It’s not often viewers find a full-figured woman leading the cast of a local drama series.

The protagonist Tipah Montel (Dottie) of HyppTV’s latest drama Si Montel is a responsible, hardworking, curvy woman living in a village.

One day, the handsome and rich Aris (Azrel Ismail) moves to the village, immediately setting hearts aflutter among the ladies in town.

He takes an interest in Tipah and is kind to her, making the rest of the girls – Idah (Adibah Yunus), Suria (Ruhainies), Rukyah (Ezzaty Abdullah) and Shima (Janna Nick) – envious of their relationship.

“I was quite surprised when I was offered the lead role. There hasn’t been a story like this for a long time now,” says actress Nor Syuhada or Dottie during a phone interview.

Dottie says viewers who tune in to Si Montel, directed by Nuad Othman, will see different sides to her character.

“The show may start with my character getting teased for her weight but then later you’ll see her strengths, a special quality in her that’s not often seen in others,” the actress says of Tipah who makes and sells bunga telur aside from running her family’s grocery store.

Dottie hopes viewers will come away from the 13-episode romantic comedy with a vital message. “Physical characteristics are not important. Get to know someone first. The heart is what counts,” she says.

Asked if being a plus-sized actress has pigeon-holed her into playing comedic roles only, she agrees it has but maintains a positive outlook.

“I will still continue to act because this is my passion and I’m still learning. I hope maybe in the future this will change. Who knows?”

Si Montel airs every Friday at 9pm on HyppSensasi (HyppTV Ch 116).