Enamoring, amazing: 'Strike Back' cast on filming in Malaysia
MANILA, Philippines – Production for the upcoming season of Strike Back is well underway, and a cursory look at any of the cast members’ social media accounts will tell you that they’ve been all over Malaysia for filming.
The upcoming seventh season of the military action series has taken its cast and crew through various areas in the Southeast Asian country – from Kuala Lumpur, to Penang, to Johor Bahru.
The new season sees Warren Brown, Daniel MacPherson, and Alin Sumarwata returning to their roles as Mac, Wyatt, and Novin of counterterrorism unit Section 20.
Joining them this time around are Jamie Bamber, who plays the unit’s new commanding officer Alexander Coltrane, and Yasemin Allen, who plays Katrina Zarkova, a Russian operative whose true loyalties have yet to be determined.
Yasemin said her experience in Malaysia has been “amazing” so far.
“I hadn’t been in Malaysia before. That’s one of the things I love about acting is that you just get to explore many different worlds, different people that you could be, but also different countries and different parts of the world,” she told the media in an interview in Johor Bahru.
“But yeah, it’s been quite hot,” she added with a laugh.
The rest of the cast members agreed that the tropical heat was something they had to get used to – even after filming in the desert for the previous season.
“I thought we were prepared by working in the desert and working in that heat, but this is a different heat…[it’s] humidity,” Warren shared. “Literally, you get on set in the morning and you start sweating and you don’t stop until you go to bed at night.”
Humidity aside, the charm of the country was not lost on them, and between filming, they’ve been able to enjoy Malaysia’s sights, explore some of the neighboring islands, and cross over to nearby Singapore.
“There’s something extremely charming about Penang, I have to say,” Alin said, when asked about what her favorite location has been so far.
Yasemin had a tougher time choosing favorites: “I like Penang, I like KL, and Johor’s interesting, but I do want to explore Malaysia a little bit more while I’m here.”
“Langkawi’s lovely, Penang, it’s all been lovely it’s because they’re all such different cities, different areas, they’ve all got their charm. There are so many different cultures in Malaysia and you can see the effect of that, you see the effect of it in architecture and food,” Yasemin shared.
It was also Malaysia’s multicultural environment that caught Alin’s eye: “I love the way the cultures co-exist. It’s something that’s really enamouring to see. I think it’s something to be proud of, how the cultures are respected and co-exist.”
In addition to the culture and the sights, Malaysia also provided a variety of landscapes for the show to work with, giving the upcoming season a unique look that audiences can look forward to seeing onscreen.
“It’s amazing, Southeast Asia and the parts of Malaysia we’re shooting in, KL, Penang, Johor, the jungle, the energy is incredible on screen. It looks amazing,” Daniel said. “The energy of these cities and these places just gives us an incredible backdrop and the show and this series particularly is going to look epic as Strike Back always does.”
“I think even unique for Strike Back, it’s a completely different landscape than we’ve seen previously,” Warren added.
World class crew
And then of course, the Strike Back team also sang praises for the local crew and actors they’ve been working with throughout filming.
Daniel described them as “world class,” while Alin praised their work ethic.
“They’re very hardworking,” she said.
Warren added that the positive energy of the local cast and crew has helped them through particularly difficult days: “It’s a stressful job this, there’s a lot of pressure but everyone from every department enjoys it, brings their A-game. There’s a lot of laughs on set, all day every day.”
“They make our job a breeze. They work hard, we’re so indebted to them. They’ve elevated the show. It’s such a challenging job. These locations, at this pace, with the ambition of this series, everything that we do, stunts, explosions, gunfire. They’re great,” he said.
The new season of Strike Back is still in production. A final release date has yet to be announced. – Rappler.com