Jakarta. Indonesian actress Putri Marino said she spent a month practicing her acting for "Jelita Sejuba: Loving a National Hero," an upcoming drama helmed by Ray Nayoan and also starring Wafda Saifan Lubis.
In this, her second film, Putri plays Sharifah, a girl of Malay descent from Natuna – the outermost island in the Riau archipelago – who falls in love with Jaka (Wafda Lubis), an army soldier posted on the island, and then after a bit of drama decides to marry him.
"I have never played a Malay girl before. So, I did some research on Malay culture, including the dialect and the gestures that Malay people use, for a full month," Putri said.
The former fashion designer and host of TV travel program "My Trip My Adventure" said she had jumped on the opportunity to act in Jelita Sejuba as soon as she read the script.
"I loved the script. It's a story about what can happen to the family of an Indonesian army soldier, and also a story about a woman, a wife," said Putri, who won the Citra Award – Indonesia's Oscars – for Best Actress for her debut in Edwin's teen romance "Posesif" last year.
Putri, whose hobbies include diving, geeking out on coffee, cooking, reading and writing poems, also said she really enjoyed acting alongside teen heartthrob Wafda in the film.
"He’s really fun and very supportive. We learned a lot from each other," she said.
Putri said director Ray was also a pleasure to work with, giving his actors and actresses free rein to express themselves during filming.
"The script reading was fun. The shoot was a breeze. Ray's a fun director. He gave us freedom," she said.
Putri hopes local filmmakers will keep producing works that are "not just entertaining, but also educational."
"We need more stories about our own culture, our own people, it's beautiful and personally I love it," she said.
"Young people are not so interested to learn about Indonesia's history and culture. I think this [Jelita Sejuba] is one way of showing young people the culture and beauty of Indonesia," Putri said.
The film is produced by Drelin Amagra Pictures and will screen on cinemas starting April 5 this year.