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Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
Saturday, Aug 23, 2014

Showbiz

Actress Dhanya Nambiar is a 'quiet' adventurer

The New Paper | Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman | Saturday, Aug 23, 2014

NEW: Dhanya Nambiar will play Shanti Matthews in Mata Mata: A New Era.

Ask Dhanya Nambiar for a list of her craziest adventures and she can easily rattle off a list.

Jumping off a plane in Brisbane.

Participating nude in a South American tribal ceremony. Drinking a mystery potion in North America. Despite all this, Nambiar insists she is "very much a quiet homebody".

Viewers will get to know her as the naive but intelligent new police officer Shanti Matthews in Mata Mata: A New Era when it airs on Sept 1 at 8pm.

The second season of the police drama set in the 70s, will also star Rebecca Lim, Allan Wu, Pierre Png, Pan Ling Ling, Nadiah M. Din and Divian Nair.

SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

But professionally, the 32-year-old bachelorette is a transformational coach who helps others find their life's purpose using spiritual awakening through conscious body movement.

This includes dancing, something she has done since the age of four, as well as acting and painting.

"What can I do? What can't I do is the question," she told The New Paper last week when she was in town for the Mata Mata: A New Era press conference.

"I take pride in helping people discover the same about themselves through expressive arts therapy that I first set up in San Francisco.

"I know that if there's something I can't do now, it is something I will be able to learn.

"I really wish I could fly, though."

Based in Los Angeles for the past four years, the Malaysian actress/VJ has been following her "calling" and getting further artistic exposure in other forms.

She left her family home in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, for the US in 2010, starting a journey that has taken her to countries likes Ecuador, Macedonia and Egypt to learn from spiritual teachers and be among the tribes.

In February, she was in a jungle in India when she received a phone call from her best friend about Mata Mata: A New Era audition. Nambiar submitted an audition video and won the role.

"I thought the role was interesting - an Indian girl who wants to be a hotshot and to prove herself in a man's world," she said. "Plus I get to do my own stunts unless they insist otherwise. I get thrown, fight with gangsters, learn the right way of falling.

"It's a whole different life."


This article was first published on August 21, 2014.
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