A Beautiful Enigma
Words By Hiranmayii Awli Mohanan
The model turned actor, Idris Khan is shrouded with enigma. Stylish and suave, he walked in to our photo shoot venue, Four Points by Sheraton Chinatown, with a friendly smile and a quietude that surrounded him at the same time. In the Octobers issue, we talk to Idris about all things acting, his colourful childhood staying in numerous countries, his brief stint in the Prime Minister’s department and his goals for 2030.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOUR FANS DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I believe a relationship requires a little mystery to make it interesting, and the same applies with my fans; it keeps the bond more exciting, as they’ll always be intrigued and wanting to know more about the person.
YOU WERE BORN IN SOUTH AFRICA. WHAT WAS IT LIKE GROWING UP THERE?
I was actually born in Tripoli, Libya. I can’t say what it was like there because we left Libya when I was just 5 months old.
YOU ALSO STAYED IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES INCLUDING FRANCE, BELGIUM, TAIWAN, HONG KONG AND OMAN GROWING UP, EXPOSED TO MANY CULTURES. WHAT IS YOUR TAKEAWAY FROM THIS EXPERIENCE?
My takeaway would be the experience of being exposed to various cultures, languages, perception, people etc; which in turn, moulded me into someone whom can easily adapt to any situations or connect with people from different backgrounds than mine.
AT THE AGE OF 18, YOU WERE OFFERED A MODELLING GIG. HOW WERE YOU DISCOVERED?
I was actually discovered by a guy who was a model at the time. He saw me at a mall, approached me and asked if I wanted to be a model. Back then, there wasn’t the modern day conveniences like social media, so we had to promote or ‘sell’ ourselves.
WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY FROM MODELLING?
The networking and the bonds of friendship built along the way.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MISCONCEPTIONS OF THE MODELLING INDUSTRY?
The most common misconception of the modelling industry is that it’s an easy job and our job as well as lifestyle is fancy? Another common misconception is that all models starve to be skinny.
HOW DID YOU FORAY FROM MODELLING INTO ACTING? WHAT WAS THE TRANSITION LIKE?
The transition was smooth for me because I undertook numerous commercials whilst modelling, so having to act and being in front of camera wasn’t something foreign. I just had to work on the acting of course, in which I did a lot of my own research reading and attending some classes.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH ACTING ROLES TO TAKE ON? ANY FAVOURITES SO FAR?
I’m at a stage of my career where I’m selective of the scripts I choose, simply because I don’t want to be typecast into a certain role. So, while fans see less of me now, that’s because I select my roles and when they do see me on screen, it would be worth their while.
DO YOU HAVE A METHOD OR PROCESS TO GET INTO CHARACTER BEFORE EACH MOVIE OR TV SHOW?
I don’t have any particular process. I just make sure I do my homework, read the script understand my role and everyone else’s character. Then, I delve deeper by dissecting my character such as his background story, his personality, traits etc.
HOW HAS THE COVID-19 AFFECTED THE MOVIE INDUSTRY?
COVID-19 had definitely impacted many industries, including the movie industry pretty badly in the beginning. However, once we were allowed to film again, things slowly got rolling and everything has almost normalised because at the end of the day, platforms and TV need content.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT WOULD THE NEW NORMAL BE FOR THE MALAYSIAN MOVIE INDUSTRY?
New normal? Nothing much really, it has pretty much been the same to be honest. However, us as individuals have to be extra careful, and ensure our personal hygiene is in check.
NOW, HOW HAS COVID-19 AFFECTED YOUR DAILY LIFE AND WHAT HAS CHANGED SINCE THE MCO?
Well, I LOVE to travel, and prior to COVID-19 and the MCO, I would travel almost every month or two. So, this pandemic has really restricted me big time and I feel like a bird with its wings cut off now. So, I sincerely hope that things get better — a vaccine is found and our borders reopen again so that I can feed my wanderlust freely again.
YOU WORKED IN THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE TOGETHER WITH THE ADVISOR TO THE PRIME MINISTER. WHAT DID THAT EXPERIENCE TEACH YOU?
Networking is a very important aspect for success.
YOU HAVE A DEGREE IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS FROM HELP COLLEGE. DO YOU HAVE ANY INTENTIONS TO PRACTICE THAT DEGREE AND ESTABLISH YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I’ve been involved in business from 2014, so yes I am practicing my degree.
WE NOTICE FROM YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED THAT YOU HAVE AN EYE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY. IS IT SOMETHING YOU ENJOY?
Yes, photography is definitely something I love. The world is filled with such beauty that I enjoy capturing these wonderful moments in time, and sharing them with everyone to enjoy and appreciate the world as I do.
FINALLY, WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE BY THE YEAR 2030?
There is so many things that I want to achieve by 2030, but then again, let’s keep that a mystery. Everyone should stay tuned and pray and wish the best for me to achieve all my goals!