Actress Diana Danielle has a lot on her plate. The 24-year-old actress, whose acting career took off after playing a supporting role in 2008’s Evolusi KL Drift, is tapping into her entrepreneurial side, opening a cafe early this year and launching a clothing line a few months ago.
“When I was a kid, my mum was a numbers and figures person, she always had the brains for business, and I thought I didn’t like business,” she talks about her newfound passion for business.
“But as I get older, I realise I can’t just be acting. There must be something I can do to secure my children’s life and also I want them to have business skills because when you have a brain for business, you can survive anywhere.”
Diana, who is of American and Malaysian parentage, has two children – Muhammad, three, and eight-month-old Nur Aurora with fellow actor hubby Farid Kamil.
Che Mad X Diana Danielle is a baju melayu line for toddlers which has young Muhammad, also known as Che Mad, modelling the clothes.
“With these businesses, things have gotten so hectic. But that’s normal when so much responsibilities get thrown in together, with my eight-month-old daughter and Muhammad to take care of and the Che Mad business. There’s a lot going on,” she says, adding she needs to sign up for a time management class.
On top of that, Diana reveals in an interview with mStar Online, The Star’s Bahasa Malaysia portal, she will be venturing into music, with plans to release a single sometime after Hari Raya. She recently signed with Warner Music.
Previously, Diana has performed theme songs for films Magika and Kami Histeria. Aside from those, she recently covered Datuk Siti Nurhaliza’s Sesuci Lebaran with Singaporean singer and producer Reyza Hamizan.
“Acting requires a lot of time and focus and that’s why I’m moving to singing. I’ll still be acting but it’ll be more limited,” says Diana of her career move which gives her more time to spend with her family.
Her most recent acting role was in Astro telemovie Sedikit Waktu where she got paired up with her husband Farid Kamil.
“I’m never going to do it again,” she says with a laugh. “It’s so scary to work with Farid. I admire him a lot as an actor. He is in the league of Maya Karin and Bront Palarae. They are actors whom I’ve loved for a long time. Acting with them makes you feel like you’re not adequate as an actor.”
Diana admits she’s not good at having her professional and personal life mixed together, saying: “Everything he says is personal to me. Like if he tells me don’t act like this, I’d get sensitive. And if I were to share an idea with him, I’d feel shy as he’s such a senior actor. But it’s interesting because I don’t get to see him often when he is on his work mode.”
Sedikit Waktu marks the couple’s first time acting together since they got married at the end of 2012. The two last worked together in the horror-comedy Hantu Gangster.
She adds she learned a lot from 41-year-old Farid, who has played lead roles in box office hits such as the Evolusi KL Drift series and directed Kongsi which earned over RM8mil.
“He has a strong theatre background. His level of discipline is different. He respects his art. He knows a lot. Even when I’m not filming with him, at night, when we’re just talking, he gives me a lot of input about the film industry,” she says.
Diana reveals she signed on to the Kabir Bhatia-helmed project not knowing she would be acting opposite Farid actually.
“I was told that there would be a telefilm where I would be paired with Remy (Ishak) and Farid told me he’ll be starring in a telefilm which shoots around the same time. Later, when I came for the script reading, I was like. ‘It’s you?’”
Diana will be seen playing a main role in the RM18mil film, Hanyut, directed by U-Wei Haji Saari, out Nov 29. The film, which also stars Adi Putra, Sofia Jane and Australian actor Peter O’Brien, was completed in 2012 but was shelved due to a lack of funds to promote the film.