She often courts controversy with her intriguing outfits and daring sense of fashion, but Malaysian actress Tasha Shilla manages to stay grounded with her healthy sense of adventure and love of the outdoors.
Growing up in the historic tin-mining town of Ampang in Kuala Lumpur, the Malay-Javanese actress quickly developed a passion for martial arts and Mother Nature.
Thirty-year-old Tasha, whose real name is Natasha Sheila Abdul Razak, ventured into showbiz in 1999 with modelling and TV projects when she was just 12.
Then came her big break with a starring role in Ratu The Movie (2011). It won her the best new heroine award at the 2012 Anugerah Blokbuster and best new female artist at the 2011 Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian.
She is best known for her roles in local romantic dramas, but her heart yearns for more action, the sort that requires her to take up training in martial arts and perform combat scenes.
This year looks set to be full of action for her – after enjoying a recent extreme expedition where she had to shoot scenes in a waterfall in Okinawa, Japan – Tasha is now looking forward to an action-packed martial arts adventure in the upcoming historical epic theatre project Putera La Galigo.
1. What dramas are you currently filming?
I’m shooting two dramas at the moment. One is a telemovie, Cucu Atok, for Astro. Another one is a 30-episode drama, Sedingin Cinta Atasya, for HyppTV. It’s a love story and it’s going to be quite long.
Since my last project Diari Cinta Kita was a love story as well, I hope to create a new character that is different from my previous role.
I also get to work with Amar Asyraf again; he is in Putera La Galigo as well.
2. What can you tell us about Putera La Galigo?
It’s my second theatre project, and I have been rehearsing for two-and-a-half months. So, like everybody else, I was a bit disappointed when the project was stopped in December and postponed to a later date this year. I’ve been looking forward to it as it’s very special to me.
3. What sort of preparations did you do for your role?
My role requires me to do some singing, so I got some vocal training last October and November to learn proper singing techniques for the stage.
Putera La Galigo is a historical epic but there is a lot of action, too. I play Puteri Perak, a warrior princess, so I get to perform martial arts. The last time I did martial arts for a role was Muay Thai which is fine because I have done kickboxing and Muay Thai as workouts. But, this is the first time I’m doing silat. It’s an interesting new challenge for me.
4. What other projects are you busy with?
I represented Malaysia as a celebrity user for SK-II’s Beauty Circle extreme expedition project in Okinawa, Japan. I like outdoor activities, and I love nature. My hobby is jungle trekking and hiking. Since we are always so busy with work, it is good for us to go back to nature as that helps us to feel refreshed.
5. Jungle trekking, hiking, Muay Thai, silat – all these are action-oriented hobbies. Does this mean fans will get to see you taking on more action roles?
I like action movies. But in Malaysia, we don’t really do much of that. It’s mostly love stories. I really hope they produce more action movies. I would definitely like to do more action-oriented projects.