Actor Farid Kamil says he took on a huge challenge playing the role of Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The biopic titled Jalan Masih Panjang – a joint production between Malaysia and Indonesia – is slated for release next year.
During a press conference for his latest film, Remp-It 2, on Monday (Nov 21), the actor revealed that playing Anwar was difficult as it was his first time playing a political figure.
"I wanted to give an accurate portrayal of Anwar because he isn't just a political figure, but a leader who's globally recognised. That is why I spent lots of time watching videos of the man himself and listening to his speeches," the actor shared.
However, watching videos of the PH leader himself wasn't enough. For Farid, there was no better way of learning about a non-fictional role than meeting the real person himself.
Which is why the Remp-It star decided to meet Anwar not once but twice.
"The first time I met him was for dinner where I asked him for advice about how I could embody this role. But that meeting was only two hours. I knew I still had a lot to learn, so I decided to meet him again before flying to Indonesia for filming," Farid explained.
During their second meeting, the Jutawan Fakir actor asked Anwar to show him the scars that were inflicted from being punched seven times as stated in the health report.
"He (Anwar) took off his glasses and showed me that there was still a scar on his brow bone," Farid said, adding that this fuelled his will to bring justice to Anwar's character.
Brave to take on the role
Although Farid is confirmed to lead the new Anwar biopic, the 41-year-old star revealed that he was actually the fifth choice to play the PH leader.
"Four Malaysian actors were listed before me, but none of them accepted the offer," he shared.
The Evolusi KL Drift actor went on to suggest that the actors could have been hesitant as the role carried lots of responsibilities, especially since it was about a present-day leader.
However, Farid was willing to take the risk with this role as he wanted the character to be played by a Malaysian.
"I'm so grateful I was chosen as Anwar. Otherwise, this filmmaker would've picked an actor from another country," Farid explained.
Farid first got to know about Anwar in 1998 during the "Reformasi" movement, and he has been supporting the PH leader's journey ever since.
The biopic is helmed by Indonesian director Viva Westi and filming is currently underway in Malaysia and Indonesia. It also stars Acha Septriasa as Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Hasnul Rahmat as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad