'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.