It pays to be active on social media. Just ask actor Hafidz Roshdi.

The 23-year-old actor’s first foray into showbiz began with male modelling competition Hero Remaja back in 2011.

“It was just after SPM and since I was waiting for my results and had nothing to do, my parents encouraged me to join it,” he shares in an interview in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

But it was only in 2014 when he landed his first acting role in Baby Ana Milik Siapa? after being scouted on Instagram.

“The director didn’t know I was on Hero Remaja. He spotted me on Instagram and asked me to come in for an audition. I didn’t think I had a shot at getting the lead role because I was just dressed in sweatpants and T-shirt,” he recounts. “A week later he told me I was selected to play the hero.”

Having no acting experience at all, Hafidz admitted he was at his worst as an actor at that time. “There was a scene where I was required to cry and I couldn’t. So, we had to use minyak Cap Kapak (medicated oil) which made my eyes red and watery. It didn’t feel natural, it didn’t come from the heart.”

Those days are over as Hafidz says he can cry on command now. The actor, who has only been getting supporting roles since making his acting debut, finally broke through with last year’s prime-time drama Tundukkan Playboy Itu.

He led the cast as playboy Harraz who starts to reconsider his Casanova ways after being smitten by new employee Nurin, played by Uqasha Senrose.

Viewers not only tuned in to the drama on-screen but off-screen as well when Hafidz and Uqasha got into an argument on social media.

Hafidz’s then-fiancee, Nurul Shuhada, was reported to be jealous about the actress acting with him. Uqasha pointed out on Twitter it was childish of her to feel jealous. Hafidz later retaliated, coming to his fiancee’s defence.

“We discussed it and decided we didn’t want to prolong this (feud). We forgave each other,” the actor says.

But his personal life would make headlines once more. The actor, who met Nurul Shuhada five years ago in university and had been in a romantic relationship for a year, held a surprise wedding last May.

The news came out of nowhere and many did not take it well, some even making mean remarks about his wife’s appearance.

“I think people couldn’t accept the news of my marriage because I was only 22 and still just starting out as an actor. When I suddenly got married, people were shocked but they have slowly accepted it. About three months later, I posted photos of my wife and I, and they sent me their well-wishes.”

Despite the controversies, Hafidz’s career is steadily rising, with new dramas Raisha and Seharum Mawar in the works.

1. You had to lose weight to play a secondary school student in Raisha and gain it back for another drama, Seharum Mawar. How did you do it?

When I found out I was playing a secondary school student, I dropped my weight from 66kg to 59kg, what I weighed when I was in school, and went clean shaven to look as young as possible.

I only had one month to lose the weight. So, I jogged a lot and I didn’t do any weight training. I ate one heavy meal a day, keeping the rest of my meals light.

Right after that, I played an evil character in Seharum Mawar. So, I grew back my facial hair and went back to the gym to get buff. So from 59kg on Raisha, I went up to 63kg for Seharum Mawar.

2. What was your most memorable moment from secondary school?

I got suspended from school for three weeks for fighting; I’ll never forget that. I was Form Five and this other guy was in Form Four. We got into a fight and punched each other at the canteen. It was one of those things where your friend insults your dad and for some reason, I just couldn’t stand it that day. I regret that a lot. It was my SPM year. My mum was like, “What’s going to happen to you? From Form One to Four you didn’t cause any trouble, now you choose to make trouble.”

3. You were only 22 when you got married last year. What made you decide to tie the knot at a young age?

I’ve been friends with her for a long time and my parents know her well. Money was not an issue at the time.

Initially my parents wanted me to get married at 25. But I told them, “If I got married at 25 and it is still going to be with the same person, I might as well just get married now.”

4. There were some netizens who made harsh comments about your wife’s appearance. How did you feel?

She’s beautiful in my eyes. So, if people want to say whatever they want to say, that’s their right. Even when it comes to celebrities, you could have Beyonce and Selena Gomez, and there are some people who will think either Beyonce or Selena Gomez (is more beautiful). So it’s up to an individual’s opinion. I think she’s beautiful and I don’t care what others have to say.

5. What would you be if you weren’t an actor?

I have a bachelor’s degree in management. I’ve always had a passion for business. Acting is another passion of mine and since I’ve received so many acting offers, I can’t just push them away.

So, I think I’ll be a businessman. I actually did start a business selling Sup Merah Singapura, with my parents as cooks. But then I started acting and got busy so I gave the business away to my uncle.