Luna Maya seen during a visit to the Jakarta Globe's offices on Thursday. (JG Photo/Cahya Nugraha)

From Hours of Makeup to Getting Buried Alive, Luna Maya Goes All Out in 'Suzzanna'


NOVEMBER 09, 2018

Jakarta. Actress and presenter Luna Maya has gone to great lengths to fill the shoes of the late Suzzanna, Indonesia’s "Queen of Horror," for the upcoming movie "Suzzanna: Bernapas Dalam Kubur" ("Suzzanna: Buried Alive") from spending hours getting prosthetics applied to being covered in live maggots.

During a media visit to the Jakarta Globe's offices on Thursday, Luna said her transformation into the character began by watching three of Suzanna's classics; "Malam Satu Suro" ("First Night of Suro"), "Sundel Bolong"("Holey Whore") and "Telaga Angker" ("Haunted Lake") – all directed by Sisworo Putra, the man behind the original "Pengabdi Setan" ("Satan's Servant"), which was recently remade.

"I also looked for her non-horror films. YouTube has many clips of them, not in a good quality though, but they can still serve as references," she said.

According to Luna, most of Suzzanna's movies centered on love and revenge. She observed the late actress's mannerisms as both a lover and a ghost terrorizing others.

That was just the beginning. After production started, Luna spent three hours each day for 53 days getting makeup and prosthetics applied.  Producer Sunil Soraya revealed in a press conference two months ago that the prosthetics were made by Russian makeup artists Peter Gorshenin and Tatiana Melkomova.

In an iconic ritual scene depicted in one of Suzzanna’s movies, the horror mistress eats a fresh jasmine flower, which Luna said she also did.

In a scene where Suzzanna is killed and buried by robbers, played by Teuku Rifnu Wikana, Alex Abbad and Kiki Narendra, Luna said she was covered in mud and maggots, for a shoot at three in the morning.

"Imagine you’re given an opportunity to star in a film, but then you, a woman, are lowered into a grave. You get mud all over you. Then maggots crawl and bite your body. You get showered in rain afterwards. In the end, there’s a glass cover on top of you because the camera is positioned above the glass. Would you be down for that?" Rifnu said.

He added that Luna's dedication to the role motivated other actors on set.

"That’s what made this filming process interesting. Other Indonesian actors should see how all-out they should be," Rifnu said.

Despite all her efforts, Luna said it was impossible to fully become Suzzanna.

"I'm not her. I'm Luna. We can't be totally the same. Even people who are identical twins have certain differences between them. I'm not 100 percent her, but we tried as much as we could so that when people see this, they see a new Suzzanna movie, not a new Luna Maya movie," the actress said.

Besides this movie, Luna is also known for roles in horror movies since the early years of her career on the big screen, such as in "Bangsal 13." Last year, she starred in "Devil’s Whisper" and "The Doll 2." She was also in "Sabrina" this year.

But with the new Suzzanna movie, Luna had no intention of stepping up as a horror specialist.

"It would be stupid of me to pass this opportunity because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is the legend and the iconic Suzzanna. If I missed this, I'd regret it for the rest of my life although it's another horror movie. But then what's important is to work regardless of genres, as long as we love our job. I don't want to call myself a specialist in horror or drama movies… I just want to act in films as many and as well as possible," Luna said.

"Suzzanna: Bernapas Dalam Kubur" will be in cinemas from next Thursday. The movie is also slated for release in Malaysia and Singapore soon.