Singaporean actor Fir Rahman not only landed the role of Aiman in Apprentice, he also got himself a brand new fitness regimen.
In the film, he plays a former National Service guardsman who becomes a prison officer. In his home country, guardsmen are highly-regarded for their physique and stamina.
“These guys are fit. They can run 10km in 10 minutes and do 20 pull-ups at one go. I was wondering how I was going to pull off this role,” Fir said during an interview in Kuala Lumpur recently.
The answer to his question was CrossFit. Fir, 35, had to attend gruelling workout sessions to look the part of a former guardsman.
“I had to because they (the producers) have paid for it. It was tough. I tore the skin on my hands,” he recalled. After two weeks, Fir told the producers that he would just train himself instead.
“CrossFitters are crazy. It was too hard for me. So I assured the producers I will work out on my own and watch my diet.”
Fir stayed true to his words. He was determined to stay fit as he had shirtless scenes in the film. When shooting was over, Fir rewarded himself with ice cream and fried chicken.
If there was something that hurt him more than CrossFit, it was the emotional weight of his character in Apprentice.
Aiman, working under the guidance of chief executioner Rahim (Wan Hanafi Su), learns that men on death row will have a hood over their head during the execution process. In one haunting scene, Aiman puts the hood over his own head.
“It was scary. In my head, I thought about how this is the last thing some people see before they die. It was painful to think about leaving your loved ones behind in this manner.”
The scene affected him so much that it made him change his stance about capital punishment.
“I believed in a life for a life. But after doing Apprentice, I felt torn. Maybe, we shouldn’t send criminals like drug traffickers straight to the gallows. Maybe that person was desperate because he needed to provide for the family.”