Radhi Khalid's more than just a funny guy

Friday June 10, 2005

Radhi Khalid's more than just a funny guy


Please do not call him Abdulla, the Bangladeshi character that Radhi Khalid plays in Ntv7’s sitcom Spanar Jaya, because it upsets him.  

“People expect me to continue playing Abdulla off-screen. It got to a point where people assumed I could only do limited roles. 

“I can do just about any role. But I suppose all the other roles I played were not as successful as Abdulla,” said Radhi, who has played Abdulla for six years. 

In fact, he feels most people underestimate his acting ability because he is much more talented and versatile than what producers or the media have made him out to be. 

Radhi Khalid: "I am serious about my work."

When Radhi was offered the role by director Mamat Khalid, he hung out at teh tarik stalls and mamak restaurants to watch Bangladeshis at work. 

“I observed them for weeks and a couple of times, they nodded their heads and smiled at me, thinking I was one of them. I played along and I managed to mimic their gestures and picked up a few words and improvised them to suit my character,” explained Radhi.  

The down-to-earth actor started off as a waiter, before becoming a model, a dancer, an emcee and finally a film crew member in the mid-1980s when he joined production house Nizarman (M) Sdn Bhd.  

He later became a production manager, a job he held for four years before his acting talent was discovered. His first drama was Sofia, a sitcom in 1986, and his debut movie was Selubung in 1991. 

The versatile actor has more than 100 dramas and 10 movies to his credit. He can be seen in Qaisy & Laila – produced by Serangkai Filem Sdn Bhd and Nizarman – which will be screened in Malaysian cinemas soon.  

“It is one of the biggest roles I’ve been offered so far.” said the 41-year-old bachelor, who played Sadiq, an Afghan. 

Radhi, who is the 12th of 22 siblings (from four mothers), looks forward to producing his own dramas and movies.  

“I am serious about my work, but fans think I am a comedian and expect me to play stereotyped roles.  

“I appreciate their support but I want them to respect me for my work as well.”