Datin Seri Umie Aida went to great lengths to prepare for her role as a shaman in Dukun.

The 45-year-old actress shares she lived with a snake for two months to study its movements and incorporate them into her character.

“For two months, I did everything with it. There were even times when I went to sleep and the snake would be on my bed,” she recalls at a press event promoting the film in Kuala Lumpur on April 4.

“Even the film’s executive producer, who’s afraid of snakes, would get scared every time I came in for rehearsals and would leave the room.”

Directed by Dain Said, Dukun tells the tale of a seductive shaman, Diana Dahlan, being investigated for the death of a businessman after a ritual she performed didn’t go as planned.

Umie adds although she’s afraid of snakes, living with the slithery creature was entirely her idea.

“Sometimes, I would speak to it, and I feel it would respond to me. Whatever gestures or movements I observed went into Diana Dahlan.”

Shot more than 10 years ago, the film is believed to be loosely based on witchdoctor Mona Fandey who was found guilty for the murder of Mazlan Idris in 1993 and executed in 2001.

Dukun opens in cinemas nationwide on April 5.