updated 12 Oct 2013, 15:16
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Sun, Feb 27, 2011
New Straits Times
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Diana Danielle has had enough of men... for now

CLAD in a gorgeous black number, actress Diana Danielle poses for the camera at a busy intersection. Standing at 170cm and effortlessly beautiful, she could easily have been a contestant of Tyra Banks' America's Next Top Petite Model.

Onlookers stopped to watch. Some honked their cars while a curious motorcyclist turned around and rode against the traffic just to make sure that he was seeing stars, er, I mean a star.

With her silky long tresses and captivating features, thanks to her mixed parentage, she gives photographer Nur Adibah Ahmad Izam all the right poses - sexy, pretty, innocent, alluring and at times, vulnerable.

Yet, although she is and can be all of the above, Diana is a tough cookie at heart.

"Many people see me as this sweet and innocent girl when I'm quite the opposite. I love outdoor stuff and I enjoy engaging in tough activities. But most of the roles I got were that of a pretty, young thing. I'm done with playing the stereotype beautiful heroine.

"No, I still haven't got my dream role yet, which is to play a superhero or playing a soldier, something Meg Ryan and Goldie Hawn have done incredibly well in their respective movies," said Diana as she climbed a tree in her stilettos!

Born in Houston, Texas, United States, and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Diana has just completed her latest project, a movie called Barajiwa directed by Osman Ali.

Indeed, since watching Anak Halal which was helmed by the same director, Diana had been harbouring hopes of working with the talented director, so much so that when she was offered a role in Barajiwa, she gamely accepted it, although the payment was meagre.

Barajiwa is a silat movie that revolves around a home. Diana plays a rich kid that comes by to help out the kids. Then, a guy comes along and "tears the community apart with his love". The lead actor is played by Remy Ishak. Other cast members include Fizz Fairuz, Mislina Mustaffa and Nadia Nissa.

"I'm in the industry not solely for the money but for the passion.

"There have been times when I don't work for five months and people think that I didn't get any acting offer. Truth was, I rejected unchallenging roles.

"I will take up an offer regardless of the monetary rewards, as long as the movie is good. In this movie for instance, I play a hippie. It's definitely not a hard role to carry for a typical Saggitarian like me," she laughed.

Diana will also feature in Dalam Botol, which is expected to be screened in March. Produced by Raja Azmi and directed by Khir Rahman, it zooms in on an interesting transsexual character who falls for a mixed kampung girl, played by Diana.

She will also appear in U-Wei Shaari's Hanyut, an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Almayer's Folly.

For Diana, it is a relief to have directors like U-Wei who often puts women at the forefront.

"It's a man's world and I am, therefore, thankful to directors like U-Wei whose movies have always portrayed the toughness in women," said Diana, who plays a girl of mixed blood (again) facing an identity crisis.

Asked if she ever had to deal with the issue in real life, Diana said it was prevalent.

"I get asked a lot by people what I am. It's funny though, because since dyeing my hair black, I don't get asked that often. It's when I leave my natural colour on, which is light brown, that people don't quite recognise me and start to give me enquiring looks."

Previously linked to million-dollar director Syamsul Yusof and actor Farid Kamil, Diana who has since broken off with both said that right now, she's done with relationships.

"I was very young when I got involved with Syamsul and Farid and I'm only turning 20 this year. Right now, I want to be single. I want to enjoy and embrace this freedom. I just want to do what I want and I don't mean that in a negative way. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy my time alone," she said, adding that she is also continuing her studies in March taking a degree course in psychology at a local college.

As if sensing that I didn't quite fathom her decision to be alone when there were eligible suitors up for grabs, Diana explained, "I have issues that need to be addressed. Sometimes I feel that I'm not smart or intelligent enough. I want to read more books and equip myself with as much knowledge as possible.

"I am a sucker for people with problems and I love listening to them and trying to resolve problems for them. Eventually, I also need a stable job," she said, adding that if there were movie offers, she would try to fit them into her schedule.

In the running for Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian's 2010 Most Popular Film Actress award, Diana, who has been a finalist twice before, added that when she turns 21, she hopes to take part in The Amazing Race Asia.

"Life is too short. I'm still young... I want to see the world."

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