Indonesian model, actress and TV presenter Olla Ramlan has a new perspective on life after years in the spotlight
Febiolla Ramlan, popularly known as Olla Ramlan, has capitalised on her striking good looks to become an iconic model and entertainer — her face has appeared on a wide range of magazine covers and figured in advertising campaigns for a host of products in Indonesia.
The catwalk veteran has been the ambassador for products ranging from the Kozui Slimming Suit and Geela daily wear to Mito mobile phones, Magnum Ice Cream and Pond’s Age Miracle Cream. She recently added Optik Seis, one of the archipelago’s largest optical retail chains, to her bulging portfolio.
Having embarked on a modelling career as a teenager, Olla, now 34 has learned a thing or two about making the most of her sweet smile and beautiful eyes.
In the course of our interview at Artotel Jakarta, Olla proves there’s more to her than meets the eye.
Her bold attitude and cheery voice seem to be the secret to her success as the host of Trans7 TV’s Selebrita. This popular TV news programme tracks the lives of Indonesian celebrities, from their daily activities to social and family issues.
Olla has a mind of her own and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Yet she underlines the importance of gathering all the facts before expressing an opinion. “That’s very crucial, especially when hosting TV programmes such as Selebrita,” she says. “I’m not afraid to speak my mind as long as what I say doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings and I always view constructive criticism as a way to make us better people.”
Olla admits that her marriage to businessman Muhammad Aufar Hutapea a little more than a year ago changed her perspective on life. “People have free will, so it’s up to us to make our own choices where we want to head on life’s journey,” she says. “Entertainment and modelling are often associated with a glamorous world. It’s okay to have such a lifestyle, as long as we can balance it with our spiritual lives. With this free will, my husband and I choose to put our trust in God.”
Though Olla also serves as the co-host with comedian Tukul Arwana of Trans7 TV talk show Bukan Empat Mata, she’s best known outside of Indonesia for her career as an actress. Her most recent TV drama series, Nada Cinta (The Tone of Love), premiered in January 2011, ran for 244 episodes and attracted an audience not just in Indonesia, but also in Malaysia. However, the multi-talented actress and presenter is in the process of trimming her schedule.
“Life is not all about work. Making TV shows is very time consuming,” she says. “Right now, I want to spend more time with my husband. I want to have a child.”
Beyond that, Olla has a taste for fine food, shopping and travel. “I especially like going to Singapore to shop. I love the city’s infrastructure and the fact that there are a lot of makeup stores with complete collections,” Olla says.
“I also think Malaysia is a great place for culinary trips and also for shopping. I like Australia for sightseeing. I especially like the Opera House.”
But to her, travel is about more than just doing the rounds of the malls and sightseeing — she points out that the exposure to other cultures and ways of life broadens her mind.
As if it weren’t enough that Olla has conquered the acting and modelling realms, she’s also an accomplished singer.
“Stop”, which features renowned singer Dewi Sandra, is among her hits. “That was two years ago, and I haven’t sung since,” Olla says.
Does she have any plans to press on with a career in music? “Not in terms of singing, but more on the business side,” she says. “But maybe in music production or something else. It’s too early to announce anything as it’s still in the very initial planning stage.”
Published in Jetstar Asia, March 2014. Interview took place at Artotel Thamrin on February 3, 2014. Words: Aulia R. Sungkar Photos: Rio Photography