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Dollywood

Get ready for the 8-hour challenge

/ 12:05 AM March 23, 2016
JOHN Lloyd Cruz (left) and Piolo Pascual in "Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis"

JOHN Lloyd Cruz (left) and Piolo Pascual in “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis”

LAV DIAZ’S masterpiece, “Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis,” offers not just something else, but something more.

After bagging the Philippines’ first Silver Bear Award at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival, Pinoys will finally get a chance to see what the fuss is all about. The movie opens on March 26 nationwide.

Are you ready to take the eight-hour challenge? It will be time well-spent as “Hele” is out to redefine patriotism. What better time could there be to have a renewed sense of nationalism than now that we’re caught up in the election frenzy?

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Here’s my tête-à-tête with “Hele” stars John Lloyd Cruz (JL) and Piolo Pascual (P):

How did “Hele” impact you as an actor and person?

P: As a person, it made me more involved in our culture. It made me realize why there was a revolution and how we can identify as a country. I learned more about the Philippines. As an actor, it gave me a sense of responsibility. Now, I want to know what else I can contribute.

JL: When you’re confronted with this kind of film, the impact is irreversible. It is a privilege to be a part of this movement. More than a film, it’s a movement.

What makes “Hele” worth watching?

JL: The issue about the length of this film should stop. If you have concern for our history and what we are facing us a nation, you must watch “Hele.” The content of the film is not make-believe.

What’s your favorite dialogue and scene in the movie?

P: The one I really savored was the eight-page script that I needed to memorize. I had to stick to the script so I wouldn’t grope.

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JL: My first day was memorable. When you are used to form and structure then enter the set of Lav… it’s a different experience.

What was it like meeting Meryl Streep?

JL: What blew my mind was when she asked me a question and she stopped to really listen. She was genuinely interested.

It seemed like she slapped me, then kissed me—slapped because she reset my values and understanding of the film; and kissed because she made me take home something more than what I came to Berlin for.

Off to Italy

Ryan Cayabyab, whom I fondly call, “Your Eminence,” is off to Italy with his wife, Emmy, to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

Mr. C really knows how to keep the music playing even in their marriage.

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TAGS: Berlinale, Hele, independent film, John Lloyd Cruz, Piolo Pascual
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