JULIA Barretto’s previous projects didn’t click as well as expected and people attributed it to her tiff with her dad, Dennis Padilla. But the universe conspired for her to now have an entry in the coming Metro Manila Filmfest, a feel good teen rom-com, “Vince & Kath & James”, and everyone is now predicting it will be a surprise big topgrosser, considering it’s backed up in its promo by ABS-CBN’s formidable publicity machinery. We’ve always said we believe in Julia and here’s hoping ito na nga ang project na magbabangon sa dormant career niya.
“It’s really God-sent,” she says. “Kasi when we were doing the movie, we never expected that this will be entered in the Metro Filmfest at heto nga, natanggap at naging official entry pa, kaya blessing talaga. So we’re all excited to have a movie in the festival, me and my two leading men, Joshua Garcia and Ronnie Alonte.”
So how is it working with her new co-stars? “It’s our first time to work together. I’m glad that I found new friends in both Ronnie and Joshua. I’ve been really comfortable with them sa set. I think doon naman talaga nagsisimula, sa friendship, kapag komportable kayo sa isa’t isa. Nakikita kasi sa screen ‘yun eh. Maganda ‘yung naging bonding at team work namin while we’re shooting the film, along with our director, Theodore Boborol. Si Joshua, may tumatawag na sa loveteam namin as JoshLia and I really admire his passion for his craft. Maalaga siya sa set and we really got along fine. Those who followed the original story as a social serye with text messages will be pleased, kasi we remained very faithful to it. Nandun pa rin ‘yung kilig, ‘yung pagiging very now and modern dahil sa texting, at nadagdagan pa ng lalim ng emotions now na that you see us giving life to the characters. Mas may heart itong movie.”
Will she invite her dad, Dennis Padilla, to watch the movie? “Of course, sa premiere night pa lang, I will invite him na. Our relationship now is so much better than ever before.”
DENNIS HOPES TO BE FRIENDS WITH MARJORIE AGAIN
DENNIS Padilla says he’s very proud of his daughter Julia for starring in her own filmfest entry. “Kahit hindi niya ako imbitahin, I will watch her movie,” he says. “Siyempre, anak ko ‘yan, and gusto ko makita ang trabaho niya.”
We got to talk to Dennis on the set of “Alyas Robin Hood” the day after the presscon of Julia’s movie. “Siyempre I want to see how she’ll do in comedy kasi comedian ako. Gusto ko makita kung may minana siya sa’kin at sa lolo niya (Dencio Padilla) sa pagko-comedy.”
Dennis reveals that he almost made it as a cast member of “Vince & Kath & James”. “Actually, the role of her father in the movie was first offered to me. Na-excite nga ako. Kaso, may conflict sa tapings ko for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ at hindi na nila puwedeng i-delay ang shoot. Sayang nga, first time sana namin to do a movie ng anak ko. Pero ang hula ko, ang movie nila ang magiging topgrosser sa filmfest. Kasi sila lang ang rom-com na puwedeng manood ang mga bata at bina-back up pa sila ng ABS-CBN sa promo, kaya mas marami tiyak manonood sa kanila. Ang wish ko lang is magkaroon sana kami ng reunion ni Julia at ng mga anak ko pang sina Claudia and Leon sa Christmas. Kasi gusto kong pakilala sa kanila ang mga anak ko ngayon, sina Gavin, 4 years old, at ang bunsong si Madeleine who was just born noong November 30. Si Gavin, kilala si Julia dahil sa pictures at billboards niya. Tinatanong ako, when will they come to our house?”
Gavin and Madeleine are his kids with his Aussie wife, Linda Gorton. His first wife, Monina Gatus, now lives in the States and he has two kids with her, aged 24 and 23, now both professionals. “Sabi ko nga sa panganay ko, bigyan niya na ako ng apo. E, ayaw, so gumawa na lang ako ng bago kong baby.”
How’s his relationship with Julia’s mom, Marjorie Barretto? “Well, I’m really sad na hindi kami magkaibigan, kasi kahit anong balasa ang gawin mo, ina pa rin siya ng tatlong anak namin.”
How about he and Marjorie’s two other sisters? “We’re okay. Si Gretchen, Kuya pa rin ang tawag sa akin. Nagte-text kami every now and then.”
Dennis is very happy with his villain role in “Alyas Robin Hood”. “Bale comeback project ko ito sa GMA7 after 14 years. Dito naman talaga ako nag-start noong heydays ni Randy Santiago sa ‘Lunch Date’ in the late 80s, then nalipat ako sa ABS. First time ko gumanap ng kontrabida role na sobrang sama, mukhang pera. May touch of comedy ang treatment ko, pero kahit nagpapatawa si Wilson, bad guy talaga siyang nagpapapatay ng mga taong against him. Earlier, it was shown na mamamatay ako, pero nakatakas pala ako at nagtatago. I will ask my people para mahuli nila si Dingdong as Alyas Robin Hood at abangan nyo dahil madadakip nila ito, then ihaharap nila sa akin.”
‘MANO PO’ PARADE OF STARS AT SM MEGAMALL TODAY
AT the final presscon of “Mano Po 7: Chinoy”, Mother Lily Monteverde told us she has just seen the completed film that morning and she’s gushing over the great performances of the movie’s lead stars. “This is a family drama and the conflict is about parents and children,” she says. “Ang gagaling ng confrontation scenes nila, Janella Salvador and her mom, Jean Garcia, after she found that Jean has a lover, si Jake Cuenca. Tapos, si Richard Yap and Enchong Dee, both powerful actors. Kung nakapasok kami sa filmfest, I have no doubt some of them will win acting awards. Richard Yap is known for his light comedy-dramas on TV but here, he shows he can also be great and very convincing in drama. As for Enchong, I think he’s one of our most underrated young actors today so I want to get him again for another movie project dahil sa husay niya. Pati yung bagong indie director na binigyan namin ng break dito, si Ian Lorenos, ang ganda ng attack niya sa material, very fresh, magugustuhan ng millennials kasi very now ang t
reatment. I’m so proud of this movie and I think it’s the best ‘Mano Po’ we’ve done in the series of 7 movies that we did. Christmas is for the family and this is just perfect for the whole family as it teaches great family values.”
Today, Regal has scheduled a big parade in SM Megamall, complete with a red carpet walk and a free show at Cinema 7. The entire cast will be there and the culmination will be the movie’s premiere showing at 8 p.m., attended by all its stars and other celebrity guests. Don’t miss this grand and colorful affair to drumbeat “Mano Po 7: Chinoy” that opens in theaters on December 14, Wednesday.