In 2002, Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? propelled Nicholas Saputra and Dian Sastrowardoyo into movie stardom. The coming-of-age Indonesian film was a major box-office and critical success. Audiences were particularly captivated by how lead characters Cinta and Rangga (played by Dian and Nicholas respectively) overcame their animosity towards each other to become lovers.
Fourteen years later, the end proved to be the beginning of a new story as Dian and Nicholas reprise their iconic roles for Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 (AADC2). In this one, the story of Cinta and Rangga is set nine years after they last spoke to each other.
Now in their late 20s, the pair meets again unexpectedly and go over unfinished (romance) business.
In real life, Dian and Nicholas would have you believe that there’s no awkwardness or animosity between them. During an interview in Kuala Lumpur recently, the duo shared that it was not difficult recapturing that old chemistry and recreating the magic of working together. (Between the two AADC films, the actors also paired up in Pesantren – 3 Wishes, 3 Loves in 2008.)
“I think (the chemistry) was the least of our concern,” said Nicholas, 32, in a deadpan voice.
Dian echoed her co-star’s statement by saying the chemisty was always there. The only thing that has changed is the obvious one. “We got older!” said 34-year-old Dian, with a laugh.
Funnily enough, director Riri Riza recalled one of the cast members proposing the idea of an Ada Apa Dengan Cinta sequel because of age. This happened in 2012 when the cast and crew reunited for a special gathering to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Ada Apa Dengan Cinta.
“We got a huge turnout at the gathering. People were talking about the movie again. And then one of the actors said ‘Come on, let’s do a sequel. We’re getting old!’ We had to consider the idea carefully,” Riri explained.
For Dian, the notion of making AADC2 after 14 years was simply genius. She confessed that just like everyone else, she never expected a sequel.
“We were content with the ending of the first movie and have pretty much buried the idea of a sequel,” mentioned Dian. “After 14 years, I think most people have also stopped expecting. The news of the sequel came as a complete surprise.”
Nicholas agreed, adding he didn’t have the guts to think about about what might have happened to Rangga after he left Cinta for New York. “I thought that was it,” he stated.
All those years of waiting too, resulted in more enthusiasm for the cast to reunite and make AADC2. Nicholas said 14 years was enough time to relive the memories. When he was asked about the pressure of living up to the initial movie, Nicholas said there was no such feeling on set.
“Personally, I was more concerned with recalling the energy of getting together with everyone again. There was so much excitement for us to sort of reminisce our past and, at the same time, make memories of our new experience. We were also focused on making the best picture we can,” he elaborated. “That energy was contagious.”
According to him the enthusiasm remained with him. The lead actor had seen the finished product three times and still can’t wrap his head around the fact that AADC2 had actually happened.
“That overwhelming feeling is still there,” he said.
Both of them acknowledged that nostalgia played a big part in making AADC2 a reality.
“Everybody has a past. AADC2 will make viewers think about the one that got away,” Dian enthused.
Similarly, Riri had a lot to say about nostalgia being a powerful trigger.
“People learn from the past,” he said. “With these memories, you’ll be ready to face the future. Nostalgia is a very strong theme associated with Ada Apa Dengan Cinta. The past is very important for Rangga and Cinta.”
They’re not wrong to tap into nostalgia as it may also be the reason why audiences will be making their way to the cinemas to catch AADC2.
It has reportedly already made RM2mil at our local box-office since its release on April 28, surpassing the RM300,000 collection set by the first movie.
Indonesian media reported that AADC2 became the fastest film to hit one millon viewers after just four days of release.
The future looks ripe for another movie based on these numbers alone.
When the director was posed the question of a possible trilogy, he was coy about what else was in store for Cinta and Rangga. He only had this to say: “Hmm… we have yet to see Cinta and Rangga get married right?”
Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 is currently showing in cinemas nationwide.