PIA Wurtzbach stars in her first solo romcom, “My Perfect You”. She has done several movies before as Pia Romero when she was starting in Star Magic. “Pero mga isa o dalawang eksena lang ako roon,” she says. “Kaya it’s like I started all over again using my real name naman sa ‘Gandarrapido’ na full length ang role ko.”
She won the PMPC best new movie actress award for that movie. “I was in New York when I was informed that nominated ako. Akala ko, binibiro lang ako kasi I didn’t expect to be recognized for that movie. Noon namang awards night, wala ako as I was shooting ‘My Perfect You’ in Zambales. Sayang nga, first time ko to win an acting award and I was not there to receive it personally.”
In “My Perfect You”, she plays a perky young woman who is always ready to spread sunshine around her. Is she like that in real life? “Yes, may similarities kami. Sa totoong buhay, I can relate sa kakulitan niya and Direk Cathy Molina told me, yan, ganyan ang gawin mo. Sabi nga ng mga nakapanood sa’kin, Piang-Pia raw talaga ang character ko.”
Would she like to try drama later? “Yes, of course. Aside from being a beauty queen, dream ko rin talagang maging aktres and when I saw the billboard of ‘My Perfect You’, napaiyak ako kasi dream ko talaga 'yun when I joined showbiz 16 years ago. Finally, ngayon, nagkatotoo. Excited ako to try drama. But not teleseryes, kasi my schedules now won’t allow it. I want to do more movies instead.”
How is it working with Gerald Anderson? “Hindi kami talaga magkakilala, so when I was told we’ll do a movie, medyo may kaba. Una kong na-appreciate, mas matangkad siya sa’kin. Kasi problema 'yun kapag mas mataas ako sa leading man ko. Alam kong magaling siyang artista kasi napapanood ko siya, but it turned out, mabait din siya. Maalaga, hindi lang sa’kin kundi sa lahat ng kasama namin sa location shoot sa Zambales. I really enjoyed doing the movie with him.”
Won’t her BF, racer Marlon Stockinger, get jealous with her love scenes with Gerald? “Wala kaming love scenes in this movie. At walang dapat ipagselos kasi alam naman ng lahat na Gerald is also taken.”
Gerald, as we all know, is currently on with Bea Alonzo, who’s now doing a romantic movie with Derek Ramsay and Paulo Avelino entitled “Kasal”.
ALBERT TALKS ABOUT CURRENT LIFE
ALBERT Martinez is turning 57 on April 19 but he looks younger than his age. He’s the busiest Kapamilya actor these days and has appeared in all of its primetime shows lately, playing villain Tomas Tuazon in “Ang Probinsyano”, the scientist Prof. T in “La Luna Sangre”, the ill-fated poisoned father Victor Buenavidez in “The Good Son” and now the role of Agos in “Bagani”. He also played the lead role of Manuel in the afternoon soap “All of Me”.
He is now officially a grandpa. His eldest daughter, Alyanna, who’s married to Rey Macam, has given birth to his first apo last January, a baby girl named Adalynn Riley Macam. “I’ve seen her only in pictures as they are based in California, but I will visit them next month, with my son Alfonso and our youngest, Alyssa,” he says. “Doon na ako aabutin ng birthday ko and I will stay there for one and a half months. I’m doing some advanced taping for ‘The Good Son’ and ‘Bagani’. My characters in both shows are both dead na. Sa ‘Good Son’, I appear sa flashback scenes at sa ‘Bagani’, I appear as a spirit whenever Enrique Gil needs my advice.”
He says his son Alfonso intends to tie the knot soon with his girflriend of 8 years, designer Mikki Hahn. His youngest, Alyssa, also has a BF for three years now and he won’t be surprised if they also get married in the near future. So he will be having an empty nest? “Hindi naman maiiwasan 'yun and I’ve prepared myself for that. And up to now, I’m still the grieving over the loss of my wife Liezl. Hindi na siguro mawawala 'yun.”
How is his mother-in-law Amalia Fuentes? “She’s stable naman. She spent last Christmas with our family. She loves watching teleseryes at favorite niya ang ‘La Luna Sangre’. Kung tawagin niya ako, Prof. T, my name in that show.”
Did they inform her about the death of her ex-husband, Romeo Vasquez? “We decided not to tell her anymore. Kasi baka ma-stress lang siya. That was so sudden. He was diagnosed to have pancreatic cancer after he collapsed while in New York. He had a scan then he went back to California where he stays. When he got the confirmation that may cancer siya, na-stroke siya and was rushed to the hospital. He never regained consciousness and passed after one week.”
