When we talk about Special Forces movie, generally the name Green Beret, Navy SEALs, British SAS will pop to our mind first. Those are the Special Forces in US & UK. In Malaysia, the name GGK (Grup Gerak Khas), VAT69 would mostly be recognisable. Little are known about another elite group in the Malaysian military, which is our Navy Special Force call PASKAL (Pasukan Khas Laut). This will soon change when PASKAL The Movie go on nation-wide premier this 27 Sept 2018.

PASKAL is a movie base on Malaysian Royal Navy Special Forces. This highly acclaimed local action movie directed by Adrian Teh are starred by Hairul Azreen, Ammar Alfian, Hafizul Kamal, Taufiq Hanafi, Gambit Saifullah, Theebaan Govindasamy, Henley Hii, Jasmine Suraya Chin.

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Being a media site that focus on the field of combat sports Warriors of Borneo interviewed Theebaan Govindsamy on his role in this breakthrough movie.

For the uninitiated Theeban is a two times SEA Games silver medalist and 7 times National Champion in Karate. Born in KL, raised in Ipoh, Theebaan was ‘force’ to take up Karate by his parents when he was 5.

“They would wake us up early in the morning to go for karate class when all I wanted to do was watch cartoons! 

After I got older, I realised the importance of martial arts and started to appreciate my parents efforts. I transitioned into MMA because I was intrigued by the sport and was ready to dip my feet into something new.”

A graduate from University Putra with a degree in Petroleum Chemistry. He now trains full time in Klinch MMA. Holding a current 12-5-0 in MMA, he became Malaysian Invasion MMA (MIMMA) Season 4 Welterweight Champion in 2016 defeating Gino Tan with guillotine choke.

In 2017 while actively fighting in MIMMA 5 league, he was selected as the sole Malaysian representative to IMMAF (International MMA Federation) World Championship in Bahrain. He qualified for the Grand Finals of MIMMA 5 in March 2018 & fought his team mate Ahmed Zahreh. It was a close battle and after 5 rounds of back & fourth Ahmed won by unanimous decision.

Theebaan bounced back a few weeks later and emerged as Astro’s VALLAVAR Season 4 Champion (an obstacle challenge game show that pitted athletes from various field against each other).

Representing Malaysia in Bahrain. Accompanied by his girlfriend Darshanaa in IMMAF World Championship 2017
Anti-clockwise from top: Becoming MIMMA 4 Welterweight Champion, fighting team mate Ahmed in MIMMA 5, winning Vallavar S4 
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Following that Theebaan was nominated in the Asia MMA Awards 2018 for the Amateur Fighter of the Year and he made Malaysia proud by emerging the winner.

Winner: Asia MMA Awards 2018 – Amateur Fighter of the Year
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He told me about his experience in Hong Kong for the award night on 15 Sept.
“It was surreal! I first got the news of the nomination when I was in Sarawak for a holiday and I still remember I felt all sorts of gratitude towards everyone that has helped me come this far. 
The Fight Nation flew me in and put me up in a hotel in Hong Kong as well. They were a very accommodating host.
The experience there was truly a once in a lifetime thing for any fighter coming from this part of the world. I met so many big names and even UFC representatives at the awards. It was truly priceless.”
Theebaan & Darshanaa accompany by TUNE TALKS reps , Shawn & Mary

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So when did he got involved with movie making?

Apparently PASKAL is not his first foray into acting…
4 years back, Theebaan starred in a local made Tamil action movie titled VICTORY. He did a lot of action fights in the movie as it’s a story about the struggle & sacrifice of a Karate Champion.

“The casting team for PASKAL saw that and contacted me. They asked me to come in for auditions and I did. That’s how it all began.”

After the gap of 4 years from your first movie, do you have to take acting lessons?
Tell us about your character Shailesh in PASKAL?
“I did not take acting lessons but the rest of the cast were more than supportive of the fact that I’m a new actor and gave me as much guidance as they could.
Shailesh or his military call sign – Misi in the movie is part of the Alpha Team, lead by their commander Lt Arman Rahmat a.k.a Jerung. Misi is the medic in the team of 7.”

How much does your martial arts background help in preparing for the role ?
How much fighting scene you have to do in the movie? Who choreograph the fight scene?
I believe you are the one with most experience in martial arts among all the main characters…did you teach them a move or two?
“My martial arts background definitely helped in the sense that I would never give up on a particular scene and also constantly try to get the best take by taking in as much input as I can. But for fight scenes there were professionals to help choreograph. 


They could, however, give me anything and I could pretty much do it.
The lead actor, Hairul, is very experienced in stunts himself so the two of us would show the team some tricks.”

Executing the armbar – Applying his knowledge from MMA in the movie 


How much of PASKAL do you know before you took up the role in this movie? Did you ever attend any military training?
“I had no idea what PASKAL was before this. I had absolutely no military training although my mother used to serve in the Malaysian Air Force during her younger days.”

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All of you undergo training in Lumut Naval base, of all the training, which part is the most tough? Tel us about the firearms training?
How many stunts you have to do by yourself? Which is the most memorable?
“Training in Lumut was intense. Even if we only did some 10-20% of what the real PASKAL would do. 


The hardest of them all has to be the drown proofing exercise. Our hands and legs would be tied and we would be thrown into the water. We were required to get to the other side all whist remaining as calm as possible. 


Of course we were taught the best way to swim in such a situation before that and also has extensive safety measures in place during every exercise. Our safety was always the number 1 priority. If we weren’t confident with ourselves, we didn’t have to do it. Of course, all of us did. LOL.”

 

“The firearm training was the most fun of course. We were taught how to dissemble and assemble a Glock, a M4 and an MP5. All of which we could do with our eyes closed at the end of the day.”

 

How many stunts you have to do by yourself?

“We did about 99% of the stunts by ourselves.” 

The movie also is about friendship among the characters…tell us about the actual friendship you build among the stars / crew / production of PASKAL.
“All of my co-stars and I are extremely tight right now. The guys have known each other for a hell of a long time by the time I got into the picture but they were so very warm and welcoming toward me.”

From left:Henley Hi, Ammar Alfian, Theebaan G, Hairul Azreen, Taufiq Hanafi, Hafizul Kamal, Gambit Saifullah


“We still hang out and do things other than just attending press releases and interviews together today.

Of course the crew as well. The director has become a good friend as well. Absolutely everything about this experience was a good one.”
At the Gala premier of PASKAL with his family & friends
with his firlfriend Darshanaa Chellaiah, his strongest supporter in his martial arts & acting career

PASKAL the movie will premier nationwide tomorrow 27 Sept 2018. It has gain many good review and has spark the interest of  Malaysian of all races to go watch a local action movie.

So move your butt and go to the nearest GSC Cinemas to grab yourself tickets to PASKAL the movie.

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