Flight attendant ready to give up career for actor-husband Fahrin Ahmad
They spent their dating days on different continents, keeping in touch via Skype.
Even after Malaysian actor Fahrin Ahmad, 36, tied the knot with his Dubai-based Emirates Airline senior flight attendant fiancee in May, they continued to be separated by distance.
But now, Madam Elena Hani Eleas is ready to sacrifice her eight-year flying career for the love of her life.
The 37-year-old is in talks with Fahrin about the best plan for their future which, she said, will take time.
"I think it's not long now. We've lived apart for too long," Madam Elena told The New Paper in a telephone interview last week when she was in town.
"Eight years ago, I joined the airline because I had a bucket list which included seeing snow and visiting London. I am lucky to have been given the opportunities in the last few years."
Madam Elena had a 29-hour layover in Singapore and Fahrin drove here from Kuala Lumpur join her.
Fahrin, whose latest gig is voicing Mark Wahlberg's lead character Cade Yeager in the Malay-dubbed version of last year's robot blockbuster movie Transformers: Age Of Extinction (inset, right), said in a separate interview: "God willing, she will be back in Malaysia for good, hopefully, by the end of the year or early next year.
"But right now, she is bound by a contract and still has commitments.
"I feel a bit nervous because she has a good career but she's willing to give it up to come back for me."
Their relationship, which began when they rekindled their friendship last Ramadan, was one of the industry's best-kept secrets.
The couple first met as law undergraduates at Mara University of Technology in Selangor 18 years ago, but belonged to separate cliques.
He "loved to tease others" and was always "cheerful", she said, while he described her as "smart".
Three months after reconnecting last year, they spoke of spending their lives together and got married on his birthday on May 9 in a solemnisation ceremony at Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
Fahrin kept her identity under wraps from the public until their big day, revealing that he would be ending his bachelorhood just days before the solemnisation ceremony.
He deemed it necessary to keep a tight lid on their romance to protect both their families, avoid gossip and ensure their solemnisation went smoothly.
"With social media, anything can happen and information can leak. Thankfully, I have a very trustworthy team," said the actor who was once thought to be one of Malaysia's most eligible bachelors.
"In the three days after I made the announcement at a press conference, the rumour mill went into overdrive, alleging she was a divorcee and mother of one (both of which are untrue), for example.
"They didn't even know her, imagine if they did!"
This year, the newlyweds are "excited" to spend their first Ramadan and Syawal (the month after Ramadan) together.
Madam Elena, a former lawyer, managed to get about a week's leave from work each month.
"I used to break fast alone, it's great now to have someone with me," she said.
"We tried to squeeze in as much Hari Raya preparation as we could. It's nothing extravagant."
Fahrin said he can't wait to start a family and would like to have four children.
"Twins would make it even better," he said with a laugh.
Fahrin 'gets close' to his childhood robot hero
He grew up watching the Transformers animation series on TV in the 90s and Optimus Prime was his hero.
"Optimus Prime was every boy's hero. I followed the series but at that time, the robots were too costly to purchase," said Fahrin Ahmad.
This year, he scored a chance to "get close"' to the robot when he lent his voice to the Malay-dubbed version of Transformers: Age of Extinction. He voices robotics nut protagonist Cade Yeager (played by Mark Wahlberg) in the blockbuster hit which will air on July 17 at 9pm on HBO (StarHub TV Ch 601).
The actor who voiced Melman the giraffe in the Malay version of animated flick Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted for HBO Asia in 2013, said Transformers: Age of Extinction had its own set of challenges. "To get into character, you had to jump or pretend you were getting punched.
"Now that I think about it, I must have looked like a fool. It looks crazy when you're doing it alone in the recording studio," he added.