CASTING the role of the young Fidela in the pre-Valentine offering, “Moonlight Over Baler”, became quite a problem for Director Gil Portes. The older Fidela is played by Elizabeth Oropesa and they have to get someone who would be believable as a young Beth O.
“Importante 'yung role as the young Fidela will establish how much she loves Nestor, her soldier fiance who went to fight in World War II and never came back,” explains Direk Gil. “We have to get someone na kasing-taas ni Beth O, na malaking babae. It was screenwriter Eric Ramos who recommended Sophie, who I saw in a Cinemalaya entry, ‘Hashtag Y’, at okay naman siya, so we called her then pinagtabi namin sila ni Beth. We quickly saw their striking resemblance with each other. Ang kulang lang kay Sophie, 'yung nunal ni Beth. But when it comes to acting, hindi rin nagpahuli si Sophie. She’s able to deliver and everyone approves of her acting, including Beth herself.”
Beth O is a multi-awarded actress and she says when she saw Sophie’s acting, she was quite impressed. “When I saw the movie, I told myself, ‘Wow, ang galing naman ng batang ito,’” says Beth. “Hindi talaga siya nagpapahuli sa kahit sinong kaeksena niya. And it helps na maganda talaga ang chemistry nila ni Vin Abrenica as her leading man.”
Sophie is flattered to the bones with Beth O’s assessment of her acting. “Coming from a respected actress like her, siyempre, kinikilig ako,” she says. “I really pray that people will like the movie, my acting, and it will help open the door for other projects for me. Actually, before this movie, I’m already thinking of quitting showbiz kasi parang walang nangyayari sa career ko, e. I’m just getting depressed and was about to take up lesson in doing make up. But with ‘Moonlight Over Baler’, nabuhayan ako ng loob about acting again. I began to feel my passion for acting came back and I realized this is what I really love to do. I also got a new manager, Manny Valera, who’s helping me chart my career now. Sana nga, 2017 will give me better opportunities as an actress.”
“Moonlight Over Baler” opens in theaters on February 8 as a pre-Valentine presentation.
DINGDONG SOON ENDS FORAY INTO ACTION GENRE
DINGDONG Dantes feels thankful as ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ nears its climax. “The show was truly supported well by the viewing public since we started airing in mid-September last year,” he says. “It really rated well all throughout its run kaya me and the entire cast want to thank all the viewers who stayed with us every night.”
The show established him not just as a romantic leading man but also as an action star. When he and leading ladies Megan Young and Andrea Torres gave a thanksgiving mall show at Market Market last week, the audience went wild and was very warm to them, calling them with their names in the show: Pepe, Sarri and Venus. The show also established that he has a good chemistry with both Megan and Andrea and perhaps, they’ll also be paired in movies together.
Things get more exciting in “Alyas Robin Hood” this week with Jaclyn Jose as Judy and Cherie Gil as Maggie having a confrontation scene and a slapping match while everyone is looking for Julian (Dave Bornea) who is kidnapped and held captive by Dean (Sid Lucero). Megan Young as Sarri has found out that Sid is just subjecting her to mind control that’s why she fell in love with him and leaves him. More action scenes follow between the forces of good and evil.
MEG LOVES COMPLEX CHARACTER
MEG Imperial plays one of the most challenging roles in her career as Janet, a recovering drug addict in “Swipe”. She is married to Edward (Alex Vincent Medina), a team leader in a call center who supports her. To start life anew, they transfer to a condo unit where they intend to make a fresh start as a married couple. But Meg’s dangerous craving for illegal substance persists, and she searches online to satisfy her addiction. Can they still save their fragile marriage when, aside from drug problem, jealousy also gets in the way?
“Very complex ang character ni Janet and I’m glad our director, Ed Lejano, assigned her to me kasi na-challenge talaga ang acting ko,” she says. “Napapanahon ang pelikula kasi it’s about dating on line. May nakakatagpo ng perfect match for themselves dito pero marami ring horror stories about people who have such sad and ugly experiences with the strangers they meet sa internet.”
Viva Films, in cooperation with Aliud Entertainment, comes “Swipe”, a movie about apartment neighbors whose lives take an unpredictable turn after developing a connection with someone thru social media. Also in the cast is Mercedes Cabral as Loida, the new lady guard in Sunrise Apartments who meets Luis Alandy as Leo on a dating site. They have a brief affair but now, Loida’s OFW husband is coming home. But how can she avoid Luis’ advances when he threatens to expose their recorded illicit act online?
Maria Isabel Lopez plays Gloria, a mother in her mid-40s whose marriage has recently been annulled. She keeps herself busy chatting with Ted (Alvin Anson) online, an investment consultant. Gabby Eigenmann plays Frank, a married man who leads a double life. He checks out gay social dating sites, and the young men who capture his attention get invited to his studio unit. One of them is Josh (Rob Moya), a handsome hunk who is only out to get money from him.
Directed by Ed Lejano, ( who megged “Seroks” in 2006, “Sinungaling na Buwan” in 2007, and “Qwerty” in 2012), and edited by Chuck Gutierrez, winner of the Best Editing award at the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival for “Sunday Beauty Queen”, “Swipe” is a sexy romance drama that also serves as a cautionary tale about the gains and pains of dating through social media. It’s now showing in theaters nationwide.
NEW DIRECTOR OFFERS ALTERNATIVE TO USUAL ROMCOMS
THE romcom “I’m Drunk, I Love You” starring Maja Salvador and Paulo Avelino is the first full length film directed by JP Habac, who has previously helmed three short films, including “Maria” that won as best short film in Cinema One Filmfest last November. The 29-year old JP finished filmmaking at UP in 2009 and has worked as assistant director to Jerrold Tarog in “Heneral Luna” and “Sana Dati” and in TV shows like “Wagas” and “Karelasyon” on GNTV. How did he conceive of “I’m Drunk, I Love You”?
“Nag-iinuman kami when a friend said ‘I’m Drunk, I Love You’ and we asked kung puedeng gawin title sa movie,” he says. “We pitched it to TBA, Tuko Films, Butchi Boy and Artikulo Uno, and they agreed to finance it. I wrote the script with Gian Abrahan of ‘Dagitab’ then we sent the script to Paulo Avelino, who I’ve worked with in ‘Hen. Luna’ and ‘Sana Dati’. He agreed to do it and he recommended Maja Salvador as leading lady. Maja pays Carson, who’s been secretly in love with Paulo as Dio, her classmate in college for seven years. Jasmine Curtis Smith plays Pathy, the ex-GF of Paulo na bumabalik and Dominic Roco plays Jason Ty, Maja’s gay best friend.”
They open in theaters on February 15 and they’ll be up against Star Cinema’s “My Ex & Why’s” with a more established love team. What does he think are their chances? “We offer an alternative to the usual romcoms at maraming makaka-relate sa story nito tungkol sa mga umaasa at nagpapaasa. It’s set in UP and we make use of contemporary music from top bands like Parokya ni Edgar, Eraserheads, also Ebe Dancel, Jimmy Bondoc and new singers like Juan Miguel Severo and Kai Honasan.”