Actress & Producer
The word “legend” may be thrown around easily these days, but there’s no doubt that Puan Sri Tiara Jacquelina is a true performing arts legend. “You have to be visionary, regardless of what you’re doing, otherwise you wouldn’t stand out. If you’re just doing something that a predecessor has done before, it’d be nothing of substance.” It is precisely this ideology that has led the renowned thespian slash producer to rise above traditions.
Tiara was always interested in the arts. To her recollection, it was something that was innate within her. “I think I’ve always been like that. Whether it’s a play for school, a performance during Teacher’s Day, I’d always push my classmates to do something that has never been done better. It’s always been a part of me.”
The famed legend began her career as an actress in 1988. In 1995, Tiara starred with Academy Award winner, Frances McDormand, who played the lead role in the movie, Beyond Rangoon. In the 12th Malaysia Film Festival later that year, she won the Best Actress Award for her role in the film Ringgit Kasorrga. However, despite finding success as an actress, Tiara wasn’t entirely happy with her predicament at the time. “I’ve been acting for the longest time, and I wasn’t quite happy with how things were.”
Tiara explained it was the less than ideal state of the entertainment industry at the time that prompted her to make the leap to be a producer. “I get really annoyed when people are ‘cincai’ about their work. As an actress, you’re the most helpless person in the entire chain.” Determined to make a change, Tiara felt that there were limitations in what she can do as an actress.
If the producer or the director doesn’t care for the craft, you end up becoming the only person who tries to do the best you can in a system that doesn’t appreciate your effort.Puan Sri Tiara Jacquelina
In 2004, she made her debut as a producer in Puteri Gunung Ledang, in which she also starred as the lead actress. Released to immense critical and commercial success, the film’s incredible success gained Tiara soaring recognition due to her stellar performance as Gusti Putri. “I felt that that story had the potential to be something really special.” said Tiara when she was asked about what prompted her to pursue the project as a producer.
In addition to being a multi award- winning actress, film producer, musical producer, Tiara is also the founder of Enfiniti (M). Since its inception, Enfiniti has made a name for itself by housing some of the most critically acclaimed projects in Malaysia history, including Ola Bola The Musical and Mud The Musical.
“With Ola Bola The Musical, I told my team that we are all ambassadors of unity in Malaysia. The big picture is that we are advocating unity to millions of Malaysians.” Regarding Ola Bola The Musical, Tiara believes that it is extremely crucial that the team understands that the project is beyond dancing footballers, but something more. “If any of you don’t believe that we are telling a story that inspires unity, then you shouldn’t be on the team.You have to be visionary, regardless of what you’re doing, otherwise you wouldn’t stand out.
Today, Tiara continues her role is the “chief dream maker” of performing arts company Enfiniti and the founder of Tiarasa, a luxury glamping resort in Janda Baik. Tiara is also the recipient of Prestige achievement award in 2015.