28 Sep

Actor Bayu Kusuma Negara, who plays baddie roles, gets attacked in public
By Syahirah Anwar
September 28, 2010

HE PLAYS the bad guy who manipulates and torments people. He even plots murder on screen.

And he must be doing a pretty good job because some viewers of Indonesian actor Bayu Kusuma Negara’s dramas have taken it upon themselves to exact revenge on him for his on-screen exploits.

Bayu, who was in Singapore over the weekend for a meet-and-greet and to promote his TV drama Tasbih Cinta, told The New Paper that he has even been attacked by angry women in Jakarta.

He recounted: ‘I was walking around in a mall and a group of 11 ladies came up to me. I thought they wanted to take pictures with me, so I was all ready with a smile on my face.

‘Instead, they started hitting me with their handbags and scolding me, saying I am a bad person!’

Bayu said the mall security staff eventually had to step in.

He added that he was in such a ‘daze’ from the incident that he couldn’t remember where he had parked his car.

The 26-year-old said with a laugh: ‘One of the ladies, who was pregnant, even told me that she hopes her child does not turn out like me.’


Why such animosity towards him?

Bayu blames this ‘intense dislike’ towards him on the characters he plays on long-running Indonesian dramas Suci (2007), Cucu Menantu (2008) and the on-going Tasbih Cinta, which opened in 2008.

It stars Laudya Cynthia Bella (see report), Andrew Andika and Helsi Herlinda, and can be seen here on Sensasi (StarHub Channel 123) at 7.30pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

It doesn’t help that in Suci, Bayu’s character – a good guy who becomes bad – is also named Bayu.

In Tasbih Cinta, he plays an evil, manipulative playboy named Rafi.

Such is the following for his TV characters that Bayu said he has noticed strangers becoming more hostile towards him as his character became more unlikable.

Two years ago, when Suci was showing on Indonesian TV, Bayu realised he was increasingly getting snubbed.

‘The servants and helpers within my housing area used to smile at me whenever I left for work.

Role turns bad

‘But when my role on Suci turned bad, they refused to even look at me or acknowledge me.’

Even children have said they are afraid of coming close to him because they ‘fear I will harm them’, he said.

Bayu, who has been acting since he was 19, admits that the response he gets for his bad guy roles has made him slightly fearful of playing the baddie all the time.

As to why he always gets cast in such roles, Bayu said he doesn’t know.

Perhaps it’s the charismatic lad’s boy-next-door looks – perfect for playing the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

‘I would like to play something else aside from the bad guy! I feel sad sometimes because people react so negatively to my character,’ he said. ‘Hopefully I’ll get to play the good guy next time around.’

But such is the fervour for TV dramas in Indonesia that viewers get engrossed in the on-screen lives of the actors.

Actress Shenny Andrea, who starred in another long-running Indonesian drama, Dia, which started in 2003, was once slapped by a viewer who was upset over her manipulative character.

Despite the negative responses he gets from viewers, Bayu does not shy away from his fans.

He mentioned one he often thinks of.

‘A few years ago, I got to know this lady who was paralysed. However, despite her disability, she worked really hard to make me a ring using an empty pen ink tube…(she also) engraved my name on it.

‘It was a really special ring to me and I wore it all the time. Unfortunately, the ring slipped off my finger when I went diving.

‘Till today, I feel very sad to have lost that very special ring,’ said the actor, who is currently single.

Most importantly, is Bayu anything like his on-screen role?

‘Not at all! I’m the opposite of the character I play,’ he said.

‘I’m actually a sensitive person and I definitely have no intention of killing or harming anyone at all. So for me, playing someone that evil is really not easy.’

Good reception: Laudya gets advice from viewers

WHILE Bayu has to deal with angry viewers, his co-star Laudya Cynthia Bella seems to be luckier.

She receives ‘words of advice’ from viewers of Tasbih Cinta.

Said the demure 22-year-old: ‘I have people, especially elderly women, coming up to me and telling me, ‘Bella, don’t be too patient. You can’t keep letting them (the other characters on Tasbih Cinta) hurt you. You should take revenge on these bad people.’

In the drama, Laudya plays Bella, who is often emotionally abused and ill-treated by her family and friends.

The soft-spoken girl, who used to be a model, has appeared in other Indonesian dramas like Cinta Bunga and movies like Kuntilanak 3.

Laudya said she can relate to her character as she is ‘patient and strong in real life’.

But she said that unlike Bella, who remains quiet no matter the emotional roller coaster she goes through, she has her limits.

‘I can get really moody’

‘I can get really moody if something goes wrong and my moody character can drag on the whole day. If I am provoked too much, I will definitely snap,’ she said.

But the biggest challenge about getting into character is having to turn on the waterworks once the cameras start rolling.

‘Personally, it’s very hard to make me cry. I’m quite tough so I don’t cry much,’ she explained.

But months of playing the role has taught her to cry on cue.

She said: ‘When I’m on the set, my tears just come on their own. I don’t (need to) think of anything to make myself cry.’

The NewPaper

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