Maudy On The Move
Posted May 13, 2013on:
Maudy Ayunda is a bona-fide movie and scholastic star. The good thing is she has not let success go to her head, Natasha Ishak finds.
Maudy Ayunda arrives for the Speak! cover shoot looking casually cute; she is in a purple cut-out top and matching pants, with several giant curlers perched atop her head. Despite wearing no make-up, she appears to be someone thoroughly at ease and comfortable in her own skin.
It’s not unlike the happy-go-lucky impression of her charming and quirky screen alter-ego of Kugy from 2012’s hit movie Perahu Kertas (Paper Boat).Endearing personalities aside, Maudy is quick to point out she is in fact very different from the character created by Dewi “Dee” Lestari in the 2009 best-selling novel.
“I’m very girly, while Kugy is a free-spirited tomboy,” Maudy says.
In fact, her squeaky clean image and feminine appearance seemed too different to the artsy and disheveled Kugy to some devoted readers of the book. The actress, 18, was not the Kugy they had in mind.
“Fans were not happy when they found out I was cast,” Maudy admits. “They thought I was totally wrong for the part.”
Never someone to dwell on the negative, Maudy sought to prove the skeptics wrong by immersing herself in the role. She chopped off her hair and painstakingly perfected the quirks and gestures of Kugy fromDee’s description in the novel.
Her hard work paid off when the movie, also starring Adipati Dolken and Reza Rahadian, proved a massive hit with both fans and critics. The title song, sung by Maudy, also enjoyed healthy sales as well.
Her soaring acting career is just one of the many things the eldest of two siblings and graduate of theBritishInternationalSchoolhas going for her. The superstar on screen and in the classroom dishes on new projects, dating and her exciting academic future inEngland.
You seem to be everywhere following the success of Perahu Kertas. Did you ever expect the movie would give you so much exposure?
I was expecting the movie to be a hit because of the book’s huge fan base. But I never thought about what that meant for me, career-wise. Rather, I considered the role part of my responsibility to the fans to create a movie that would do the book justice.
Any new projects coming up?
I have a new movie coming out titled 2014. I play Laras, the daughter of a lawyer. Her father gets killed and she is forced to continue his work to prove the innocence of a wrongfully accused electoral candidate. It [the presidential election] sounds like a heavy issue to take on, but the script is well-written. It’s the type of movie that gets you thinking. I’m also working on my new album; hopefully it will drop by my birthday in December.
It looks like you have your hands full. Are guys intimidated by your success?
The guys I dated in the past were classmates of mine. Students at my school don’t keep up with the local gossip, so they didn’t really pay attention to my fame. I do like guys who are confident and self-assured enough to approach me. Those types of guys definitely catch my eye.
Congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Oxford! You must be very proud.
Thank you! Yes, I’m very happy. It’s been a dream of mine to get into their Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) course. But it’s bittersweet – I’ll be leaving my friends and family [inIndonesia]. I only have three months left before I leave forOxfordin September.
Are you ready to live on your own?
I’ve been taking up a few new things to prepare myself, like cooking. I practice sometimes by cooking lunch for the whole family. I’ve also been reading a lot to get ahead on my required reading list for university.
Does this mean you’ll be taking a break from work to focus on studying?
The good thing about studying in theUKis the academic year is so concentrated that the holidays are fairly long. I think I’ll be able to go back-and-forth without interrupting school, except maybe during my last year.
Is there anything else you would like to do besides acting and singing?
I would love to go back to my roots and do theater. Not many people know this but Jakarta’s theater community is quite large – I was surprised myself! But it’s very underground.
If you had a bucket list of three things you want to experience at least once in life, what would they be?
The first would be sky diving; it looks like the best way to experience what it feels like to fly. I’d also love to go underwater in a submarine and own an island named after myself [laughs]. That’s probably a bit much but it never hurts to dream, right?