Actor Remy Ishak is no stranger to non-fiction works. Pix by Rohanis Shukri

IT is often said that truth is stranger than fiction, or as actor Remy Ishak puts it, real-life stories are more fascinating than imagined adventures on the silver screen.

The popular Melaka-born artiste is set to appear in the epic film, Pulang, based on the real-life story of sailor Othman who made a voyage from Melaka to Liverpool, the United Kingdom, seven decades ago.

Filmed over two months in the Klang Valley, Terengganu and Liverpool last year, the film produced by Primeworks Studios and directed by Kabir Bhatia, is set for release in January.

Pulang is my most challenging film role yet.

“It’s a fascinating story which few Malaysians know of.

“Acting in the film has been educational for me, as I’ve learnt what fearless voyagers our forefathers were back in the British colonial era,” he said at Kaio photography studio in Section 13, Shah Alam, recently.

While Pulang is Remy’s biggest biopic, the actor is no stranger to non-fiction works.

In 2009, he starred in Bravo 5, which was based on soldiers’ battles against Communist insurgents in the 1980s.

He also acted in Redha, which was based on real stories of a couple and their autistic child, as well as Erma Fatima’s child custody play Natrah, in which he played the title character’s husband, Mansor Adabi.

“The most interesting film that I had ever starred in was 29 Februari, which was based on milestones throughout Malaysia’s history — the hero Budi Hanafi, whom I played, encounters real-life events, such as the proclamation of Merdeka!”

The coming Merdeka month will add to Remy’s non-fiction film resume, as he will be appearing in six short films on Astro as part of the station’s Merdeka project, #Anak Merdeka.

“It’ll be similar to 29 Februari, except that I’ll be playing various people who lived during pivotal moments in history, such as the opening of the Petronas Twin Towers and the first Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur,” said Remy.

#Anak Merdeka will feature actress Sarah Lian and filmmakers Kabir, Bernard Chauly and Shamyl Othman, among others.

In the future, Remy hopes to appear in films that celebrate entrepreneurs, pioneers, athletes, scientists, statesmen and best of all, everyday heroes who make a difference.

“American cinema has told beautiful stories about the country’s unsung heroes, and one of the recent ones which I enjoyed was Hidden Figures, about three brilliant African-American women at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration who served as the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, turning around the space race and which galvanised the world.

“I’m sure we’ve lots of inspiring stories which we can make into great award-winning films.”

After Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Remy will be involved in the filming of Astro Ria mini series Dosa, alongside Ashraf Sinclair and Hisham Hamid.

When asked about his impending nuptials, Remy, who got engaged to businesswoman Ezza Yusof last month, promises fans that he will keep everyone informed of his “big day”.

“It’s ‘hush, hush’ for now! But I’ll definitely break the good news when the time comes.”