Adinia Wirasti, Dian Sastrowardoyo and Ayushita at Legacy Pictures in Jakarta on Wednesday (14/12). (Photo courtesy of Dian Sastrowardoyo)

Dian Sastrowardoyo Was Not First Choice to Play Kartini in Biopic


DECEMBER 16, 2016

Jakarta. Actress Dian Sastrowardoyo said she was initially considered too old to play Raden Ajeng Kartini, an early representative of female emancipation and pioneer of women's education, in Hanung Bramantyo's upcoming biopic.

Addressing the guests at a year-end gathering organized by Legacy Pictures, the film company behind the film "Kartini," Dian said the role was very important in her acting career.

"Initially, Hanung said I was too old to play Kartini and I would be cast as Ngasirah [Kartini's mother]," said the 34-year old.

"As an actress who is growing mature, I accepted it, but after the script development, they decided to give the role to me."

Kartini was born into an aristocratic Javanese family under Dutch colonial occupation. Her father, who served as regent of Jepara in Central Java, allowed her to study and attend school. At a young age, Kartini became active in educational endeavors and in 1903, in her early twenties, opened a primary school for girls. She died a year later, at the age of 25, during labor.

Dian, who rose to fame with her role of Cinta in the 2002 drama "Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?" ("What's Up With Cinta?"), said the research process to prepare for the role was very rewarding.

"Kartini fought for women's rights; today we still face the same challenges. Her struggle is not finished yet," she said.

"Kartini" also marks Dian's reunion with Christine Hakim. Earlier they worked together in the 1998 drama "Daun di Atas Bantal" ("Leaf on a Pillow"). Dian said she was happy she could work again with the great actress.

"When we filmed 'Daun di Atas Bantal,' it was not like this. I was just a little kid and she probably didn't know how to talk to me. And now, we have so many things to discuss," Dian recalled.

"Kartini" also stars Ayushita Nugraha, Adinia Wirasti and Acha Septriasa. The movie is going to be launched in April 2017 to commemorate the annual Kartini Day.