Backstage With Lisa Surihani At P. Ramlee The Musical


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Lisa Surihani is one woman who needs no introduction as she is already a household name in Malaysia and labeled by the media as Malaysia’s sweetheart. Not only is she gorgeous even without make-up, she is so well spoken and easy to talk to. No wonder she has so many fans on social media. Lisa plays Junaidah, P. Ramlee’s 1st wife in the 3rd season of P. Ramlee The Musical. I had the opportunity to speak to her backstage regarding her role in the musical.

Can you please tell me more about your role as Junaidah?

On the surface, she was a dancer with a low profile. She was married to P. Ramlee on the arrangement of her father, Daeng Harris. She was married to someone whose persona got bigger. It was very overwhelming for her. 5 years after the marriage, she’d had enough and couldn’t take all the exposure to publicity any more. There was too much suspicion on her part as she felt that P. Ramlee was womanizing in the studio. Her insecurity and inferiority complex got the better of her until she had to leave the marriage.

How did you prepare for the role?

There was only one short video of Junaidah standing and singing so the role is very much based on the script by Adlin Aman Ramlie. I put full trust in the Director, Pat Ibrahim. It’s done to a value that can touch the audience, not going overboard or under. The advantage is that Junaidah was not as well known as Saloma but the disadvantage is that I wish I knew more about her. I would have liked to have more insight into her frame of mind.

What do you think of the 1960s era?

Everything was in its teething period. P. Ramlee boldly explored everything in the entertainment industry. I would have liked to be in that era just to see how things were done like what was the process behind the scenes, how shots were composed with their limited equipment. P.Ramlee ignited the entertainment industry here.

What do you think of P. Ramlee’s movies?

I grew up watching all his movies and especially liked the comedies. Life was a lot more simple then and some jokes were cheesy but pleasant.

Your favourite P. Ramlee song?

Malam Bulan Di Pagar Bintang.

Image courtesy of MAC Cosmetics Malaysia.