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Indonesian movie star still calls Hillcrest home

3 May, 2013

Indonesian movie star still calls Hillcrest home

Ario Bayu may not have been the most diligent student ever enrolled at the University of Waikato but the former business studies student has more than made up for his less than stellar academic career with a starring role alongside Mickey Rourke in the movie Java Heat, due for US release next week.

Ario, 28, plays a cop in the movie, set in his native Indonesia. It’s his third international credit, following appearances in the horror Dead Mine and Singapore police drama Serangoon Road.

Ario spent a year studying business at the University of Waikato but acting has always been his first love, his father Ali Wahyudhi says.

Ali runs the popular university food outlet Le Zat Cafe with his wife Sri Utari Wahyudhi.

He says Ario attended Hillcrest High School – where he was a couple of years ahead of Kimbra - and was selected to study theatre at London’s Globe Theatre in 2003.

After two months there, he returned to New Zealand for a year at university, before following his acting dream back home to Jakarta.

Ali says he and Sri Utari - who both have masters degrees in business - always encouraged their two children to do what they loved.

“As parents, we give them a good foundation but after that it is up to them which path they take,” he says.

While Ario chose acting, their daughter Dianny is a lawyer for Bell Gully in Wellington.

“One thing, for me, was to remind them both, if you do something, go the extra mile,” Ali says.

He says they are immensely proud of both their children’s achievements and although they live in different cities and countries, they remain in regular contact.

“We are a very close family,” he says.

“As parents, when they were children we acted as adults but when they became teens, they became more like friends.”

And while Ario could be on the verge of a move to Hollywood, Ali says he’s just as likely to return to New Zealand.

“He says he wants to study again but it is up to him. He is still young and needs experience.”


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