It was a star studded affair at the Hilton KL on the 18th of October. A packed crowd waited in anticipation for the grand premiere of That Cover Girl, the new Amazon Original Malaysian series from Prime Video. The evening commenced with a swanky fashion catwalk featuring home-grown influencers and talented members of the show’s cast. The event attracted a diverse audience, including industry players, media, and numerous other fashion, lifestyle, and creative industry luminaries.
Directors Abid Hussain, Megat Sharizal as well as writer Yasmin Yaacob and members of the main cast like Siti Saleha, Hisyam Hamid, Alicia Amin, and Aiman Hakim helmed the press conference for this anticipated series. That Cover Girl will be exclusively available in Malaysia exclusively on Prime Video and more than 240 territories worldwide starting 19 October 2023. Every episode will be made available on the day of launch. With the series here, we sit down with the talented team behind the series to find out what went into making the series.
How does it feel to be the first Malaysian original series for Prime Video and what are your expectations for it?
Abid Hussain: First of all, it is an honour to be the first to tell the Malaysian story to the world. And we are proud that this series is going from country to country. My expectation is that when anyone in the world watches this series, they can have a positive mind set about Malaysia and not only see Malaysia as Southeast Asia. I hope they also see Malaysia as a strong country with women empowered, that women are entrepreneurs, and change the stereotypical mind set of people in the West who consider all Southeast Asia countries to be Muslim countries. So that is what we are trying to achieve. And hopefully, we can make it.
The story is largely centred on the world of fashion. What drew you to tell this story and why do you think it would resonate with audiences both locally and abroad?
Megat Sharizal: So in this series, fashion is explicitly based on Hijabs. Hijabs can grow business to multi-billions, which nobody has made anything on it yet so far. This is something not only Muslim women wear, but it’s also a business, there are people who talk about how they expand the business and how they do designs. From that perspective, it’s not only fashion, but it’s also business fashion.
From concept to reality, how long did the process take to create this story?
Abid Hussain: This idea was there 5 years ago. Me and Yasmin worked on the script and redid it twice. At the same time, I was also finding investors to invest in this show. But when we decided to make this show from A-Z, it took us around a year.
Yasmin Yaacob: The script was not from 5 years ago, it was the idea.
Abid Hussain: The script was improvised and came out within three months, all thanks to Yasmin.
Was Prime Video involved in any way during the creative process?
Abid Hussain: The creative process came after the show. They work on the promotional part and also help to market the show. They also brought in the investors to this show.
Was there added pressure from the cast and crew, knowing that the series would be available in over 240 territories?
Abid Hussain: I don’t think they have any pressure. They had a lot of fun!
Yasmin Yaacob: Everyone was very excited!
Megat Sharizal: The pressure only came in when the show was about to finish at the end.
Abid Hussain: Because the show premieres in October, we only have a short period to wrap up. I would say the timeline was the challenge, but I’m grateful that everybody put in a lot of hard work and a lot of effort. I’m very happy and proud of the team.
Are you hopeful That Cover Girl will help open more opportunities for local storytellers to showcase their stories in the streaming sphere?
Abid Hussain: Of course! The reason why Creative Stew has done and did something like this and started broadcasting and storytelling is to encourage them to bring better local stories. From what I see in Malaysia there are great and potential storytellers in Malaysia. It’s just that maybe they are stuck with this whole channel and network.
Creative Stew’s intentions were for anybody with great and awesome stories, we highly encourage them to make it and show it to the whole world. I pray that there are many more storytellers who can come out after watching That Cover Girl, to see how we have made the show and tell the story. I think it would be a good improvement for the industry and anyone who is related to the industry.
(Images: Prime Video)