Poise and polish

  • News
  • Tuesday, 12 Jul 2011

She might be a newcomer, but Fathia Latiff is meeting celebrity life head-on and brushing away gossip.

Young actress Fathia Latiff threw a tantrum on the set of TV3 drama Stanza Cinta recently. And mind you, she wasn’t acting. It was real, according to a report in a Malay daily.

Sources said, Fathia lost her temper and threw her mobile phone at director Along Kamaruddin.

But when asked to clarify the gossip, Fathia said: “Whoever started the gossip miscontrued what really took place. I had no intention to behave crudely.”

Unperturbed: ‘I don’t feelintimidated at all. Why should Ibe compared to all the otheractresses? I’m fairly new and Ihave not accomplished as muchas them,’ says Fathia Latiff.

According to her, the report was exaggerated.

“It’s not as bad as it sounded. I am so upset that people would choose to believe the rumour. What happened was, I had a migraine, was so stressed out after I received a call that I accidentally threw my handphone but it was not at the director as claimed.

“If I were to read what was said of me, I would think it was a crazy act. But I assure you it was really blown out of proportion,” said the 24-year-old budding actress whose real name is Nur Fathia Abdul Latiff.

Fathia, who was featured in the award-winning drama Nur Kasih, said she had no intention to show any disrespect towards the director. In fact, she had immediately apologised to him after the incident.

“I try to forget the incident but I still fear people assume I am a swollen-headed, hot-tempered newbie. I’m glad those who are close to me still have faith in me ... like veteran actress Maimon Mutalib who advised me not to bring personal matters to the set,” said the part-time model.

Long before Fathia became a starlet, she often made heads turn because of her glamorous filmstar looks.

Ironically, three years ago, she first appeared in a shampoo commercial where she wore headgear and played futsal. Fathia must have made a big impact through the commercial because many acting offers came her way soon after.

“I’ve loved acting, singing and modelling since I was a kid. Even my parents found it strange that I should like all three fields, all in one go. They were not supportive at first because they wanted me to focus on my studies,” said Fathia, a fifth semester law student at the UiTM in Shah Alam, Selangor.

However, she eventually managed to coax her parents to allow her to be in showbusiness – but they had one condition.

“My parents want me to prove to them that I can balance my studies and acting career. They also warned me not to neglect my studies. I can only take acting offers when I am on semester break. If I break this promise, I have to say goodbye to acting,” said the actress of Arab and Indonesian descent who has been featured as the leading actress in three dramas Musang Berjanggut, Hani and Laila Asyikin.

Despite the strict condition imposed, Fathia is aware of the reason behind it.

“My mum (Badriyah Sheikh Hassan Badjenid) always reminds me that acting is just a temporary phase. She said, a lot of newcomers will come and go and you can’t be there all the time.

“She also cautioned me, that not everyone will like me so I have to be prepared to take a backseat eventually. What happens if I’m no longer wanted in this industry, where do I go from there?” said Fathia, who is the eldest of four siblings.

For Fathia, to be a lawyer, would be an ideal back-up plan.

“Now that I am in my second year, the course just gets tougher but I have to work hard to maintain my grades. I will pursue my law degree and the acting career will always be a part time job for me.”

According to Fathia, strange as it may sound, her family is not even impressed with her acting ability. In fact, she said, they are not even bothered to comment or criticise her acting.

“I am so used to it. They are more interested in my grades than my acting. I have yet to hear my parents giving comments on my acting. I suppose they just don’t like me getting involved in this line,” said Fathia who credits her author/scriptwriter 75-year-old grandfather Tahir Samad as her mentor.

Fathia already had her first taste of celebrity fame which came in the form of gossip, linking her to handsome actor Fizo Omar.

“Well, I kind of expected this sort of wild gossip. I don’t think I should take it seriously because it does me no harm.”

On the acting front, she names Lisa Surihani and Scha Al-Yahya as her favourite actresses.

This petite budding star is also one confident actress. She doesn’t feel perturbed when compared to her peers or other actresses.

“I don’t feel intimidated at all. Why should I be compared to all the other actresses? I’m fairly new and I have not accomplished as much as them. So there is no reason why I should feel intimidated. We are in a different league,” added Fathia who finished the drama Hani on TV3, and is current playing the lead role in drama series Stanza Cinta on the same channel. Fathia’s stylish and glamorous looks can be seen in new movie Hijab, directed by Pierre Andre, which is scheduled to be release later this year.

Hijab is so different from the other Malay movies I’ve watched. It is so original from the script right to the theme and setting. This movie gives a different meaning to faith and I think Hijab is worth checking out,” said Fathia.

Stanza Cinta screens every Sunday on TV3 at 9pm.