Abimana Aryasatya: The Basis of Comedy
“it’s an overwhelming feeling,” says Abimana Aryasatya of the film’s success. “In Hollywood movies we see characters like James Bond, Spiderman and Batman being played by different actors as time goes on. Each actor who plays such a part must rebrand the role. The aim of the first Warkop DKI Reborn was to rebrand the original Warkop DKI series.”
Having been acting since the 1990s, this 35-year-old actor rose to fame in 2011 when he received nominations at the Indonesian Film Festival for his performances in Belenggu and Haji Backpacker. For his role as Dono, Aryasatya was nominated for Best Actor at this year’s Indonesian Film Festival Awards.
“As part of my research for the role. I consulted Indro about Dono,” says Aryasatya. “Next, I got to know about him from talking to his family, especially his children. I also studied the Warkop DKI film series. What I saw in the character of Dono is that he comes from rural parts to the big city, so he is an easy target to be tricked. He represents a lot of people in Indonesia who come from small towns and move to urban areas.
“It was hard for me to play comedy because I had no background in it. I only do sarcastic jokes in real life, not slapstick. However, I really admire such humour because it is the basis of comedy. I don’t agree when people say that slapstick is just for cheap laughs. It’s universal, it penetrates language boundaries. There is no need for dialogue when it comes to slapstick.”
Vino G. Bastian: Preserving a Legacy
“I’m happy that the movie is a record breaker,” says Vino G. Bastian, who plays Kasino in Warkop DKI Reborn. “At first, people didn’t believe we could successfully remake such a legendary series of movies. But we wanted to preserve the legacy of the original Warkop DKI.
“Our most important mission was that cinema goers should believe in our representations of the three. There was no way we were going to portray them with 100 percent accuracy, but we aimed to create a nostalgic feeling for those who had grown up with the Warkop DKI series, and also for younger audiences.”
The 34-year-old actor began his big screen career in 30 Hari Mencari Cinta. For his role in Radit and Jani, he earned his first Indonesian Film Festival award. “To go deep into the Kasino character, I watched all of the Warkop DKI film series,” says Bastian. “I learned Kasino’s dialect and his gestures. “The exciting part was that we were coached by Indro (a producer on the film). He was the quality controller of our acting. I had never played pure comedy before, but I received much good advice from him. I also learned about how Kasino was in everyday life.”
Bastian was nominated for Best Actor at the Indonesian Film Festival Awards this year. “As an actor, winning awards is not really my purpose,” he says. “All I want to do is to act as well as I can for my director, the crew, the producers and the audience. If I am nominated, it’s a bonus. But the real award comes when we watch our movie in the cinema and the people members smile, laugh and cry.”
Tora Sudiro: Working with a Legend
“When we started, we were anxious,” says Tora Sudiro of his experience making Warkop DKI Reborn. “Could we act as well as the legends or not? I know that Dono, Kasino, Indro can never be replaced by anyone. What we did was to reprise theirroles as a tribute. It was an honour for me to be involved. We did it for the sake of the Warkop foundation and the children. What we want is that Warkop DKI will always be remembered by Indonesians.”
Unlike Aryasatya and Bastian, the versatile Sudiro had had numerous roles in comedies before this project came along. “Comedy is always evolving, so it was a challenge to bring the jokes of the original series into the modern era,” he says. “We mixed jokes from the slapstick era with material from stand-up comedy. A lot of stand-up comedians contributed to the film’s script as consultants. As a result, the comedy we present is universal. It could appeal to anyone of any age.”
Sudiro earned his first Indonesian Film Festival Best Actor Award for Arisan!, his breakthrough movie. Later, he appeared in the entertainment series Extravaganza, gaining accolades as a comic actor.
“It was kind of hard playing Indro because the man himself is still alive and was involved in the film,” Sudiro admits. “I really had to work hard to live up to his expectations. But the advantage of him being there was that he gave me a lot of advice. It was a dream come true to be working with my idol, Indro!”
(Cover image outfit: Hugo Boss)
Photography: Robby Agus
Fashion Direction: Peter Zewet
Styling: Koko Namara