Actor Alif Satar was worried that Chef Wan would call him out on Instagram for his role as a chef in the new telemovie Memori Pajeri Nanas.

So, Alif studied Gordon Ramsay’s cooking techniques on YouTube to learn what a chef would do in the kitchen. He tried to learn everything – from how to hold a knife to the right way to peel an onion without tearing up.

The 26-year-old actor takes on the role of Armand in Memori Pajeri Nanas. His character has to win back the affections of his estranged wife Kayla (Tiz Zaqyah) by cooking her dinner every day for one month.

“I’m used to cooking at home for fun. But I do feel that viewers, especially those who can cook, are particular about the way cooking is portrayed on TV.

“What if Chef Wan watches this show? I’d be embarrassed if he gets upset (about my technique and rant) about it on Instagram,” Alif shared during an interview in Kuala Lumpur.

“I even went for a manicure just so that my nails would look nice and clean for the camera. I don’t think anyone wants to see a chef with dirty fingernails on TV,” he added.

Director Aidilfitri Yunos shared that two real-life chefs were brought to the set of Memori Pajeri Nanas to help Alif and co-star Siti Saleha – who also plays a chef – prepare for their roles.

While the crew was setting up the scene, Alif said he would use the time to learn how to prepare ingredients for the food his character would make.

“So, there would be extra pineapple or coconut lying around just for me to slice and dice in the way an actual chef would. I was advised not to hunch too much when I cut. I even worked out with a dumbbell at home just so that my arms would look buff on TV because the camera focused on that area most of the time.”

He maintained that he is far from being a method actor. “I don’t think of myself as someone who is that great in acting, especially compared to someone like Bront Palarae whom I think is just extremely talented. I just want to make my character come across as believable.”

Not popular, just composed

Alif was only 16 when he made his foray into showbusiness by joining the singing competition One In A Million. He was placed second runner-up on the show.

He achieved widespread popularity in 2016 through the hit drama series Dia Semanis Honey.

However, Alif hates the perception that he seemingly achieved overnight success when in reality it took him 11 years to establish himself in the entertainment scene.

“Good things take a while. I don’t feel more popular. If anything, I just feel more composed,” he offered. The self-deprecating father of two also denied that fans throw themselves at him because of his romantic on-screen persona.

“People mostly say nice things! Maybe they (throw themselves) to a more attractive actor like Aaron Aziz. Definitely not me,” he said laughing.

Next up, Alif will star alongside Neelofa in the TV drama Red Velvet, where he plays a baker.

He joked about how fans will see a different side of Neelofa on the show. “I think she is on her own mission to be accepted as a credible actress. In Red Velvet, she is not going to be herself. When I think of her role on that show, I imagine (Reese Witherspoon) from Legally Blonde.”

Is he worried about stepping into the shoes of Fattah Amin, who was Neelofa’s last leading man in the much-talked about Suri Hati Mr Pilot?

“I’m a different man. I will do my best and deliver,” he said simply.

Memori Pajeri Nanas is available on Astro First (Astro Ch 480).