Nynaa Harizal found her true passion when she gave up her dream of becoming a pilot

GROWING up, actress Nynaa Harizal actually wanted to be a pilot, as she was inspired by her father, a pilot himself.

This revelation may surprise some of her fans, who know her from roles in various feature films and telemovies over the past several years. In fact, the 24-year-old, who won the title of Dewi Remaja 2019 last year, has been in front of the camera from a very young age.

“When I was 10 years old, I participated in a photoshoot for the magazine Bintang Kecil. It was from there, that I started to develop a liking for being in front of the camera.

“I didn’t plan to be in the entertainment industry, to be honest. I wanted to be a pilot when I was in high school, but my mum didn’t allow me to do so. This is why I pursued a degree in Accounting & Finance, which I have recently completed,” she explained.

While pursuing her education, Nynaa shared: “I felt like I wanted to find a new hobby while studying. Since I liked being in front of the camera, I went for casting sessions at modelling agencies and [advertisement] agencies. I was given many opportunities to be featured in local magazines and commercials.

“I enjoyed it and found it very interesting. Since I had some free time on hand, I utilised my time for these shoots.”

Nynaa also managed to gain some worthwhile knowledge through her experiences.

“As of now, I have been in approximately 50-70 [advertisements] since I was 19 years old. From these experiences, I learned how to pose in front of the camera, how to act, and also what it takes to be in the industry.”

However, it was not all rainbows and butterflies for Nynaa.

“It wasn’t an easy journey for me as I was studying and working at the same time. The course that I was taking at that time was quite difficult, and it was a full-time course. It was quite difficult to manage my time. Thankfully, my mum, who is my manager, helped me to manage my schedule,” she shared.

Along the way, luck was on Nynaa’s side when she was approached by talent-seeking producers, and she experienced a huge shift in her career.

$!Portraying a different character for each role is what keeps Nynaa on her toes. – Courtesy of Lenswork Production

“After appearing in many advertisements, some of the producers started to take notice of me. They asked me to star in their television series. My first drama was Kekasih Paksa Rela, starring Remy Ishak.

“It was nerve-racking but fun. He taught me a lot about acting, and he is very humble!”

Since then, she has starred in fifteen dramas and three feature films. For Nynaa, being able to portray a different character for each role is what keeps her on her toes as she enjoys the challenge.

Being in the limelight has also taught her a lot.

“For me, there is no single winner on earth, and it is not easy to win. You [will experience] a roller coaster ride in order to be successful.

“Good time management is important, and a good attitude as well. As a public figure, I need to be aware of my actions and to know how to handle people. We can’t control [other people’s opinions] and I [learn from] the negative comments to encourage myself to be a better person.”

Although the movement control order (MCO) has interrupted Nynaa’s ongoing projects, she is very grateful for the time spent at home with her loved ones.

“I was supposed to shoot alongside Farid Kamil in an upcoming horror film. We had a three-day shoot [planned] the other day, but then it got halted because of the MCO.

“The shooting location is in Johor, and was scheduled for completion by the end of April. We might continue the shoot after Raya. Alongside this, I have an upcoming drama for TV3.

“I am actually happy with the quarantine period because I get to spend time with my family. Before this, I was always going for shoots and filming, then I was studying too, so I did not get enough rest.

“Then, when I participated in the Dewi Remaja competition last year, I was quarantined in a villa alongside the other participants for three months! It was part of the programme.

“Now is the proper time to chill at home. I’m learning new recipes from my mum! In my opinion, this MCO will be an unforgettable moment for all of us. I’m sure we will miss these moments when things go back to normal, and we have to work as usual. Just enjoy the moment, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This phase will benefit all of us as Covid-19 is fatal.”