Not shy about bad press

8 Jun

UP-AND-COMING Malaysian actress Nur Fazura Shariffudin is taking the bad publicity that has been plaguing her in her stride. The 22-year-old is embroiled in a lawsuit brought on by a Malaysian housewife who alleged that the actress had intentionally hit her with a shoe last December.
By Eri Akbar

08 June 2005
UP-AND-COMING Malaysian actress Nur Fazura Shariffudin is taking the bad publicity that has been plaguing her in her stride.

The 22-year-old is embroiled in a lawsuit brought on by a Malaysian housewife who alleged that the actress had intentionally hit her with a shoe last December.

Here to promote the Malaysian war-themed movie Qaisy & Laila last Saturday, Fazura told The New Paper she had acted out of self-defence.

“You wouldn’t hurt others if they didn’t hurt you,” she said.

Fazura pleaded not guilty in a Malaysian court last month. Her elder brother posted the RM1,000 ($430) bail.

We were told the case was off-limits for this 15-minute interview, but Fazura was surprisingly upfront about it.

While many celebrities would have skirted around the issue, Fazura, who was wearing a traditional outfit, spoke with a striking confidence.

She explained: “Bad publicity is still publicity. It (the lawsuit) might have heightened my profile. But that doesn’t mean I like it.”

The alleged assault took place at a private apartment building in Kuala Lumpur in the wee hours of the morning on 19 Dec.

The name of the apartment was revealed in Malaysian newspapers, but Fazura refused to say whether she or the plaintiff lives there, for privacy’s sake.

She also said she knows the plaintiff but declined to elaborate.

If found guilty, Fazura can be sentenced up to one year’s jail or a RM2,000 fine, or both.

Her next court hearing on 20 Jun – which will announce the trial dates – is looming. But she said she’s not bogged down by it: “I leave it up to God.”

CONTRACT RENEWED
It seems Fazura doesn’t have to worry about the controversy giving her a bad name.

Just last month, her contract as a spokesmodel for Oil of Olay was renewed for the second year in a row.

Fazura said: “They (referring to Oil of Olay) know it’s my personal life, and it has got nothing to do with my work.”

The sweet-looking actress started out as a model in 2001 before landing her maiden hosting gig on TV2 programme, Teen’s World.

She made her acting debut in the Malaysian film Bicara Hati, as a student besotted with her teacher, played by Singaporean actor Nik Mikhail.

Although the movie was a box-office flop, Fazura shone and was named Most Promising Actress at the Malaysian Film Festival in 2003.

Fazura, who said she’s not attached, has a good command of English, even though she completed only SPM (equivalent to the O levels).

The amiable actress attributed her language proficiency to “socialisation”.

But growing up with three brothers meant she had to wrangle for her freedom. Fazura said with a chuckle: “I told them, ‘You can’t lock me up.’ ”

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BOMB SCARE

SHE plays a volunteer in Afghanistan in the film, Qaisy & Laila. For her role, Fazura had to rough it out in the Pakistani province of Quetta, at the Afghanistan border, for a month.

Fazura, who took three days to accept the role, got a scare when a bomb exploded near the hotel she was staying in. She said: “I feel lucky that Malaysia is a safe place.”

During filming, the actress and the production crew stayed in a rented house with “no television” in the middle of the desert.

“Everything we ate had sand in them,” Fazura said.

At a press conference, executive producer Habsah Hassan praised Fazura’s acting ability.

Which was why she said she took the risk of casting a newcomer as the lead in the RM2 million movie, which also stars dishy newcomer Jehan Miskin.

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MEET THE CAST

HERE’S your chance to meet the cast of Qaisy & Laila on 11 Jun.

There will be a charity screening of the movie at NTUC Auditorium at 1 Marina Boulevard at 7.30pm.

Call 6296-6027 to get tickets priced at $25.

The two organisers, Association Of Singapore Malay Journalists and Ain Association, hope to raise $30,000 for the needy.

http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/

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