Film Courage: Where did you grow up?
Liyana Yus: I grew up in Brunei.
Film Courage: What was life like at home?
Liyana: Relaxed. I love spending time with my family at home whenever I get the chance.
Liyana: As a child, I have always been very sporty.
Film Courage: Who is the most important person in your life today?
Liyana: My mom. She’s always there when I need her.
Film Courage: What is more important to you, challenge or comfort?
Liyana: Challenge. It is important to push boundaries of your comfort zone. And that’s how you maximize your performance, by challenging yourself.
Film Courage: Did you go to school for dramatic arts?
Film Courage: How did you hear about YASMINE?
Liyana: I heard about YASMINE from my mom. She saw it on Facebook and asked me to go for it by sending my photo through email, and they replied to me with a form to be filled out. Then I got a call back.
Film Courage: Did you audition for the movie?
Liyana: Yes. They asked me to go through a few scripts from the movie, memorize the lines and act it out during screen test. They even asked me to show some of my martial arts movement since I told them I took Wushu a year before.
Film Courage: What was that process like for you?
Liyana: To me it was quite tough at first because I never learned Silat before. And I’d never acted in any dramas or movies, so YASMINE is actually my first experience in acting. It took me a year to practice my acting and Silat.
Film Courage: Was it harder to book this role than you thought it was going to be?
Liyana: It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.
Film Courage: Do you have a martial arts background?
Liyana: I only learned Wushu for less than a year in high school, just a year before I went for the audition.
Film Courage: How many days or weeks of physical training did you have before filming YASMINE?
Liyana: I trained for about a year before the filming. 5 to 6 days a week. And the training was not just only Silat. I also went for Muay Thai class for my fighting skills.
Film Courage: You got to work with long time Jackie Chan collaborator Chan Man-Ching who was fight choreographer for this project, what did he teach you about fighting on camera?
Liyana: Chan Man-Ching taught me a lot of things. Not just about fighting on camera, but also how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And yes, I never thought that fighting on camera looks really different from in real life. In terms of the movements during fighting scenes, there were so many adjustments need to be made during filming so that it looks good and very convincing on camera.
Film Courage: This was director Siti Kamaluddin’s first feature film, yet when you watch the movie you would never think that was the case. How did Siti approach each day on set, and what did you learn by making this movie together?
Liyana: Siti also taught me a lot in so many things. I admit, I went through a lot of tough times during filming that made me lose my focus on being YASMINE. And as a director, Siti always came up to me whenever I lost my focus and asked me, “Where is YASMINE? Why is she not here? I need her to be here on set.” So whenever I lost my focus, she never failed to pull me back together and she always had faith in me. She is such a great director.
Film Courage: Besides the martial arts training, how else did you prepare for the character of YASMINE?
Liyana: I had to practice my acting skills everyday, and we had script reading session everyday with Siti. This was to help me and also Nadia to get used to our character in the film and to get used with the standard malay language that were used in the film.
Film Courage: This is your first on screen acting credit, when were you the most nervous?
Liyana: Brunei has been very supportive of YASMINE and I really appreciate their warm embrace since YASMINE is the first international feature film in Brunei. YASMINE teaches young girls to be strong and do whatever makes them feel good.
Film Courage: What kind of support have you received?
Liyana: I’ve got so much support from my family who have been there from the start of my journey in this film industry, my friends and my fans.
Film Courage: Who in your life would you like to thank and for what?
Liyana: I would like to thank my family and friends for always supporting me and my manager for trusting me.
Film Courage: What is next for you creatively? Will we see you act in more movies?
Liyana: More films!
CONNECT WITH LIYANA YUS:
ABOUT THE FILM:
Bruneian director Siti Kamaluddin teamed up with Hong Kong’s renowned action director Chan Man Ching, and Indonesia’s no.1 screenwriter Salman Aristo brings you an action drama about a young girl’s dream of becoming a martial arts champion.
CONNECT WITH YASMINE MOVIE: