KUCHING: Hollywood star Steven Seagal is impressed by the capital city of Sarawak where he made a special appearance at the Asean International Film Festival and Awards (Aiffa) 2019.
“I’ve been to Malaysia many times but this is my first trip to Kuching. It’s unspoilt, simple and charming.
“And really nice people as well as beautiful culture,” he told a press conference packed with local and foreign media as well as fans at the Old Court House here yesterday.
With him were his wife Erdenetuya Seagal, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and permanent secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Hii Chang Kee.
Seagal said he could not recall the name of his favourite local dish that he tasted during a visit to Sarawak Cultural Village on Friday.
“To be honest with you, I don’t remember the name. There is a lot of different indigenous food. The one with fish and ginger, that’s my favourite,” he said in response to a question.
A local representative later explained that the dish was smoked fish (ikan salai) with ginger.
Seagal did not rule out the possibility of returning to the city for the filming of a movie.
“We are planning to come back here for a film,” he said in reply to another question but did not give a definite answer on how soon that would happen when probed further.
When prompted for his opinion on the importance of Aiffa, Seagal said: “First of all, in my humble opinion, the bigger you get, the less quality you’ll probably be able to maintain.
“I’d rather be in a film festival having the quality of people, art and culture rather than so big and yet hard to manage,” he added.
On his upcoming movie, he said it will be about human trafficking with a lot of action.
“Most of my movies will have some implication on how we improve society by helping the weak and putting a stop to evil. I’ll be using martial arts,” he explained.
According to Seagal, he has been practising self-defence skill for 55 years and counting.
“I started very young, maybe seven or eight years old,” he said, adding that he had tried kungfu, karate and others.
In between question and answer during meet-the-fan session, the famous Sarawakian expression ‘Ooh-ha’ slipped from the lips of the Hollywood action star.
Two kids, believed to be literate in Russian were later invited to the stage to pose their questions to Seagal, but ended up staring at the movie star instead.
The session concluded with Seagal tossing the official Aiffa t-shirts to the crowd.