Putra Arifin Scheunemann, also known as Arifin Putra, is a 29-year-old actor that has been acting since he was 13 years old. And recently, people are entertained by his villainous character in the latest movie by MNC Pictures, The Professionals directed by Mr. Affandi Abdul Rachman. BOmagz got the chance to interview Arifin Putra right before the premier, to get insights on the movie and his personal life.
According to you, what makes The Professionals different from other action movies?
“This is going to be the first ever heist movie in Indonesia and on top of that, we got an amazing cast, award winning actor, Lukman Sardi, 2 action actors, Sunny Cornelio and myself, with Imelda Therinne and Melayu Nicole, so I feel the cast is perfect for the movie, would be such a shame to miss it!”
In this film, you will be playing as the villain, the bad guy. For you personally, do you enjoy playing the bad or good guy more?
“For me, it is a really bleak world if you just put things into bad and good. The great thing about films is that it is always a grey zone. Each human has their weak side and the so-called “bad” guys are just misunderstood when they show their weak and human side. As with the “good” guys, they are portraying only the good side of human.”
“So for me personally, I like to play characters who are more human, showing the good and the bad. Often times, the “bad” guys are the ones who show themselves as their purest and most honest form, showing their best and worst, and even most evil.”
In what ways do you relate to your character in the movie, Reza?
“What I like most and probably could relate most to is his visionary being. I am probably not as ruthless as him, but he knows what his vision is and what he aims to be and would do anything to achieve it. You can see later in the movie, and also a little bit in the trailer that he and his partner, Abi, started their business in a small store, but even then, Reza knows that they are going to develop into a big company, occupying multiple buildings. So in a way, I wish I could be like him, to have an aim and vision for the future and achieving it.”
What is your favorite part of filming the Professionals?
“My most favorite part is I guess the fluidity of it. Our director, Mr. Affandi, is very spontaneous and expects spontaneousness in all aspects of filming, from the set, the vibe and also the actors. So most times, the scenario only acts as a guideline, instead of a rigid plan. After discussing with Mr. Affandi, an originally 1 paragraph scenario could become 2 pages long and he would call me up at 3 or 4 in the morning to add new ideas for the scene. That is what I enjoy the most, working with Mr Affandi, who is always creative and full of ideas.“
What is the most challenging scene during the filming?
“It is when we were filming on top of the MNC Tower, which was 32 stories high—I think? and our director thought it would be cool for me to go on the edge and film there. Once I reached the edge, I can see the cars become so small and my legs feel soft and shaky. But I pushed through and we ended up filming for 2 hours there.”
Has acting always been a dream since you were a kid? Or did it come unexpectedly?
“When I was a kid, I have always wanted to be the owner of an environmentally friendly car manufacturer, not an engineer but an owner (laughs), so being an actor was a bit of a surprise. At first, it started with 13-year-old me accompanying my model brother at a shooting for an advertisement. I didn’t want to come at first but my mom forced me to accompany my brother. The agency saw me and offered me to join in their agency as well, so I did. After the first time shooting, I really enjoyed it, and met a lot of new friends, plus the envelope of money at the end is what made me continue to do it. So first, it all started with the money but being an actor made me interested with the art of acting itself and that is where I decided to go to acting school back in 2004 for one and a half years and where I gained a new found respect for the art itself.“
What is your hobby besides acting and film?
“Right now, I am beginning to enjoy traveling more, which led me to help WWF, which I see not as work but as a passion. As an actor, I, of course, enjoy watching movies, especially by myself, because there is no one to distract me so I could just dive right into my own world. When with friends, they would probably just distract me (laughs). I also enjoy reading books.”
Do you have any secret talents?
“A secret talent? Hmm…, I can dive 6 meters into the water without any diving gear. And also I can speak 4 languages.”
Dream role you haven’t played yet?
“I really, really want to play as an astronaut. I love space and anything to do with space, if I could film in outer space that would be perfect. I would love to be the first actor to film in outer space that would be amazing!”
As you said before, you love to travel, for you personally, where is the most beautiful place you have ever been to and you would love to go to?
“Where I want to go is easy, it is Bhutan, right beside Nepal, the country which has zero carbon footprint as they don’t use coal and iron, even their electricity cables, they put underground as they have birds that fly really low and they fear that it might hit the birds. They don’t measure their country’s success through the economy, but through their people’s happiness, so in other words, it is the happiest place on earth. In Indonesia, I really want to go to Labuan Bajo, Komodo Island and also to Toraja, when they have a burial ceremony as it very different than others. The passing of others is seen as a festive ceremony as the people who passed away are going to a happier place.”
“I’ve just been to Papua and went to the Cendrawasih Bay National Park , where I saw the whale shark. Papua is a beautiful place, with truly beautiful nature, words can’t describe it.”
Writer: Venska Adelia
Photos courtesy of MNC Pictures and Okezone