Actor Iedil Dzuhrie Alaudin becomes a 'health buff' after training for 'The Assistant'


The actor says that doing all the physical preparation exhilarated him. Photos: Handout

Adrian Teh's latest film The Assistant (out at cinemas since May 19) has plenty of action that it garnered an 18+ rating for violence and language.

However, Teh described it as more than an action film.

“Yes, it is an action-packed movie, but there are so many other elements in the film. Only 40% of the duration is pure action. The focus is more on the drama and character development,” he said.

For that reason, Paskal: The Movie and Wira director knew he needed a first-rate actor for the main role of Zafik.

And of course, an actor who’s willing to put in the work for the action scenes.

Teh stated that actor Iedil Dzuhrie Alaudin ticked all the right boxes.

The director elaborated: “I think Iedil is an underexposed talent in Malaysia... I have seen his films, so I have no doubt when it came to his acting.

“The audition was held via Zoom and when I saw him, I knew straight away he was the perfect fit for Zafik. And I cast him not long after.”

The Assistant tells the story of Zafik (Iedil) who is sent to jail for 10 years for a crime he did not commit.

While serving time, he is informed about the deaths of his wife and son but not who killed them or why.

Zafik comes out of prison a broken man. That's when he meets Feroz (Hairul Azreen), who puts him on a path filled with violence.

Zafik has a lot on his mind as he walks the path of vengeance.Zafik has a lot on his mind as he walks the path of vengeance.

Iedil said: “Like Adrian said, yes there is a lot of action but 60% (of The Assistant) is drama. The character Zafik has a lot of layers to him because he’s gone through a number of things in his life.

“Like any other film, I discussed with the director what he wanted. And there was a lot of research that went into playing him, and understanding the psyche of the character.

“My main challenge in portraying Zafik was finding out who he is and what he wants."

The other uphill task that Iedil faced was the action scenes. The 38-year-old – who started acting at the age of 14 – has a long list of works to his credit but none that required him to fight.

“I am not an action star. This is the first time I am in an action movie, so I had to learn everything from scratch,” said the actor of critically acclaimed films such as Pekak, One Two Jaga and Fly By Night.

“As an actor, you somehow need to try new things. And if you’ve been given an opportunity to do it with a production team that has a proven track record of doing an action film, you take it,” he reasoned.

Iedil underwent the rigorous fitness regime alongside co-stars Hairul and Henley Hii. He followed the strict dietary programme and memorised all the action choreography.

Iedil attends the 24th Udine Far East Film Festival, where 'The Assistant' was screened. Iedil attends the 24th Udine Far East Film Festival, where 'The Assistant' was screened.

Teh stated: “No one is born with action skills. I asked Iedil if he was willing to commit to playing the role.

“As long as the actor is willing to commit, and he puts in the effort, I can work with him.

“And Iedil committed fully. To see his body transformation from first day of training to the day we started shooting, it was a joy to watch for me.”

Likewise Hairul was quick to note that he was just as impressed with how hard Iedil trained for the role.

“He never missed any of his sessions, which is the most important part of doing an action movie. And I can safely say that after three months of training, Iedil can fight like a pro.

“Of course, when he first started he was unsure but, after a month he started showing great improvements. By the end, he was in excellent form," said Hairul.

Iedil Dzuhrie Alaudin and wife Indonesian actress and martial artist Prisia Nasution on the red carpet for the premiere of The Assistant in Malaysia. Iedil Dzuhrie Alaudin and wife Indonesian actress and martial artist Prisia Nasution on the red carpet for the premiere of The Assistant in Malaysia.

Doing all the physical preparation exhilarated Iedil so much so that he told StarLifestyle he has become somewhat of a “health buff”.

When asked if his wife – Indonesian actress and martial artist Prisia Nasution – was surprised when she saw his transformation, Iedil shared: “Well, I hadn’t seen her for about nine months, so the change was obvious (to her).”

Teh teased: “I am actually pushing him to close the gap between he and his wife, because she can fight, and now they have more things in common.”

Laughing, Iedil elaborated: “She is a silat athlete,” before adding, “I go to the gym now, thanks to this production. It has inspired me to work out more after seeing Hairul’s physique in this movie.”

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