Dare to Dream: Natasha Wilona

Dare to Dream: Natasha Wilona

In a vast world where she seemed but a speck, Natasha Wilona stood with dreams higher than the sky. Despite towering trials, she still took the road less travelled; paved it as she braved it, carving her name into its wet concrete until the world was at her feet.

By The Time Place Magazine


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Natasha Wilona is not a new kid on the block. In other words, she has spent her fair share of time in the entertainment industry. You may recognise her from her filmography or television appearances, or perhaps you have heard her name mentioned by celebrity news channels. Many knew about the 25-year-old actress, yet few can claim to know how she had to survive unbelievably tough days to become known to you. Perhaps it is because Natasha has a way of making the ugly of this world, a little easier to face.

Since the beginning, Natasha Wilona faced circumstances that were far from kind. While others were born into a life of silver spoons, Natasha was raised by a single mother who had to sacrifice everything to provide for her and her older sister. Although their little family faced many adversities and they had to spend nights in a rundown wooden house filled with holes, teeming with mosquitoes, with the constant fear of rats running around, the idea of giving up never crossed their minds. It was not even on the list of options—only survival was.

Despite many of life’s shortcomings, Natasha was blessed with a mother who was resilient and selfless to no end. When seven-year-old Natasha began showing an interest in modelling, her mother, despite the financial constraints, enrolled her in modelling classes. When Natasha needed clothes to wear for her modelling competitions, her mother, who was not a fashion designer, taught herself how to design clothes with used fabric because purchasing new ones was far beyond their means. When Natasha kept returning home with the winning title, they took a leap of faith together and pursued a modelling career in Jakarta. Just two women who took control of their own lives, so headstrong despite only ever knowing the harshness of the world.

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Moving to Jakarta, Natasha was like Alice in Wonderland after drinking from the mysterious bottle—she shrunk in size. She could not shake the overwhelming sense of smallness that enveloped her like she was just another face in a crowd of dreamers. Nevertheless, she knew that she would have to be bigger than the rest of them to be noticed. One day, she caught the eye of a judge at her modelling competition, whose wife owned an advertising agency and invited her to join castings for advertisements. Although this happenstance did not signal success, it was a path that had been opened, and in these rare moments of opportunity, anything is possible.

It was not an easy road either. In fact, it was admittedly one of the hardest times of Natasha’s life. “We had no motorcycle, no car, no means to get from one place to another. Every time, we had to think hard about how to survive and actually start this career that I was pursuing,” Natasha recounted. “To reach castings located far away, I had to wake up at dawn and catch public transportation. Eventually, when we finally acquired a motorcycle, my mother learned how to ride one and brought me to castings after school, braving the rain or scorching heat. At many of these castings, people would not take me seriously, many times belittling me with demeaning words,” she recalled.

Despite attending dozens of castings each month, not a single one would return to Natasha with good news. When asked if she ever considered giving up, “Not at all,” she said without hesitation. “Since I was young, I have always been inspired by my mother’s perseverance. My mother taught me many things. The first is to be decisive in life—be either black or white, not grey. If you are not a good person yet, then work on becoming better. If you already consider yourself a good person, then strive to be better. Don’t be on the grey line of life. Secondly, she taught me to never compare my life with others and to always practice gratitude. And third, my mother taught me that where there is hard work, success will follow.”

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Indeed, her mother’s words rang true. At 10-years-old, Natasha landed a role in the film “Summer Breeze (2008),” portraying the younger version of Chelsea Olivia at that time. She went on to play several roles in what was known as “FTV,” or family television series. However, Natasha’s mother could not bear witnessing her daughter working from dawn till dawn at such a young age. She decided to intervene for Natasha to place her focus back on school. It was not until Natasha was 13, when she returned to her acting career, securing a role in her first soap opera titled “Masih di Bawah Umur (2012)”. From then on, she took on role after role, steadily gaining recognition among a growing audience.

Fast forward to 2023, when 24-year-old Natasha attended the WeTv Always More 2024 award show and received an accolade in the “Air Mata TerWOW” category for her performance as Naura in the series “Little Mom (2021)”. “It was a nearly two-month shoot. We would rehearse every scene over and over again to ensure it would resonate with the audience. To get recognised for our hard work moved me,” Natasha confessed. “Ooh, and it didn’t hurt that the series managed to secure a spot in the Museum of Records Indonesia (MURI) for being the Indonesian Web Series Trending in Most Countries, as many as 22 countries!” she exclaimed.

With each role she takes on, Natasha’s star power grows, but she does not stop there. The actress has expanded her presence beyond the screen, and into entrepreneurship. Natasha admitted that she is not a savvy businesswoman building empires, but with much learning and the passing of time, that is where she is headed. “2023 was one of the most exciting years for me. I opened a Pilates studio called Posture, introduced a fish steamboat restaurant called Xiangshan, and founded a media company known as iWil Network,” Natasha proudly shared.

Too many people think that small is the best that they can do. Not Natasha though. “I always put my whole heart into everything I do, whether it’s acting or business. That’s just who I am,” she said. All her ventures seemed to stem from her desire to create something useful and accessible for others. “While other celebrities create cosmetics brands with premium prices, I founded Marshwillow, and priced our products to be very affordable, so that everyone can wear makeup and feel beautiful,” she remarked.

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As a celebrity who is under the spotlight more often than most, Natasha sees fashion as her ally. “My clothes reflect my personality. I don’t need people to say I’m glamorous; I want people to see that I am comfortable being myself. I dress to match my age—I don’t like to make myself older or younger than I am,” Natasha shared. “That is where Tory Burch and I align. The brand is worn by women of all ages, and it is simple and elegant just as it is. Above all, the quality speaks for itself,” commented the actress. In February 2024, Natasha made a striking appearance at the Tory Burch Fall/Winter 2024 show in New York, donning a Tory Burch Mesh Top, Stretch Wool Wrap Skirt, and a pair of Leather Ankle Boots complemented by the Reva Metallic Clutch.

A successful actress and an aspiring businesswoman—the world truly is her oyster. The girl who used to go to the mall only once a year, yearning to watch movies in the cinema yet thwarted by pricey tickets, now globe-trots with her mother and sister. Natasha’s definition of enjoyment may have evolved into adrenaline-fueled adventures such as rafting, skiing, skydiving, snowboarding, and diving, yet her gratitude remains as steadfast as ever. “The past has been my greatest teacher. Without enduring those difficult days, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and for that, I am grateful,” Natasha reflects.

By choice or by design, Natasha Wilona overcame everything that could have destroyed her. She knows what the world wants from a woman like her: to be small and to remain small. She also knows that it is up to her to decide whether to conform to what the world wants or allow herself to grow as big, loud and as complex as she was meant to be. Throughout all her challenges, Natasha decided to be true to herself. And in the words of the remarkably resilient lady: “Just because we are one single person living in a big wide world, doesn’t mean we are small and unworthy. It takes just one person—one who gives their all in everything they do—to own the power to move the world.”


Creative Direction: Erika Tania
Photography: Arturo Alcalá
Fashion Styling: Virginia Ray
Digital Imaging: Kevin Putra
Hair Styling: Alexandra Diroma
Make Up: Henry De La Plaz
Text: Charlene Atalie

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