Not that many people are aware of Maudy Ayunda outside of her native Indonesia, but this is sure to change over the next few years. Born in 1994, this actress and singer is still a teenager (until December this year at any rate). Yet at the tender age of 19 she has demonstrated ample evidence of her outstanding talent.
Born Faza Ayunda Maudia in Jakarta, she made her 2006 film debut in Rena, the eponymous story of an 11-year old orphan. Her next project was in The Dreamer in 2009, which went on to become the opening film in the Jakarta International Film Festival on 2009 – the first Indonesian feature to hold this honour since the first ever festival 10 years previously. The Dreamer has the accolade of being the second highest-grossing Indonesian movie ever, with a total audience of 1.9 million.
Now a firmly-established movie star, even at such a young age, Maudy went on to perform in several roles throughout 2011 and 2012. She played the part of Mura in Angel Without Wings, a dramatic departure after some of her earlier parts.
What audiences can really identify with Maudy are her gutsy down-to-earth performances and characters. She herself states, that in terms of appearance, she regards herself as being girly but not overtly feminine. This is in contrast to many of her roles, where the characters love wearing jeans and baggy tops. In real life Maudy prefers wearing shorter dresses and matching heels. This, of course, makes sense. After all, any actor is merely playing a character, and very few are identical no matter what side of the camera they are on.
Maudy never takes her stardom for granted – in fact, you get the sense that she would baulk at that very notion of being referred to as a star. She once stated: “I feel very lucky. Every opportunity can just slip away if we do not take it. I believe that an opportunity may not come around twice, so I will definitely snatch it”.
She certainly takes her roles very seriously. In preparing for her character in her acclaimed performances in Paper Boat and Paper Boat 2, she was accompanied on Jakarta's public transport by the films' assistant director, in order to build an understanding of the character she would be playing. While doing this research she gained first hand experience of how frustrating the daily commute can be for the ordinary Indonesian public. She said “I was a bit shocked. I took the Kopaja public bus but it did not move for 15 minutes. This waiting may reduce productivity in the country as it makes the passengers tired and in a bad mood, affecting their performance at work”.
This did not affect her own performance in front of the cameras as she proved to be a consummate professional on set at all times. Like many actors before her, Maudy's critical and audience claim has inspired her to expand her horizons. She is now pursuing a career in music, having sung on two albums: Call Me, from 2011, and on the soundtrack to the aforementioned film, Paper Boat, from 2012. With her single By My Side currently setting the Indonesian charts alight, it seems as if there is no end to her talent.