Reza Hasbi remembered a time where he’d cry in his car after a gruelling dance practise with noted choreographer Pat Ibrahim. He was training to nail his dance moves as a b-boy or breakdancer in Showdown: The Movie.
“Pat will not believe you if you say ‘No’. He will push you to your limit. Then he’ll continue to make you achieve what you didn’t think was possible. It was really tough. There were times when I really wanted to quit,” Reza, 27, said during an interview at Menara Star in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
But he remained committed to this role as Kimi, a b-boy looking to lead his crew to glory at a dance competition. He stayed on throughout the production of the movie and even suffered a permanent injury on his hand during a shoot.
“I was trying to execute a move and ended up landing wrongly on my right hand and till today, it still hurts,” Reza said, showing us his right thumb where he sustained the injury.
Co-star Iedil Putra shared that Reza continued shooting on the day despite his mishap and eventually went on to nail the scene. He only seeked medical attention after shooting ended.
“Now that’s commitment,” Iedil said.
Directed by Khairil M. Bahar, the movie is a spin-off from popular local dance reality show Showdown. The TV series debuted on 8TV in 2010 with the goal to find the best local hip-hop dance crew in the country. It ran for three seasons and crowned winners like Wakaka Crew, Elecoldxhot and Dem Lepak Boyz.
Iedil who plays b-boy Ringgo, the antagonistic leader of a rival dance crew, confessed that he was sceptical when he heard of the idea of Showdown: The Movie.
“My initial thoughts were, ‘Are you serious?’ I believe it was something that needed a lot of time, effort and money to execute properly. Plus, you really need to have the best dance crew to make it believable. Otherwise, it’d be another crappy movie,” he shared.
The 32-year-old actor initially hesitated to take on the role of Ringgo until he heard who would helm the movie.
“Then they said Khairil is attached to direct and I thought, ‘OK, this could work …’”
Khairil has made a name for himself as one of Malaysia’s most exciting, up-and-coming directors; he is notable for an engaging approach to storytelling. In 2006, the director released Ciplak, an independent film he made with a budget of only RM10,000 that earned him the award for Best Alternative Film at Anugerah Skrin.
In 2013, Khairil directed a segment for Cuak and Iedil was one of his stars. Iedil, who enjoyed working with Khairil, knew that with the director’s involvement, Showdown: The Movie was in the right hands.
Reza praised Khairil’s attention to detail on set: “He would talk to us about the plans he had for each scene, such as the placement of cameras and what shot he planned to execute.
“I was impressed by his vision.”
Reza is no stranger to breakdancing as he first learned how to b-boy when he was 14. He stopped dancing in his late teens and picked it up again just for Showdown: The Movie.
While Iedil may not have any experience in breakdancing (“Well, I can pose like one,” he said during the photoshoot), he does have a background in traditional dance and has worked with Pat in stage musicals.
Showdown: The Movie also stars Izara Aishah, Aiman Asmawar, Azad Jasmin with special appearances by rapper Altimet, choreographer Linda Jasmine and Showdown 2010 runner-ups Giler Battle Crew.
Iedil believes the movie will do the thriving breakdancing community in the country proud.
“We are highlighting their movements and what they do everyday. It’s a movie that features actual dance sequences with real dancers. Someone from the hip-hop scene would want to see Giler Battle Crew on screen.
“I believe we’ve got all angles covered for a great movie,” he said.
Reza feels that through the movie, viewers will be able to relate to the struggles and hardwork that b-boys put into their craft.
“All the moves you see on screen is our blood, sweat and tears, 100% us. I’m really proud to be a part of this movie. When I watched it, all I could say was, ‘Wow’.”
Showdown: The Movie opens at cinemas nationwide today.