If you find Ja’farish familiar, you might have seen him in ads or Suria dramas. Or maybe it’s the fact that he resembles his famous actress sister, Nurul Aini, known for her roles in Suria dramas, Tanglin and Lion Moms. The entrepreneur, who is currently handling marketing at his friend’s company, says his sister is the reason he decided to get into acting. Before that, he pursued another passion: modelling. “I love modelling but I didn’t know how to get in, so I started doing free shoots like bridal photo shoots.” He then compiled those photos into a portfolio and joined a casting group on Facebook that was introduced by his friend. He landed the first gig he auditioned for and considers himself lucky to have passed 70 percent of his auditions. Read on to find out more about Ja’farish.
He didn’t know he would be in the same drama as his sister until the day of filming
“My first shoot was with my sister. I didn’t know she was part of the drama. I asked the producer if there’s this particular person in the drama, and she told me that there was.” The producer asked his sister why he was asking after her, and she then revealed they were siblings—no, his sister didn’t know he was going to be there either.
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He wants to retire in London—but has never been there
Would you want to retire to a place you’ve never been to? While some people might find the idea ludicrous, Ja’farish wants to retire in London despite never having been there. “I have a few friends there. They told me that London is very beautiful and that it’s safe.” He says it’s a goal, but he’s still mulling over it. He reckons he would buy two houses when he retires: one near the mountains and another in the city. “Having two choices is better than none, right?”
He once went for a shoot and didn’t realise he had more lines to memorise
Going in unprepared for a job interview or exam sounds like everyone’s nightmare, but it happened to Ja’farish on set. He landed a role in a Malaysian production and was only given the script a day before filming. While it was a challenge, he managed to memorise all of the scenes… or so he thought. After wrapping up the eight scenes he prepared for, he was told to do two more. “Wait, what? I have two more scenes? I didn’t even rehearse them!” he said. It turns out he had missed out a page of the script. He was given about 15 minutes to memorise his lines, but because of the subtle differences between the Malay used by Singaporeans and Malaysians, he struggled to memorise everything. Eventually, the director agreed to cut out part of the script. “The feeling on set—of dragging everyone’s time—that’s the worst feeling ever. … That’s really something I wouldn’t want to go through again.”
He doesn’t see acting as a life-long career
Ja’farish may dabble in modelling and acting, but ultimately, he reckons his main career would be in advertising and marketing, which he’s currently doing at his friend’s company. This realisation came after a conversation with a friend. “He told me, ‘Look at your sister. She’s now having mother roles. When she was younger, she had student roles.’ I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, until when also, right?’ So, that’s not going to be my main career. My main career is going to be my business, which is what I think I’m good at—advertising and marketing.” He aims to retire by 40. “I want to target before 35 but let’s try to have a more realistic goal,” he says. “If I were to be successful at 36, that’s also good enough.”
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He picked up his marketing skills the hard way
While he doesn’t have an academic background in marketing, he learnt his trade through experience. “I learned the ways of doing hard-selling and prospecting; the ways of doing sales.” He also likes the drive and freedom that marketing affords him.
He wants to be a personal trainer
“I want to help people be healthier by teaching them the right exercise techniques to prevent injury, and also proper nutrition so they can be as fit as a fiddle.”