For her latest role as kampung girl Khadeja in Langit Cinta, actress Fazura underwent acting lessons with the legendary Fauziah Ahmad Daud. The 32-year-old actress shared how she didn’t realise that the lesson had started the moment she stepped into Fauziah’s house for lunch.

“Right after our meal, Fauziah told me she couldn’t see Khadeja in me based on the way I walked and talked,” said Fazura during an interview in Kuala Lumpur.

In Langit Cinta, Fazura’s character is a headstrong woman who meets Aliff (played by Keith Foo) and falls in love with him.

Then they get on an emotional roller coaster ride where they have to overcome their differences, parental pressure and, well, his eventual disappearance leaving a sorrowful and lonely Khadeja waiting for his return.

Directed by Osman Ali, the film also features Farid Kamil (who plays the other man vying for Khadeja’s love), with Fauziah in the role of Khadeja’s blind mother, Mak Piah.

The film also has appearances from Siti Saleha and Datuk Jalaluddin Hassan.

Fauziah said she had to strip Fazura naked to prepare the latter to play Khadeja. Or more precisely, strip her of her associations to previous roles that the award-winning actress has famously played.

Fazura has become synonymous with roles of a modern city girl who seem to have it all, as evident in movies like Gol & Gincu and Manisnya Cinta Di Cappadocia.

langit cinta

In romantic drama Langit Cinta, new couple Aliff and Khadeja (Keith Foo and Fazura) enjoy a happy moment. Photos: Astro Shaw

Fauziah recalled: “I told her I don’t want to see Gol & Gincu or Ifti Liyana (from Manisya Cinta Di Cappadocia) from her anymore. I wanted her to shed all of that and think about losing herself completely to a vulnerable role like Khadeja.”

Fazura also had a lot of expectations to live up to since her role is partially based on the director and scriptwriter Osman’s mother. He shared how his Thai mother and Malaysian father met and got married in Thailand, and how they survived a long-distance relationship.

“(My father’s) work is based in Malaysia so he was often away, while my mum waited for him at home in Thailand. She was always in high spirits and would never give up on his return.

“I have always admired how she stayed strong throughout the uncertainties,” Osman said, adding that Langit Cinta is inspired by his parents’ love story.

To bring Khadeja to life, Fazura heeded Fauziah’s advice and let go of her inhibitions. “It wasn’t easy. She wanted me to BE Khadeja, to understand her emotions and motivation. If it was up to me, I would have just said ‘bye’ to someone like Aliff,” said Fazura.

But the actress eventually came to understand that Khadeja was someone who could not let go of her husband and true love.

“I have to think of her as a strong woman who is going through so much. I’ve come to love my character and I’ve really immersed myself in her. And yes, I would have to cry every day on set. To the point where Osman said ‘awat hang nangis teruk sangat?’ (In Kedah dialect: ‘Why do you cry so much?’),” she shared with a laugh.

At the press conference, a jubilant Fauziah praised Fazura’s dedication to the role, saying all the acting lessons didn’t go to waste. “I’m so proud of you, Fazura,” Fauziah said to her co-star.

All the crying even affected Osman.

“Yes, I cried too,” he confessed. “During filming, I have to cry with my actors! If I didn’t cry while looking at the scene on my monitor, then I’m not feeling it. I always put myself in every scene to feel the emotions of my actors.”

Langit Cinta is currently showing in Malaysia.