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Actor Lucky Hakim manages to fit many things – from acting to businesses, social work and politics – into his busy life.
The 34-year-old was shot to fame in the entertainment industry through his many roles in sinetron TV soap operas, a few films and commercials.
Unlike some, who looked down on sinetron, Lucky did not take it for granted.
Recently, he took up a leading role in a religious-themed made-for-TV film Kang Amin, aired by television station SCTV at the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadhan.
The film was based on a witty short story written by Muslim cleric Mustofa “Gus Mus” Bisri.
“I immediately agreed to take the role because of the story’s quality and the fact that it was produced by Deddy Mizwar. I appeared in his film Ketika (When) and it was good although it was not popular at the time,” he told The Jakarta Post.
Kang Amin’s story revolves around the life of its main character — a close assistant of a leading cleric at a pesantren (Islamic boarding school).
The film follows the main character’s romantic trials and tribulations, as he falls in love only to end up broken hearted as the women he pursues, the cleric’s daughters, all marry other men. The story takes an interesting turn as our hopeless romantic finds love where he least expects it.
For the role, Lucky said he mingled with pesantren kids to build chemistry during the shooting of the film, as well as to polish his Javanese accent.
But his simple chats with the kids were inspiring and their considerably polite jokes led him appreciate their detachment from Western pop culture.
“I was particularly amazed by their knowledge of Islam and their skill in reading the Koran was so amazing that I became ashamed of myself,” he said.
On his return home, he joined an intensive short course on Koran citation and took another class that challenged him to memorize 99 names of Allah in three hours.
He did not stop there. He started to spread the technique by teaching it to a handful of friends and asked them to do the same thing.
The fasting month of Ramadhan also inspired the widower and father of a four-year-old daughter to be disciplined in following the Islamic teachings – trying hard to five praying times a day, doing some good deeds and stopping himself of talking badly about others.
“For me, Ramadhan is the time we reap blessings from God. For every good thing we do, we will get greater blessings,” Lucky says.
The actor admits that his current religious practices did not come instantly, but were cultivated from his childhood.
Lucky said that growing up in a religious family in the Central Java town of Cilacap, he was reluctant to pursue studies at an Islamic junior high school, fearing that he could not adapt to the numerous obligatory Islamic subjects he would have had to take.
He eventually bowed to his parents’ decision but did not take his religious studies seriously.
Now, as he works on becoming more down-to-earth and patient, he says he has started to recall the religious lessons from his youth.
But acting is not his whole world.
Recently, he took an interest in politics. In the past six months, he has become a cadre of the National Mandate Party (PAN) and one of his roles is to attract young voters for the upcoming presidential election.
He has also embarked on a variety of business ventures, such as working together with fellow actor Hengky Kurniawan to set up an event organizing company and a production house where he writes scripts for soap operas.
Lucky also has a restaurant in Depok on the outskirts of Jakarta, and owns a 10-hectare tree plantation with Sengon (Albazia falcataria) and Jabon or New Guinea Labula (Anthocephalus cadamba) in Sukabumi, West Java.
At home, Lucky’s love for pets and reptiles has led him to breed Maine Coon or American Longhair cats.
When asked whether he brought along his beloved snake during the interview, the actor smiled, saying that he only brought it along to accompany him during long days of shooting on location.
His other loyal friends when waiting on set are his books.
“I have what I call ‘traffic jam’ books and ‘closet’ books,” he added, referring to the self-development books he reads during traffic congestion and the political books he reads on his toilet break.
“But on the set of a film, I usually write scripts and read religious books.”
— Photos by JP/P.J.Leo