Keith Foo branching out into more “scary” roles in a new horror comedy Keluarga Pontimau. Pix by Nur Adibah Ahmad Izam

KUALA LUMPUR: A household name because of his frequent roles in romantic Malay dramas, such as Ariana Rose and Love You Mr Arrogant, the newly-wed model-turned-actor Keith Foo is branching out into more “scary” roles now.

Next month, the 32-year-old artiste is set to appear in a new horror comedy Keluarga Pontimau, on TV3.

Created by acclaimed director Kabir Bhatia of Nur Kasih and Cinta fame, it is a Malaysianised version of American sitcoms of the 1960s such as The Addams Family and The Munsters, which depict the daily lives of monsters living in the real world.

“Keluarga Pontimau may have these comedic gems as its inspiration but its concept is wholly from Malaysian folklore as Pontimau is a combination of pontianak (vampire) and harimau (were tiger),” said Foo who hails from Gemas, Negri Sembilan.

The 13-episode Keluarga Pontimau tells the story of a family of vampires and were tigers who live in the real world and adapt to their surroundings as best as they can. However, old habits die hard as the were tigers are natural-born hunters and likewise the vampires.

Besides Foo, the series also stars singer-actress Marsha Milan Londoh, Amelia Tripura Henderson, Yasmin Hani Richardson, Sean Lee, Jaslin Puasa, Akhmal Nazri and Jasmine Suraya Chin.

“I’m playing the protagonist Eddie, a were tiger who is the father and head of the monsters’ household. My character has a keen interest in the world around him, and tries his best to blend in with the human crowd.”

Foo’s journey to stardom began during his days in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Gemas. “Back then I modelled for some print advertisements. I loved it, and then took on television and cinema advertisements which required more acting.”

During his schooldays, too, Foo was active in sports especially volleyball. “I even represented Negeri Sembilan in Sukan Malaysia, and it was a moment of pride and joy. However, I later realised that I wanted to become a model and actor.”

Foo, the youngest of four siblings, was 21 when he set foot in Jakarta, Indonesia as part of his modelling career.

“I got this offer to do a toothpaste advertisement. I thought, why not take this opportunity to get into acting in Indonesia as well?”

In 2010, Foo had a part in Cinta Dan Anugerah, an Indonesian drama starring Luna Maya and fellow Malaysian Ashraf Sinclair.

In 2012, after 10 years in Indonesia, Foo felt it was time to return home to start another phase of his career.

Foo’s return to the Malaysian entertainment scene saw him star in several popular drama series - Ariana Rose and Love You Mr Arrogant, both of which were screened over TV3 and drew in more than 4.5 million audiences each.

He is currently starring opposite new actress Nur Risteena Munim in the romantic comedy Girlfriend Kontrak which is currently screening at cinemas.

In this Grand Brilliance movie directed by Virginia Kennedy (who once directed Foo in an advertisement), Foo plays a spoilt, rich businessman Umar who plans to build a resort in Kuala Selangor close to the natural habitat of the small town’s famous Firefly Park.

His project is opposed by kampung girl Alisa (Risteena) who lives close to the fireflies colony.

Next on the cards for Foo is Langit Cinta, in which he stars opposite Nur Fazura Sharifuddin.

Due for release next year, Langit Cinta is directed by Osman Ali.

“I’m very excited for it. I play, yes, a spoilt rich man who goes to an island to oversee the construction of a hotel. There, I meet and fall in love with Fazura’s character and discover that there is more to life than material things,” says Foo who recently married his longtime sweetheart, entrepreneur Kim Raymond.

The movie also stars Fauziah Ahmad Daud, Farid Kamil, Zaidi Omar, Dian P Ramlee and Normah Damanhuri. It is based on the novel of the same name by Fauziah Ashari.

Foo will also appear on his very first travelog Hola Spain Bersama Keith Foo on TV1. “I thoroughly enjoyed myself touring every region of Spain over a month for this wonderful travel programme. I’ve always wanted to visit this beautiful country which is full of enchanting legends and places.”