The actor, writer and director talks about what it takes to survive in the Malaysian entertainment industry.

IF there is one role that Tengku Iedildzuhrei Putra, 29, could play to perfection, it would be that of a doctor. Why? Because besides being an extremely versatile peformer, the actor – better known as Iedil Putra – did actually study medicine before deciding to switch his career path.

“I actually went to Britain to study medicine for about three years,” said Iedil with a chuckle.

Bitten by the stage bug at a young age, Iedil chose to pursue his degree at Queen Mary University in London to be closer to the West End theatre scene. That was when he realised his true calling in life.

“I realised I can’t do medicine; it’s not my thing. My passion lies in performing arts,” he said.

That was when he decided to quit med school, return to Malaysia and begin his career as an entertainer.

Iedil’s face lights up when he talks about his career and various projects. After seven years of pursuing his passion full-time, Iedil has done numerous stage productions, films, television shows, voiceover work as well as some hosting gigs. He’s even directed a play, and he occasionally organises events.

The actor is probably best known regionally for playing the role of Hafiz in the Instant Café Theatre production Parah – a play about racial tensions in multi-cultural Malaysia.

The powerful production has allowed Iedil and his co-stars to travel to Singapore and Australia (twice) in the last three years.

“The end goal is, of course, to perform outside Malaysia – to be ‘out there’. It’s all about raising your standards. We’ve tried everything here among our peers, and now it’s time to go the next level.”

Iedil Putra pursued a medical degree but later realised that his true passion was for the arts.