Headline: ZIANA ZING!
Publication: NSUNT
Date of publication: Oct 24, 2010
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 033
Byline / Author: By Shuib Taib

WHEN Ziana Zain was nominated as Best Supporting Actress at this year's Malaysian Film Festival (MFF) for her latest film Magika, she was dumbfounded!

The sultry singer is, after all, more used to getting singing accolades.

Ziana's first film Sembilu was a huge box-office success. The Yusof Haslam's production took RM4.2 million at the collection, prompting Yusof to use her again in most of his other films.

So, after Sembilu, Ziana appeared in four other Yusof-directed movies such as Sembilu II (6 million), Maria Mariana (4.8 million), Maria Mariana II (3.5 million) and Sembilu 5 (1.39 million), as well as Merah (2 million), Pontianak Menjerit (1.2 million) and Qabil Khushry Qabil Igam (1.57 million).

Yet, despite the box-office success, she has never been nominated as Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress.

If anything, it proves that being popular doesn't necessarily promise quality. And Ziana knows that, too.

Hence, when her name was listed as one of the top five Best Supporting Actresses at the recent MFF, Ziana's initial reaction was, "Yay! I have finally arrived!

"Can you imagine that after eight movies, I finally got nominated? This is such a thrill for me. I never thought that my small role in Magika would finally bring some 'magic' to my acting career."

As you may know, the results are out and although Ziana didn't win anything, she is still excited to have made the list.

"You see, acting in a comedy flick has been my longtime dream. I think I might have said so a few times during interviews but no director seemed to have picked up on that.

"I'm so thankful to KRU for making this offer even though at the time, I was already four months pregnant!"

Indeed she was, but that didn't stop her from working and even shooting in the forest.

There were scenes that required her to be up on her feet for hours, but Ziana didn't mind because it was just so much fun. After all, how many times have you seen a movie where almost all the cast members are stars or superstars?

"This is actually my first attempt at a comedic role and I'm so glad that it has been well-received. When I told the boys that I was pregnant, they insisted that they would shoot me from the chest up. It was as though the role was made for me. Would I act again in a comedy? You bet!"

But any chance of seeing her on the celluloid will have to wait as the singer, who has four children, has her hands full.

Ziana gave birth to her twins - Muhammad Ariel and Siti Nurkasih - last July. Her eldest son, Muhammad Aiman, is 10 years old, while her second, Muhammad Ammar is turning 7.

Asked if her children want to follow in her footsteps, Ziana said: "Phew! That's going to be tough for me to deal with.

"Given the choice, I would rather my kids complete their studies first. I hope they will be attracted to other professions, but if they aren't, I wouldn't know what to say.

"Truth is, I can't imagine myself following my kids around for their interviews and photoshoots, especially my daughter, so, God help me!"

But if there is one thing she's learnt about herself, it's that she will not retire from showbusiness.

"When I was carrying my babies, I stayed mostly at home. My life was simple and yet, deep down, I was missing my showbiz life. It is hard to just throw it away, especially when you have dedicated your life to it."

As soon as the twins were born, Ziana was back on her feet and became one of the mentors on TV3's Mentor.

Now that it's over, Ziana can't wait to be doing what she loves most, singing.

"I was planning to enter the recording studio as soon as my twins were born but there was just no time, but now, I do.

"I am in the process of looking for the right material for my upcoming singles. Would I want to sing ballads, moderate or fast songs? It doesn't really matter. As long as the song catches my attention, I will do it. I also don't mind singing songs by new composers," Ziana said, when asked if she was looking to work with a particular composer.

She added that if she had her way, she would like to sing Melly Goeslaw's compositions.

"But her songs are so expensive! These Indonesian composers charge in US dollars. A song by someone of Melly's calibre can easily fetch US$14,000 (RM43,600) per song. It doesn't make sense at this point to be spending that much money. The good times are gone. Now, it's all about making the most of what we have."

One of the most successful recording artistes, Ziana has released eight solo and several soundtrack albums to date. Her best work (in terms of sales) was her third solo release, Setia Ku Di Sini. The album sold 175,000 copies and was certified triple platinum.

Still, whether sales are good or bad, Ziana is here to stay.

"I always believe that if you have a talent that can be appreciated, use it. So yes, I will soldier on, even if I have 10 children!"

Mum is definitely not the word!


* Morning or night?

I love daytime because I get to do stuff, night is for resting

* Comedy, romance, action or horror flick?

Comedy and Romance

* Favourite singer(s)?

Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Azlina Aziz, Anita Sarawak

* Favourite actor(s)?

Richard Gere and Denzel Washington

* Favourite actress(es)?

Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep

* Favourite local actor(s)?

Rosyam Nor and Remy Ishak

* Favourite local actress(es)?

Elly Suriati Omar and Fauziah Nawi

* Favourite movie(s)?

Pretty Woman and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

* Favourite local movie?

Seniman Bujang Lapok

* Favourite holiday destination

Italy, especially the southern part

* Most performed number(s)?

Until today, people still request for Madah Berhelah and Puncak Kasih

* If You could collaborate with an international singer?

Usher and Andrea Bocelli

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