Things might just change drastically for Nur Afiqah Mohammad Azmi with the opening of the film Wira at cinemas today.
Professionally known as Fify Azmi, the 29-year-old Subang Jaya native is making her big-screen debut in the Adrian Teh action-packed feature. In it, she has the secondary lead role, after Hairul Azreen.
Interestingly enough, the role came to Fify, in an unexpected manner – she was cast after the original actress was injured during training and was unable to continue.
However at that point, the preproduction work of training the Wira actors for the action sequences had already gone on for more than a month.
Despite her late entry, Fify immediately said yes as she realised that Wira was an opportunity of a lifetime.
She did not waver even when it meant undergoing daily intense training sessions for almost two months, as well as chopping off her chest-length hair to a boyish cut.
“I always wanted be an actress, but my rezeki (livelihood) has been more as a host (Borak Kopitiam), appearing in commercials (Clean & Clear and L’Oreal), and as a content provider for a (radio station’s) digital portal, ” said Fify, who started auditioning for commercials alongside her identical twin, Khalie Azmi, since her schooldays, and was a finalist in the beauty pageant Dewi Remaja 2014/2015.
Stepping into Teh’s detailed plan for Wira would’ve been challenging for any actress, what more a first-timer.
“I have gone for Muay Thai classes before and liked it. But for Wira, my exercises were specific, I had two sessions from 10am to 6pm everyday, with (MMA fighter) Theebaan G in the morning and Indonesian action-star/martial artist Yayan Ruhian in the afternoon. I also ate special meals to complement the training.
“Theebaan had me working on my shoulders, abs, legs and back, working with weight, and on building my stamina. After lunch, I trained with Yayan for the film’s action sequences. At 6pm, I would meet with Adrian and we’d talk about my developments, ” she said.
Not stopping there, Fify would study the script at night to truly understand her character.
“Whenever Adrian asked me if I can do this, I’d just tell him, ‘I don’t know if I can do this, but I know I WANT to do this’.”
All the effort seems to have paid off. Her performance in Wira as someone who never backs away from a fight is right on the mark. Anyone not familiar with Fify would never believe that she’s the polar opposite of the tough young woman she portrays.
“My character in Wira is unlike who I am – she speaks and acts tough. Even how she looks and how I look, are totally different. But I loved every part of the Wira experience.
“Truth is, I have always loved watching action movies. I am not a fan of lovey-dovey stories. I hope I get to do more action movies in the future.”
1. When and how did you get into the entertainment industry?
When I was 15, I started auditioning for commercial spots with my sister. When you have a twin, it’s like you have your own personal cheerleader. We’ve just always encouraged each other in everything.
Acting, hosting, modelling – I want to do them all. This is my long-term plan. I really like doing all of these things.
2. Is your parents supportive of you as well?
My mum is super supportive. For this film especially, before I start shooting my scene,
I would be on the phone with her for a good 15 minutes. Every time I feel like giving up, I would call her, to get words of encouragement so I could carry on.
I would whine to her that I can’t do this, that it’s too hard, that my body’s tired, and she always knows the right thing to say. She’s the one who’s instilled in me that never-give-up attitude.
3. How has the training for Wira changed your current exercise routine?
Now I do more weights. My casual exercise routine has become more intense.
I use the basics Theebaan taught me to workout at the gym in my condo.
4. You are active on social media. Is sharing your life with your followers something you enjoy?
I want to share some positive vibes through social media. I had some people asking me how to do certain exercises, because I’ve put up exercise videos.
I share the things I eat, like the protein I consume in the morning. I blend fruits and shake, which is really yummy.
So you take your blender, put one scoop of oats, one scoop of protein shake, whatever flavour you like, one cup of milk, one scoop of peanut butter, and lastly you put in banana. You can add berries also if you like. You blend it and that’s it. It’s so good. That’s what I have before I start my cardio exercises.
I believe in eating whatever you want. There’s no need for strict dieting. I take rice once a day too because I love rice, but not at night.
5. Since you have an identical twin sister, you must’ve pulled a few pranks in your younger days.
Pranking my friends is something we do all the time.
I remember in school, my sister and I were in different classes; she was in science class with my best friend, and I was in accounts class.
One day, we switched places because I wanted to hang out with my best friend.
It was biology time, and the bio teacher was asking me something I had no idea about, thinking I am my sister, right?
I had to find an excuse to leave the class but the teacher knew that I had switched places with my sister (laughs).
Even the teachers knew our tricks because we’re always pulling this prank.
Wira opens at GSC cinemas nationwide on Nov 21,2019.