#Showbiz: Stuntman Ali grateful for first lead role

Former stuntman-turned-actor Ali Arami is grateful that he can understand Malay, English and Mandarin well.

The 33-year-old trilingual artiste is the star of the comedy movie, Adoiii Jiwaku, which is screening in cinemas.

He says being trilingual in a multiracial country has its benefits, and assists in daily communication and relationships. But this is only something he realised later in life.

His parents had enrolled him in Chinese schools for his primary and secondary education.

"When I was young, I wasn't too thrilled to be sent to a Chinese school. However, that was for my parents to decide and it wasn't up for discussion. So I accepted it with an open heart.

"It wasn't easy to study in a Chinese school since the language was very different. Conversing in Mandarin in school was a must, and it wasn't easy and needed time to master.

"What's more, competition among classmates from other races made it vital to develop a strong spirit to succeed.

"As time went by, I got used to it and became fluent in Mandarin. That made it much easier for me to cope in my studies and to have daily conversations."

The actor, who hails from Melaka and is a former wushu athlete, said he is now proud to be able to use all three languages.

Ali has been a stuntman in action films like Tombiruo and Pulang, as well as a stunt coordinator for Wira, Polis Evo 2, Coast Guard Malaysia: Ops Helang and Paskal.

In recent years, he has acted in Kerat 14 and Kanang Anak Langkau: The Iban Warrior, but the Steve Yap-directed Adoiii Jiwaku is his first lead role.

Ali says that he is comfortable working with a non-Malay production, which is produced by Lomo Pictures Sdn Bhd in partnership with MM2, MCM Cometro, Fortune Studios and Shinjuru.

"As a Malaysian, I am used to speaking in three languages depending on the situation. It makes it easy and practical to communicate.

"There are no problems, and everyone understands one another. Praise be to God, for now my work is going smoothly.

"I'm thankful to my parents for their decision and efforts to provide me with the best education."

On working with Yap, who also stars in Adoiii Jiwaku, Ali says he has known him for a long time but never expected to get the opportunity to play the lead role.

"I'm a relatively new actor with not much experience. So I was a little worried about initially taking on the offer to play a major role in this movie.

"But Yap helped me a lot through the production, and I have given my very best.

"I hope that my character, Ayis, will be well received by the audience. Moreover, I am prepared for the brickbats, if they happen.

"I understand that it's not easy to please everyone, but come what may, I am at ease and look at it positively."

Adoiii Jiwaku follows the story of Sia, Ayis and Malesh, who are of different races and work in a hotel. They are often at loggerheads due to their personalities and perspectives.

During a freak accident in the office, Sia (played by Yap) and Ali's Ayis switch bodies with one another.

From then on, they have to work closely and find all sorts of ways, including getting help from Malesh, to get back to normal.

Eventually, all three learn to understand each other's cultures, values, and perspectives, but will they be able to successfully switch back?

Adoiii Jiwaku also stars E. Ramanamohan, Adibah Noor, Amber Chia, Pablo Amirul, Anuar Abdul Hamid, Jack Lim, Chan Fong, Mark O'dea and Dennis Lau.

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