An Interview with a Rising Star (Sharifah Sofia)

Sharifah Sofia is no ordinary student. When she signed up to do her Diploma in Performing Arts at Sunway University College, she was already in the acting profession for some time. We caught up and had a chat with her after she graduated in October last year.

Sharifah Sofia Syed Hussein is 24 years old and graduated in 2008.

Sharifah Sofia Syed Hussein is 24 years old and graduated in 2008.

Q: Now that you have graduated, what are you planning to do?
A: Thank God I have been acting for a while. After graduation, I had immediately got back to work. TV3 hit series Sindarela was the first job I worked on both acting and production internship. After Sindarela, other jobs came in as well – and fast – which I had never even expected, including film, drama and commercials.

Q: What are your future plans?
A: The future is a long way ahead yet close to the end. As for plans, there are too many. But first and foremost, I intend to build my own production company. I want to make movies the way I want. Do what I want to do, the way I want to do it. Currently, I am in America with the intention of working on production and discovering how things are done here. I want to learn how they make their products the way they do and implement that knowledge into my
production to try make a difference.

Q: What were your childhood dreams? Are you fulfilling any of your childhood dreams?
A: Every child has so many dreams. Honestly, I had no idea what I really wanted to do when I was younger. I wanted to be a singer, actress, lawyer, stewardess, therapist, and a volunteer with animals, basically everything. And yes, I am already fulfilling one of my dreams. I am proud to say that I am a successful actress in Malaysia and hope to make it in the world some day.

Q: Why did you choose this programme?
A: Although I was working as an actress, acting alone did not give me the kick. I wanted to know what I was really doing. I wanted to go behind the camera where work is done differently. I wanted to know how a project is organised, produced and executed. Although Diploma in Performing Arts didn’t have that in particular, theatre and film sounded like a good place to start with.

Sharifah Sofia Syed Hussein during her graduation. She is receiving her diploma from Tan Sri Dato Seri Jeffrey Cheah.

Sharifah Sofia Syed Hussein during her graduation. She is receiving her diploma from Tan Sri Dato Seri Jeffrey Cheah.

Q: Why did you choose to do it at Sunway?
A: Sunway wasn’t my first choice. I researched all the way to America to study film. The only thing that kept me away from education abroad was my existing career. Studying locally would have also given me the opportunity to work at the same time. Also, it was a bonus that I live in Subang Jaya, which is just down the road. Getting to college was not much hassle to me.

Q: What is your favourite movie?
A: I should say my favourite movie could be between The Wizard of Oz, Nightmare on Elm Street and The Exorcist. Strange but I have a thing for fantasy and horror.

Q: Who is your favourite singer?
A: Can I answer in plural? Christina Aguilera, Music SoulChild, Jamiroquai, the entire Hed Kandi Clan (not really singers) and Corrine Bailey Rae.

Q: Do you play any musical instrument?
A: I really wish I did. I can play a little piano by ear but I would LOVE to play the guitar.

Q: Which is the latest book that you have read? What is the book about?
A: What would Jackie say? By Shelly Branch and Sue Callaway. The book is basically about how Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis conducted her life in every way. I received the book as a Christmas present from my sister, and have just
started reading it so I can’t really say much about it just yet.

Q: Which NGO do you support? Why?
A: I support a number of NGOs. I’m in love with animals, the environment and against development in almost every
way. There are pros and cons in the whole thing but if the issue is about what it does to the planet we have been blessed with, the cons rule!

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Categories: Alumni, Faculty of Arts, Performance + Media