Eddie Garcia: "Bahala sila sa buhay nila, bahala ako sa buhay ko'

November 09, 2018
Eddie Garcia
Eddie Garcia

EDDIE Garcia is so at home working with new directors like Benedict Mique in “ML (Martial Law)”. Since he’s an award winning director himself, does he give them tips about filmmaking? “At my age and after more than six years in showbiz, I’ve worked with all our best directors from Brocka and Bernal to the new ones we now have,” he says. “As a rule, hindi ako nakikialam sa trabaho nila, unless they ask for suggestions and I give them tips. Benedict is very talented. He himself wrote the script of ‘ML’ and he sent it to me. After I read it, sabi ko, o, shoot na tayo. My role here as an old military officer who did violent things noong martial law is not new to me. I’ve played a similar role before in ‘Bakit May Kahapon Pa’ with Nora Aunor, directed by Joel Lamangan. Retired colonel din ako roon, but mas violent ako rito sa ‘ML’ kasi I really tortured the three students who made the mistake of coming inside my house, sina Tony Labrusca, Liane Valentin and Renz Villarais. They’re all good. Kahit nahirapan sila sa torture scenes, very professional sila kaya malayo ang mararating nila.”

So what are the hardest things that the three teeners did in the torture scenes? Tony says: “Yung nakatali ako sa chair for many hours with duct tape, tapos pati bibig ko, may tape din. Kahit makati, you can’t scratch it. Yung tape, nagmarka na sa mukha ko.”

Renz, a balikbayan from Brisbane, Australia, says: “Yung nakatali ako, while Tito Eddie performs water torture on me. I thought it’ll be easy, but nang takpang ng towel ang face ko tapos hino-hose ako ng tubig, buwis buhay pala talaga kasi ang hirap huminga.”

Liane, a former child actress who’s now doing soaps for GMA-7, says: “Noong pinahiga ako nang nakahubad sa ibabaw ng block of ice. Sobrang lamig at talagang nanginginig ako sa ginaw during the whole take.”

Eddie won the Cinemalaya best actor award for his role in “ML”. Does it still excite him to win when he already has about 40 trophies collected through the years? “Of course! Excited pa rin ako. Winning an award is the best bonus any actor can get for a job well done.”

Doesn’t he have difficulty working with much younger co-actors? “Ako naman, ke veteran, ke baguhan, walang problema sa’kin. I can work with everyone as long as they do their job well at hindi nagpi-primadonna.”

Does he engage in social media? “No, ever since, hindi ako nakikialam sa buhay ng may buhay. Bahala sila sa buhay nila at bahala ako sa buhay ko.”

Writer-director Benedict Mique spent his lifetime savings to finance the movie, aside from the seed money he got from Cinemalaya. “I’ve been writing in the industry for 20 years and nagka-midlife crisis ako. Sabi ko, it’s time to give back to the industry. This movie was inspired by a comment I heard from a young person na ‘Mabuti pa raw noong martial law’. So the story is about these three students who researched on martial law and personally experience the violence political detainees went through then.”