Actress Nadia Nisa speaks to Hizreen Kamal about her latest role and how she got into acting
SHE was introduced to acting by filmmaker Osman Ali nine years ago in the telefilm Dengan Nama Cinta.
In 2006, she was featured in Datuk Siti Nurhaliza’s Bisakah music video, which went on to win Anugerah Industri Muzik’s Best Music Video the following year. It was directed by Osman.
After a couple of films and several made-for-TV dramas, Nadia Nisa, 27, landed the role of Manis, a disabled village girl, in the 2011 romantic comedy Cun (also directed by Osman), which was to become synonymous with her.
Her portrayal of the honest and naive Manis not only touched the hearts of viewers but also earned her the Best Supporting Actress (Film) award at last year’s TV3’s Anugerah Skrin and Malaysia Film Festival.
Seems like Osman believed in her right from the start.
“Initially, acting was just a secret wish. I was only 19 when I auditioned for a role in Dengan Nama Cinta. When I was told that I had nailed the part for a supporting role in the telemovie alongside Fasha Sandha, Jehan Miskin, Zizan Nin and Bront Palarae, I was pleasantly surprised as I did not have confidence in my acting. But Osman told me to believe in myself and to trust my instincts,” she says, adding that the director introduced her to actress Mislina Mustaffa, who became her acting coach.
“I didn’t have formal acting lessons. Many people thought I had some theatre background which I did not.”
Nisa, whose real name is Nadiyatul Nisaa’ Kamaruddin, says since her big win she has been getting plenty of offers for TV and the big screen. Consequently, she “missed” many of Osman’s projects along the way.
On the offers, she says some were good while others are similar to the character Manis.
Nisa, who has a 10-month-old son Omar Saiful Razman, does not wish to re-enact the role of Manis in any other film or TV drama as she considers it special.
“It won’t be fair to Cun,” says Nisa, who also starred in the independent film Karaoke (2007) directed by Chris Chong, and the banned Dukun by Dain Iskandar Said.
Nisa admits that some fans call her Manis when they bump into her at the malls. “The character must have had such an impact,” she says, adding that she is looking at roles that can fulfil her and relate to the audience.
Nisa finds music inspiring. “I’d love to be involved in a musical piece ala Moulin Rouge, Black Swan or Step Up so that I can showcase my dancing skills,” she says with a laugh.
She was also excited when Osman informed her that Cun would soon be turned into a stage play at Istana Budaya and that her role will be expanded.
“It’s very exciting and I cannot wait for rehearsals to start.”
Recently, Nisa was involved in the 80-episode drama series Adam & Hawa for Astro Mustika HD, currently airing on Astro Channel 134.
According to reports, the producer from Global Station production had been hunting high and low for a suitable actress to play Hawa.
Playing the leading role opposite popular Singaporean heartthrob and Anugerah Bintang Popular’s Most Popular Artiste, Aaron Aziz, Nisa admits to being a little nervous.
“We met on the set of Ombak Rindu but we didn’t have a scene together. We met again during the script reading. At first I felt a little awkward but Aaron was very friendly and made me feel comfortable” she says, adding that filming took five months, and included locations such as Perth, Australia and the Middle East.
Adam & Hawa is based on a popular novel by Aisya Sofea. It tells of Ain Hawani (Nisa), who works in a kindergarten while waiting for her SPM results. She meets Adam (Aaron), a pilot. Her intention to further her studies is dashed when she is forced to marry Adam after they are caught for close proximity. Disappointment engulfs her and she cannot accept him. She leaves him and returns a decade later, when things change for the better.
Currently filming Pengapit, a romantic comedy by Grand Brilliance, Nisa plays the leading role of Triz alongside Farid Kamil. The cast includes Rita Rudaini, Anne Ngasri, Zain Hamid, Azhar Sulaiman and Razak Ahmad.
Directed by Wan Hasliza, Pengapit tells how gossip unites two people of different personalities.
“I love the script. It’s very witty. Triz is a girl with low self esteem who harbours hopes of becoming a writer. The two main characters Triz and Razak (Farid) have been friends since high school.
With a husband and toddler, Nisa has learnt how to balance her duties as actress, wife and mother. She credits her family for being understanding and supportive.
“My family motivates me when I am feeling down. They make me a better person.”