Hanez Suraya: "I'm no angel, but we're all human"
Malaysian actress accused of being a 'husband-stealer' says...
Malaysian actress Hanez Suraya made headlines earlier this year for all the wrong reasons, mostly for being a "husband-stealer".
Her relationship with a married man faced intense scrutiny and made her the subject of hateful comments and threats, and her reputation took a beating.
But the 29-year-old starlet is trying to put the negativity aside and focus on preparing for her latest project - Malaysian stage production Projek Kahwin. It also stars Singaporean actor Shah Iskandar and Malaysian cast members like Kilafairy and Izzue Islam.
In the musical, which begins its run at Kuala Lumpur's Istana Budaya on Friday, Hanez shows off her acting chops and singing and dancing skills for the first time in the lead role as Nisa, who encounters multiple setbacks when her family and friends get involved in her wedding preparations.
But it seems her real-life drama hasn't died down completely.
The recent events have incensed her haters so much they have even threatened to throw eggs at her when she takes to the stage during Projek Kahwin.
Hanez had tried to pull out of the show, but was persuaded by the production crew to stay.
She had also hired a bodyguard to accompany her to major events, but will monitor the situation to see if he needs to accompany her when she performs for Projek Kahwin.
Hanez admitted that she would rather not have one around as she feels "restricted and awkward" in his presence.
Asked if she still fears for her safety, Hanez told The New Paper in a telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur last week: "They have assured me that there will be strict security at the venue. Initially, I was worried, but after all the assurance, I feel comforted.
"These people are just keyboard warriors. At such a prestigious place like Istana Budaya, I don't think people will dare to do it because the culprit can be caught so easily.
"That said, I am not asking to have eggs thrown at me."
Netizens were quick to slam Hanez when it was revealed in March that she was seeing 34-year-old businessman Romie Razin Adilha Abd Jais.
His wife of eight years, Ms Nurliyana Manan, had accused Hanez of being the third party and causing their marriage to fail, an allegation Hanez has denied.
Mr Romie and Ms Nurliyana, who have two children, have reportedly been separated since last August and are in the midst of divorce proceedings.
Last month, Hanez and Mr Romie sued Malaysia Airlines for "invasion of privacy" after their flight details to Bangkok were uploaded onto a Facebook account.
The couple claimed that soon after they landed together on April 20, they were informed by friends that part of their boarding passes had appeared on a Facebook account known as "Kami Sokong Liyana Manan" (We Support Liyana Manan).
Reflecting on the controversy, Hanez said she was most affected by how quick the public was to "punish" her.
"Some of the insults were so degrading that I don't even want to repeat them. I am no angel, I admit, but we are all human. Everyone was so quick to attack me and that affected me the most. These people don't even know me or the real story," she said, adding that she's chosen to keep mum and not retaliate.
"People will get tired and then move on. Now they have seen me fall, but I will just carry on and face everything that comes my way."
Hanez was hesitant when addressing the current status of her relationship with Mr Romie, but said that they are still friends.
She said: "I told him to focus on his marital problems first and work on that. I don't want to get in the way. I even told him that if there is even the slightest chance that he can reconcile with his wife, then he should go. I told him to think of his children.
"I might not know how it is like to be married, but I know what it feels like to be a woman.
"Right now my focus is on this production, and the offers after that," she said.
Everyone was so quick to attack me and that affected me the most. These people don't even know me or the real story.
- Malaysian actress Hanez Suraya
Panggung Sari, Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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'I was worried for Hanez's safety'
CONCERNED: Singaporean actor Shah Iskandar said he had been thinking about Hanez Suraya's safety when he suggested she drop out of the show. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/SHAH ISKANDAR
Singaporean actor Shah Iskandar has worked with Hanez Suraya on multiple productions, including Malaysian television dramas Dendam Pencinta and 3 Janji.
As friends and repeat co-stars who will once again star together in Projek Kahwin, it seemed strange that Shah would publicly flame Hanez.
Last month, it was reported that Shah, 32, had voiced his concerns that Hanez's recent controversy might impact ticket sales for Projek Kahwin, to the point that he wanted her out.
But Shah told The New Paper in a telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur yesterday that his words were taken out of context.
"It was all fabricated. All I said was I was worried for her safety, especially with the recent threats. We are friends, why would I want to bring her down?" said Shah, who recently bagged his first award in Malaysia for Most Popular TV Actor at the Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian (ABPBH) 2013.
"There is no air to clear. She might have been momentarily offended... I would have been, too, if I were her. I don't think her controversy affects anything," said Shah, who plays Radhi, the best friend and best man of Nisa's fiance Rizal (Izzue Islam) in Projek Kahwin.
Hanez, who was aware of the reports, said that she thought nothing of it.
"I did wait for him to bring it up but he didn't, so I thought nothing of it. We're all friends, almost like family from the same kampung, so it didn't bother me too much," she said in a separate interview.
Projek Kahwin is Shah's first theatre endeavour.
"There's more depth in acting on stage and I feel like I'm still not up to par. It's a great first try and maybe I will try again in the future," he said.
Shah has been making a name for himself across the Causeway, especially with his ABPBH showing.
He recalled: "I was the underdog (against Singaporean actor Adi Putra and Malaysian actors Akim, Izzue Islam and Johan As'ari) so when I won I was so shocked... 'hilang' (Malay for gone) macho!"
Even as his popularity looks to soar in the Malaysian film and television industry, he is bent on steering clear of scandals.
"Anything can become news. I plan to stay out of any sort of controversy by keeping busy," said Shah, who has a few television dramas and castings for two films lined up after Projek Kahwin.