What can TV audiences expect from the new drama series Di Sebalik Wajah?
The cast and director were tight-lipped on details about the show. So much so that director Patrick Lim could only offer this as to what viewers can expect in the 30-episode series: “Nothing is what it seems.”
However, this is what we know so far. Di Sebalik Wajah stars Diana Danielle as Nadia, a woman who wakes up from an accident with no memory of her identity or past. Her husband Amir Hisyam (Aliff Aziz) lovingly stays by her side while she recovers. However, Nadia is hearing voices and seeing visions telling her to do one thing – kill her husband.
The drama also stars Hefny Sahad as a journalist on a relentless pursuit to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of girlfriend and colleague Elisa (played by Zarina Zainoordin). Somehow, Nadia’s accident has something to do with the case that Hefny is investigating.
Oh, and did we mention that Nadia’s accident is no accident at all? It seems that Amir has too many enemies and has been keeping secrets from his own wife.
With such an intriguing premise, it’s no wonder Diana initially had doubts if the series could tell the story successfully.
“When I went for the script-reading, I thought it was such a complicated plot. I’ve never seen a local drama with so many twists and turns. This is so new. How do we understand this? How do we play this out?” the 25-year-old actress said during an interview in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
She added: “This is when the director told us to just read it and read it again.”
Diana described her character Nadia as someone with two sides: There is the fragile and scared Nadia and then there’s the vindictive Nadia.
“I think she’s someone like Maleficent but not in the Disney sense. She’s looking for revenge and lives by it. She wants to make sure that everyone who has done her wrong will pay for what they did to her. She’s also a vixen in her own way as she knows how to use her sensuality to get what she wants,” Diana revealed.
Di Sebalik Wajah marks 48-year-old Lim’s first foray into local TV drama production. Previously, Lim has made short films like Echoes, a psychological thriller starring Deanna Yusof, and Killervator, a horror short which was screened at the New York Asian American Film Festival in 2003.
Lim also taught film and TV subjects at local universities.
What drew Lim to Di Sebalik Wajah?
The director said he was drawn to a project like Di Sebalik Wajah because it was different from the usual love and family drama offerings viewers get on TV.
“Psychological thrillers have always been my thing. I like things that stay in the grey area,” he explained.
When Lim was approached by producer Juliana Foo to direct Di Sebalik Wajah, he had one condition.
“I will only do it if I can instill my film background onto the show,” he said. “Some of the scenes you see in Sebalik Wajah are actually done in one long take. I also really wanted to do something different with the look and feel of a TV show.”
Lim is aware that his filmmaking sensibilities may not translate well to the TV drama audience. So, he found a balance: “The middle ground is finding what’s familiar to the audience. I can go a little bit ‘out there’ but at the same time, I must present a sense of familiarity to the audience.”
Di Sebalik Wajah premieres on HyppSensasi (HyppTV Ch 116) on May 1 at 9pm.