Sun, 14 Oct 2001

'I admire my mother most of all'

Bruce Emond, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

He started out as a teen model, but Anjasmara has won an enduring place in the public's heart by playing down his baby- faced good looks in the TV comedy Wah Cantiknya. His character of Cecep, a boy trapped in a man's body who loves his mom most of all, garnered him this year's Best TV actor award. A lot of his popularity may have to do with the Cecep whine, which can send shivers down the spine and has fueled a host of imitations. Now 27 and married to actress-host Dian Nitami, Anjasmara recently discussed the important things in life, including the woman he most admires.

Question: If you had the choice, what would you be doing now?

Answer: Surfing, or mountain climbing. And building a house.

Q: What makes you tick?

A: Because I want to be successful in my future, so I know I have to work hard now.

Q: Which trait do you most like about yourself?

A: What, yeah? (laughs). If I want something I have to get it. And I always try to think positively.

Q: And dislike?

A: I don't think I have anything. I always try to accept everything about myself, and do my best.

Q: Whom do you admire?

A: My mom, because she truly developed who I am today. She is always beside me if I'm happy, sad or whatever.

Q: What kind of clothes do you like to wear?

A: I like casual, but it depends on my mood. But mostly casual.

Q: What was the last book you read?

A: Larry King's The Art of Talk and Like Water for Chocolate.

Q: What makes you angry?

A: If I'm lied to, and also if something doesn't go smoothly. I like things to be perfect ... I guess you could say I'm a perfectionist.

Q: When was the last time you were angry?

A: This afternoon, when I was talking to a company about an event. They treated me and my group like they could do anything to us, tell us what to do.

Q: So you got angry at them?

A: Yes, I told them that I didn't like it, how we were being treated. I think they realized they were wrong.

Q: Are you starting to get tired of the association with Cecep -- and all the impressions?

A: No, I enjoy it. I'm glad that lots of people are learning about Cecep, and that they are learning they should respect him, not make him the butt of the joke or mock people like him.

Q: What characteristics do you dislike in others?

A: Those who are sweet to our faces, but all the time stabbing us in the back. If you don't like me, just tell me.

Q: What makes you laugh?

A: Something that's funny without being forced, it's natural.

Q: And cry?

A: If I see somebody who is sad, who is desperate, or someone who is humiliated. Or people who don't have their rightful place in life.

Q: What is your favorite smell?

A: Something sweet and soft. Nothing too strong, like herbs.

Q: If there was something you could change about your appearance, what would it be?

A: I wish I was taller (he is 175cm tall). I think everything else is perfect! (laughs)

Q: What makes life worth living?

A: That I will have something eternal in the future. Right now is only temporary, but later there will be something else.

Q: Do you have a favorite song?

A: I have many. I like classic singers, like Pavarotti, but also Babyface, Barbra Streisand, Sugar Ray. A lot of variety.

Q: And movie?

A: Like Water for Chocolate, Scent of Green Papaya, The Lover, Madame Butterfly. And recently AI.

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Gado-gado.

Q: What characteristics do you love in a woman?

A: Someone who is independent but also motherly. Those two are enough.

Q: Do you ever worry about your weight?

A: Yeah. I have to control my weight. Actually, it's hard for me to put on weight but I have to monitor my weight all the time. I'm scared of being fat.

Q: Where is your favorite hangout?

A: In the mall, or at home.

Q: What is the cost of popularity?

A: Privacy. That's the biggest.

Q: What will you being doing 20 years from now?

A: I'll probably still be in Indonesia, maybe as a producer or director.

Q: What would you bring with you to a desert island?

A: My wife (laughs). My tools, like knives, spanners and ... I think that's enough.

Q: How would you like to be remembered?

A: I want to be known as someone who had great concern for his work, and who was really serious about achieving things in his life.

Q: If the world were going to end in 24 hours, what would you do?

A: I would pray to God, so that all my deeds could be received by Him, and hope that all the people close to me would make it to Heaven. And that all our sins would be forgiven.