Albert joined showbiz in 1980 as a bit player in “Totoo Ba ang Tsismis” then was officially introduced in “Blue Jeans” in the same year. He admits he was then going steady with Sharon Cuneta, who he met in “GMA Supershow”. He’s supposed to be Sharon’s first leading man in her launching movie. “Pero hindi ako pinayagan ni Mother Lily as I was paired with Snooky Serna in ‘Bata Pa si Sabel’, kaya napunta kay Gabby yung ‘Dear Heart’. We shot ‘Sabel’ in Vigan at pagbalik ko rito, Sharon accused me of being a two-timer, which is not true. Naging kami lang ni Snooky nung tapos na 'yung movie namin.”
In 1984, he fell in love with Liezl and they eloped to America, where Alyanna and Alfonso were born. They returned home in 1991 and it was like Albert was starting all over again. “I was paired with Snooky in ‘Yakapin Mo Akong Muli’ but it didn’t click and for a while, walang kumukuha sa’kin. Tumatanggap ako ng assignments on a per day basis.”
Until the Manila Filmfest scam happened in 1994. Gabby Concepcion is supposed to start “Pangako ng Kahapon” for Viva, but after the scam, his career took a nosedive so he was replaced by Albert. It was a turning point for Albert who was then already managed by Shirley Kwan, who advised him to focus on character roles.
In 1995, he did two films that gave him acting awards, “Muling Umawit ang Puso” with Nora Aunor and “Segurista” with beauty queen Michelle Aldana, and his career took off once more, this time no longer as a matinee idol but as one of our most capable actors. He went on to win more acting awards for “Rizal sa Dapitan” and did more acclaimed films like “Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa” with Vilma Santos, “Pusong Mamon” with Lorna Tolentino, “Nang Iniwan Mo Ako” with Sharon Cuneta.
He also did sexy films like “Sidhi”, “Scorpio Nights 2”, “Laman” and “Ekis”. He even got into directing, “Rosario” starring Jennylyn Mercado. “Looking back, I really can’t complain,” he says. “Pati sa TV, tuloy-tuloy ang trabaho ko. Never akong nababakante. God has really been so good to me.”
MOVIE REVIEW: DEN OF THIEVES
GERALD Butler of “300” and “Olympus Has Fallen” comes up with another hard hitting action extravaganza about good cops and bad cops in “Den of Thieves”, directed by Christian Gudegast who wrote the script of “London Has Fallen” (sequel to “Olympus”). This time, the action is set in Los Angeles, considered to be the bank robbery capital of the world with a bank heist happening every 48 hours. Stats show that it has more bank robberies than any other city on this planet.
One bank that has never been victimized by robbers Federal Reserve Bank of L.A. so it becomes the target of a group of high tech criminals who considers it as the ultimate challenge. When an empty armored car is hijacked outside a doughnut shop by force, that results into a slaughter, dedicated street cop Nick (Butler) smells something fishy and starts investigating what really happened.
Nick is the type of law enforcer who is willing to take short cuts and bend rules just to accomplish his purpose. When asked why he shot a scumbag, he says: “We just shot him. Less paper work.” The mastermind of the armored car hijack turns out to be another cop, Ray Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber), who has organized his own elite team to rob the Federal Bank. Merrimen has done several daring bank robberies before but his aim to steal $30 million from the Federal Reserve Bank is his most brazen so far.
The story of the bad cops run side by side with that of the good cops. Nick tries his best to stop a crime he cannot fully figure out yet, while the robbers plotting the crime are relentless in their desire to carry out their high-tech mission to rob the bank. It becomes a match of wits between them, but eventually, the two paths will eventually converge and their explosive showdown is truly exciting and deadly.
The shootouts are all well choregraphed and executed, turning the city into a war zone and the movie, into a modern urbanized western. But the film is a bit long at 2 hours and 20 minutes, so to add to the drama, there’s an interesting subplot concerning Gerald’s problematic marriage with his wife, Debbie (Dawn Olivieri), who’s had enough of his irresponsible ways so she leaves him and takes their two daughters with her.
This is intended to help flesh out Gerald’s character by giving him a family life. Because his home life is a mess, Nick is prone to temperamental outbursts, but it somewhat halts the action that would have been better if it were wall-to-wall action set pieces of chase scenes and gun fights that feature some real scary hardware especially for Americans in these days of rampant shooting all over their country.
But overall, it’s an enjoyable genre film that offers a helluva lot of fun for action lovers, full of testosterone and macho posturings. It effectively uses most of the tropes that viewers have come to expect in action flicks and gets the job done quite decently, with one final twist in the end. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the 1995 movie, “Heat”, by Michael Mann with Robert de Niro as the bad cop and Al Pacino as the good one trying to thwart his actions.
Butler and Schreiber are no de Niro and Pacino, but they’re competent enough in their respective roles, leading a fine ensemble cast. But the scene-stealer here is O’Shea Jackson Jr., who plays one of Schreiber’s men. He is the apparent dupe in the caper, the driver of the bad guys who poses as a delivery man of Chinese food. In case you are not aware, he’s the real life son of rapper Ice Cube first seen in the hit “Straight Outa Compton”.