Eyka Farhana said she never planned to become an actress. Eyka, who hails from Kuala Lumpur, said that her first acting opportunity came about when she accompanied her sister to a drama shoot.

“I met director Faisal Ishak at the shoot and he suggested that I audition for Juvana the television series. He said ‘Just go for it’,” said Eyka during an interview.

She took his advice. The then 15-year-old student of SMK Perempuan Air Panas in KL went for the audition that changed her life.

Juvana focuses on the trials and tribulations faced by a group of students at a moral rehabilitation school. The series feature much-lauded performances by Zahiril Adzim and Johan As’ari. It won the Best Television Series award at Anugerah Skrin in 2011.

In the show Eyka plays Nadia, the canteen operator’s daughter who catches the eye of bad boy Botak (Johan).

“But she doesn’t have any feelings for him,” Eyka, 20, said.

Juvana’s popularity resulted in the release of a movie with the same name in 2013. It was a box office success, grossing over RM2mil. Juvana 2: Terperangkap Dalam Kebebasan explores the journey of Botak and friends after they were released from the moral rehabilitation school.

The bubbly actress said her character will be explored further in Juvana 3, due for release next year.

1. What was it like seeing yourself as an actress on television?

I still remember how during the audition, I had fun meeting the other actors like Johan and Syazwan Zulkifly. I remember just going there for fun. When the series was shown on TV and I saw myself, I still didn’t think of myself as an actress. I remember thinking, “Really, is that me?” (laughs). It took me a while to get used to this idea that I’m an actress.

2. Can you tell us more about your role in Juvana 2?

For the second movie the director wanted everyone from the television show to come back and do something like a reunion. My character was absent from the first movie but was mentioned briefly by Botak who said he wanted to marry her.

In the TV show, my character does not like Botak. He had an attitude problem and was a famous bully in school. So Nadia does not have a very good impression of him.

In this movie, he has changed into a better person and Nadia will get to see a different side to him.

3. Apart from Juvana 2 and the upcoming Juvana 3, what else can fans look forward to seeing you in?

I’m currently shooting a 65-episode drama called Uda Dan Dara. It’s based on a best-selling novel by Aisya Sofea. I play Nija, the younger sister to Siti Saleha’s character. She’s a college girl who goes back home to spend time with her parents. I think I can describe her as “anak manja” (pampered child). The show also stars Zul Ariffin.

4. If you never got into acting, what would you have done instead?

If I didn’t act, I’d probably be involved in business. I was also very much interested in doing something related to fashion.

5. Do you have a dream role or a director that you want to work with someday?

In terms of character, I always get cast as a student. I would love to get more challenging roles like a villain, perhaps. As for working with a director, I would love to act for Mamat Khalid. I love his movies especially Apokalips and Zombi Kampung Pisang. I think the way he presents his comedy is really unique. It doesn’t make sense sometimes but it works! There’s something really special there.

Juvana 2: Terperangkap Dalam Kebebasan is currently showing at cinemas nationwide.