Actress, singer and former Miss Malaysia Erra Fazira has emerged as an icon in the entertainment industry.
FATE, the phenomenon with an uncanny ability to ensure that you wind up living the life that you were meant to live. Erra Fazira’s foray into entertainment began back in 1992 when she became Miss Malaysia and represented the country at the Miss World pageant in South Africa. While her win was what thrust her into the entertainment scene, beauty pageants weren’t really her thing. Though not immediately perceivable, Erra has often talked about her early “rugged’ days. She was in fact, entered into the competition by a relative who believed she would do well.
When Erra learnt about it, she rode her motorbike to the organiser’s office to withdraw from competition. As fate would have it, the organiser begged her to participate, saying that there weren’t enough contestants. And that, as they say, was that.
When she returned, she received offers, both to sing and act, but although singing was her first love, it was her acting career that rocketed, garnering her the reputation of being the actress to cast if you want a box office hit.
It all began when Datuk Yusof Haslam cast her in the 1994 film Sembilu with Awie and Ziana Zain. To date she has appeared in more than 40 films and has numerous accolades to her name including Malaysian Film Festival Best Actress in 2001, 2004 and 2005, Anugerah Skrin Best Actress in 1995, 2001 and 2008 and Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian Most Popular Actress in 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004.
In the process she gained a reputation as a dramatic actress with the ability to turn on the tears upon command, something that she isn’t always pleased about. Despite her established film career, there are still some roles that Erra has yet to explore.
“There are a lot more roles and genres ... For example, action movies, thrillers, horror,” she says. “When it comes to achievements nothing is ever enough. I’ve to strive to go further in growing myself to become a better person and to contribute towards bringing our entertainment industry to the next level.”
She does however maintain a heavy schedule working on TV series, telemovies and the talk show Primadona for which she is one of four hosts. She also has a new movie coming in October and will release a duet which she recorded with her close friend Datin Paduka Umie Aida.
A career in entertainment isn’t easy and she says that are numerous challenges that have to be faced.
“It has been an uphill climb to come to this stage. One of the greatest challenges is to be able to keep a positive mind at all times.”
It is something that she has managed to achieve as she focuses on the future.
“I have yet to build a successful career,” she says. “And I hope to be a great mother, a responsible daughter and a loving wife.”