It was hard for actress Daphne Iking to agree to star as Inspector Sabrina in the action movie Sindiket. The movie was shot back in 2013, when she was still breastfeeding her then two-year-old daughter Iman.
But Iking just couldn’t pass on the project because the movie focused on human trafficking, an issue that is close to her heart.
“I said yes because it is something that is very much happening here. I’ve been involved with Tenaganita, a shelter that helps victims of human trafficking. Being a part of the project was another way for me to raise awareness about the issue,” Iking, 38, said during an interview in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Sindiket follows police investigators Sabrina and Rudy (played by Sharnaaz Ahmad) on a mission to track down the culprit behind a human trafficking syndicate targeting young women in Sabah.
Iking said it was tough being a breastfeeding mum on a movie production that was mostly shot outdoors.
“When we need to express (milk)... we need to do it right away. It was hard doing so in the jungle and on the beach where we were shooting,” she revealed.
However, she was thankful that her husband was by her side: “I remember that I had to (use my) breast pump in the middle of a jungle. Then, my husband will go running around, looking for a fridge to store the milk.”
For Iking's role in Sindiket as Sabrina, the actress had to execute a pivotal action scene where her character drives frantically to rescue her partner, Rudy. She remembered how she didn’t want to mess up her take.
“Blanks and explosives were very expensive (so no multiple takes), I was so stressed out. I had to drive a car through the jungle, remember the cue and my lines, and make sure I don’t langgar (hit) anyone. It was crazy,” she said.
Despite her worries, Iking enjoyed shooting Sindiket. She loved how director Bade Azmi was open to her ideas and also grateful to co-star Sharnaaz for creating a great vibe on set.
“He always plays angry characters on screen but in real life, he’s such a teddy bear. He’s extremely professional and taught me a lot on how to play my role. So, when you get that kind of energy on the set, you automatically become Inspector Sabrina. He’s wonderful to work with,” she offered.
Her time on Sindiket may have ended but Iking believes in playing her part to combat human trafficking in real life. She has continued to work closely with various organisations and lend her voice to causes that highlight the plights of victims.
“It’s very petrifying. I’ve spoken to unwed pregnant mothers who met people who wanted to adopt their children ... only to find out that these people were ‘adopting’ the kids to exploit them for human trafficking.
“So, I urge everyone to be aware and look out for warning signs,” Iking said.