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Interview with Popular Indonesian
Actress Revalina Temat

Interview with Popular Indonesian Actress Revalina Temat

‘Indonesians Are Really into the Korean Wave, Too’

The first thing that you notice about 27-year-old Indonesian actress Revalina Temat is her adorable face and exotic features. She is an A-list actress who stars in lead roles on television and in the movies as well as a sought-after model that is known as the “star of Indonesia” for her appearances in music videos and commercials. As the first Korean Goodwill Ambassador for Public Diplomacy to be appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Temat recently visited Korea as a guest of the Korea Foundation.

I understand you made your acting debut at the age of 16 on a 2001 television drama. How did you come to enter the world of entertainment at such an early age? From the time I was young, my mother and older sister urged me to take part in beauty pageants. But with my introverted personality, I was hesitant to do so. I didn’t think the life of a celebrity would be right for me. That’s when my sister submitted pictures of me to the magazine Gadis, which kicked off my career.

Temat eventually appeared on the silver screen in 2006 after performing in about 10 dramas. When asked about why her cinematic debut was not sooner, she had a ready response.

“I didn’t feel right about starring in a movie with a weak plot,” she said. Temat is a talented woman who majored in journalism at the London School of Public Relations in Jakarta, and she maintains strong convictions about her acting career. Because of her cautious attitude, she has only appeared in nine movies thus far. Nevertheless, Temat earned recognition for her acting at the Bandung Film Festival in 2009 and the Indonesia Film Festival in 2010, where she received the grand prize for lead actresses. A hint of pride could be detected in her voice when she explained that the movie that won her the award was Woman with a Turban, which depicts a woman who dedicates her efforts to the improvement of women’s rights.

I heard that you have been named a goodwill ambassador for Korea thanks to your appearance in a Korea-Indonesia drama.
Last year, I was cast in a joint Korean-Indonesian drama called Saranghae, I Love You! Since I was already very interested in Korea, I was delighted to accept this role. After a busy filming schedule in Pyeongchang last March, and in Bali last May, the drama was broadcast in Indonesia in July. Indonesians are really into the Korean Wave, too, and that helped make the drama a huge success.

You are also participating in the Korea Festival in ASEAN, which the Korea Foundation will launch on May 21 to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Indonesia. In Indonesia, you have helped to promote Korea among local residents. So, how much do you know about Korean culture?
To be honest, before I appeared in the Korea-Indonesia drama, I didn’t know much about Korea. Today, I am very interested in Korean dramas. I really like Winter Sonata, and I am a fan of Lee Min-ho, the male lead in Boys Over Flowers.

What would you do if you were offered a role in a Korean drama?
If I was given this chance, I would do my best to make my character come to life. I also plan to study Korean.

When the Korea Foundation invited Temat to visit Korea, she was pleased to rearrange her busy schedule so she could make this trip. There was a look of excitement on her face as she talked about her plans to meet the people she had worked with on the drama and to experience what Korea is all about by visiting Cheonggyecheon Stream and various museums. “I think the job of an actor is to make people happy. I was born for this job, and I am going to dedicate myself to my acting,” she said at the close of the interview. Her professionalism as an actress is every bit as impressive as her beautiful appearance.

- Kim Sung-hee (Adjunct Professor Communication & Media Studies Sookmyung Women’s University)

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