GWEN Zamora is pleasantly surprised that she is nominated as best actress in the newly revived Luna Awards of the Film Academy of the Philippines to be held Sunday night at QC Sports Plaza. This is for the indie film “Apocalypse Child” where she plays the role of RK Bagatsing’s fiancee who has an affair with his best friend, Sid Lucero.
“I was also nominated for the same role in the Urian, but for best supporting actress,” she says. “This time, best actress naman and I’m really honored and excited to be nominated along with some of our best actresses.”
She’s competing with Bea Alonzo and Dawn Zulueta for “The Love Affair”, Angelica Panganiban for “That Thing Called Tadhana” and Meryll Soriano for “Honor Thy Father”. “‘Apocalypse Child’ is my first indie film,” she adds. “I auditioned for it with director Mario Cornejo and we filmed it for one month in Baler, Aurora. After that, I did another indie film, ‘Straight to the Heart’, where I played a lesbian. Now that I’m no longer with GMA and a freelancer, I really want to do more indie films with challenging roles and perhaps even work behind the camera later.”
It’s also the first time she went sexy as she she had a love scene with Sid Lucero. “It took us one whole day to film that scene. Direk Mario asked for our inputs on how to do it and I was the one who thought of doing it on top of a table kasi Sid’s love scenes with Annika Dolonius was in bed. There was pumping motion but I was fully dressed, not naked. But I did wear a bikini in the surfing scenes kunsaan nagkasugat-sugat ako.”
How did her real life fiance, Jeremy Marquez, react to the love scene? “Hindi niya pinanood and it’s better that way para wala na lang selosan. Kasi ako man, I’d rather not watch my loved one doing such a scene.”
She confirms that she and Jeremy are officially engaged and will have a church wedding in Panglao Island, Bohol, early next year, with reception at Amorita Beach Resort. “We met in March last year and after a month, he proposed agad. Di ko sineryoso then he proposed again last October 4, our monthsary, complete with a ring and I accepted na.”
What does she find endearing in Jeremy? “He’s very persistent. Noong una, I thought he’s really bad boy, like what they say, but when I got to know him, he really has a big heart and wants to help everyone. He’s a big teddy bear.”
Aside from doing more films, Gwen also wants to try theater. “I will audition sa Red Turnip ni Anna Abad Santos, my co-star in ‘Apocalypse Child’ who’s a theatre actress. Sana makuha ako.”
Her dad Philippe being a culinary expert (pastry chef at City of Dreams), Gwen has also ventured into the food business with her own branch of Elarz Lechon in Taguig.
SID ASSURES HE'S DRUG-FREE
SID Lucero joined showbiz ten years ago when he was introduced in the film “Donsol” and won a best new actor award. He quickly played a lead role opposite Iza Calzado in “Batanes” and the next year, he won the Urian best actor award for “Selda”. He won more best actor awards for “Muli” and became a favorite of internationally acclaimed director Lav Diaz in films like “Heremias” and “Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan”.
We really thought he’s well on his way to superstardom just like his contemporary, Coco Martin, who also started by getting noticed and winning awards in indie films. But something went wrong somewhere. Coco went on to be a big star on TV doing hit shows like “Juan de la Cruz” and “Ang Probinsyano”. Sid was given lead roles by ABS-CBN in such shows as “Kung Fu Kids”, “Magkano ang Iyong Dangal” and “Ligaw na Bulaklak”. He then moved to GMA and also did lead roles in “Amaya”, “Magkano Ba ang Pag-ibig”, “Legacy” and “Kati-punan” where he played Andres Bonifacio.
It was at this point that stories about his being unprofessional and difficult to work with circulated, alleging he sleeps on the set and seems to be under the influence. He was not given any soap last year but he bounced back early this year in “The Millionaire’s Wife”. Now, he plays villain to Dingdong Dantes in “Alyas Robin Hood” and claims to be a new man.
“There was a time na I wasn’t myself and had to sort things out,” he says. “I got addicted to painkillers after my knee was operated on and doctors prescribed to me injectable painkillers. So I became dependent on them and it led to some sort of addiction. I admit to have used shabu, but I have since kicked the habit, a long time ago na. I started doing therapy and got into muay thai. Being into sports, doon nag-iba ang takbo ng isip ko, ng katawan ko. I’m ready to undergo a drug test to prove I’m drug free. I know I’m clean and will pass it with flying colors.”
In “Alyas Robin Hood”, he plays the son of his real life aunt, Cherie Gil. “Yes, I’m excited to work with her. In ‘Millionaire’s Wife’, anak naman ako ni Tita Jane (Jaclyn Jose), and it’s nice to work with such great actresses.”
He now seems to be relegated to contravida roles. “I see to it I change the styles of my villainy. I play a more vicious and ruthless contravida here in ‘Alyas Robin Hood’. Sobrang spoiled brat ako rito na gagawin ang lahat just to get what I want. I’m in love with Megan Young but she’s already on with Dingdong Dantes, so I kill Dingdong’s dad, Christopher de Leon, then I frame up Dingdong for the murder at siya ang nabilanggo.”
With regard to his love life, he doesn’t hide that he’s now into a relationship with indie actress, Annika Dolonious, who he met when they were paired in the indie film “Apocalypse child”. “One year na rin kami. She’s very caring and she keeps me well-grounded.”
SEPHLEX A POTENTIAL COMEDY LOVETEAM
ALEX Gonzaga and Joseph Marco were first paired in the Koreanovela adaptation, “Pure Love”, forming their own loveteam called SephLex. Since then, their fans have been clamoring for them to be reunited and Regal now finally pairs them anew in the romcom “My Rebound Girl”.
“I’m really thankful to Mother Lily for giving me and Joseph the chance to work together again,” says Alex. “When this was offered to me and I learned it’s with Joseph, umoo agad ako kasi comfortable na kami sa isa’t isa.”
She plays Rocky, a girl who’s known as the Pambansang Rebound Girl after three ex-BFs dumped her, played by actors who were really linked to Alex in real life: Luis Manzano, Ryan Bang and Dominic Roque. Her dad, singer Mitoy Yonting, wants to take her to live with him in Hawaii but Alex opts to stay in Manila and put up her own special coffee shop called Perfect Blend with her new BF, Carl Guevarra. But as luck would have it, Carl dumps her again for an ex-GF. She wants to quit her coffee business but a new associate comes along, Joseph as Rich, who’s not only a co-financier but also as the cafe’s manager. As maybe expected, love blooms between them when they visit Joseph’s family’s coffee farm in Benguet.
The movie’s director, Emman de la Cruz, says “Rebound Girl” delves into the current third generation coffee culture that came after the big coffee shops. “Maraming ganyang specialty coffee shops now and Alex’s Perfect Blend Cafe is situated in Maginhawa St. in UP Village now known as a food strip,” he says. “But we shot the movie at Gypsy Gourmet Cafe at Roces Avenue. Supporting Alex and Joseph are Martin Escudero as Alex’ best friend whose girlfriend is Helga Krapft; Nathalie Hart as Joseph’s ex-GF, Pinky Amador as Joseph’s mom and Raquel Villavicencio as his aunt and new comedian Alora Sasam as Alex’ confidante. I was so happy when Alex and Joseph were cast in the movie kasi sa workshop pa lang, grabe na ang chemistry nila and they’re both committed actors. I think this movie will establish them as a successful comic love team.”