is also Iman’s father.

Due to the fact that Puteri Aishah and Hasnul have been working together on the drama series Demi, which was aired on OKEY TV last year, it appears that the two of them have a good working relationship and chemistry together.

To further understand their preparations for the role and their experience shooting the Special Force: Anarchy series, we’ve spoken with them in an exclusive interview session.

Describe your feelings when you both received the casting call.

Puteri Aishah: “When my manager told me that I [was] cast in Special Force: Anarchy, it was really a jaw-dropping moment. I was so shocked and speechless as soon as I knew that I get the role of Inspector Iman. I literally couldn’t sleep that night because I was so excited knowing that I would be working alongside [director] Syafiq Yusof and Dato M. Nasir.”

Hasnul Rahmat: “[In my] first 10 years in this industry, I always got the good character [roles]. [In the following] 10 years, I got the opposite, which were the bad character [roles]. So, when I received the call for the role of Commander Qabil, [I thought] finally, a good character after a long time.

“Plus, knowing that Puteri, who was my neighbour back then, is also in the cast, as well as Dato M. Nasir, whom I first worked with as an intern in the film Merah (1997), and now I’m gonna work with him again in this series, it’s gonna be really fun.”

How did you two prepare physically and mentally for the roles?

Puteri Aishah: “I went to fighting class before I entered the set. They wanted me to look fierce. Even though the series doesn’t have many fight scenes but still, I have to be physically fit for my role as Inspector Iman.”

“After that, I went to acting class with Cikgu Fatimah Abu Bakar for three days. She was awesome and lovely. She manage to get me locked in for Inspector Iman’s character. She really taught me exactly how Iman should be in this drama series, so when I went into the set, I brought all the things that I learnt with her.”

Hasnul Rahmat: “Knowing that I’m going to be a cop, that requires me to have a criminal mind in order to get things to work, my preparation consists of attempting to train my mind to think in that manner while also considering myself as Iman’s father.

“At home, I have to be a father figure, loving and caring for his daughter, but at work, I have to be stern because yes, we are both police officers in the series, and must respect the protocols and strategies.”

Tell us more about your experience working with Syafiq Yusof.

Puteri Aishah: “At first, I was really excited to work with him but actually deep inside I was kinda scared before entering the set. Because he is a director and we both know we are introverts as we only talked about the scripts and [our] jobs.

“After a while, I realised working with him is actually pretty fun and he’s an easygoing person, even though he doesn’t talk a lot. If I ever wanted to talk about the dialogue or scenes or [asked] to change anything, it was really easy for me to do so, and he’s not as frightening as I initially thought. I really love working with cool directors like him.”

Hasnul Rahmat: “I love Syafiq’s work and also the way he works. He is so simple yet so interesting. I always look at the director’s work, and all I can say he is a real filmmaker. Because only a true filmmaker could have the skills and abilities of a problem solver. He works with actors and actresses with humanity, and runs the story based on the insights of the script.

“With his patience and also [his ability] to understand his talent’s patience too on the set, it is really amazing and we all enjoy working with directors like him.”

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