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‘Die Beautiful’ sequel, musical adaptation in the works

Paolo Ballesteros in “Die Beautiful”

Paolo Ballesteros in “Die Beautiful”

The “fag hag” in me immensely enjoyed the surprise birthday bash that Direk Jun Robles Lana threw for his husband, Perci Intalan, at Garage 88. It was an intimate gathering of the gay power couple’s friends and colleagues. The duo’s IdeaFirst Company was the brains behind the critically acclaimed indie film, “Die Beautiful.”

Here’s a scoop: Perci happily told me that “Die Beautiful’s” sequel, “Born Beautiful,” is in the works. A musical version of the hit movie is also being cooked up.

Bravo, Perci and Jun, for delivering movies that offer something more. Brilliance is what your teamwork is all about.

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Here’s my chat with Perci:

What can you tell us about “Born Beautiful”? Even when “Die Beautiful” (DB) was still in cinemas, a lot of people told us that there should be a sequel. We laughed it off at first and even joked that, if we do a sequel, it should be called “Patayin sa Sindak si Barbs,” because Trisha (Paolo Ballesteros’ character) is already dead, and “DB” has a scene where she said she’d haunt Barbs (Christian Bables’ character).

We brainstormed casually on what the story of the sequel could be. Then, we got very excited about it because what we had in mind contained all the elements that we loved about the original movie. We decided to call it “Born Beautiful.” It will be about what happens to Barbs immediately after Trisha’s death. The story and script are currently being developed.

Talk about “Die Beautiful, the Musical.” Apart from being Palanca-winning writers, Jun and screenwriter Rody Vera consider theater as their first love. Even before discussing a possible sequel, Jun was keen on turning “DB” into a stage musical.

It isn’t difficult to imagine how entertaining it would be onstage. But, we don’t want to rush into this, because there are many elements to consider.

What will it take for Filipino films to make it to the Oscars? Even if we have yet to win an Oscar, there are many other prestigious international awards to prove that our films are world-class, indeed. As for that elusive Oscar, Jun always says that winning an award is dependent on many factors. Sometimes, it’s futile to second-guess these things because there are a lot of factors that are beyond our control. But what you can control is your film’s artistic integrity. Let’s just do our best, and we’ll eventually get there.

From left: Perci Intalan, IC Mendoza, the author and Jun Robles Lana

From left: Perci Intalan, IC Mendoza, the author and Jun Robles Lana

How do you and Jun resolve artistic differences?
Differences in opinion are inevitable, but we were lucky to have gotten into a relationship in our 30s, when we were already established in our respective careers. He was a creative director at GMA 7, while I was TV5’s head of Entertainment.

It wasn’t until we were together for a decade (and married) when we started working as a team—first, on the film, “Bwakaw,” and later, when we decided to put up The IdeaFirst Company.

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How has your relationship evolved? We have become more domesticated (laughs). It was a true test to just stay home on a Saturday night to watch a movie. It became more appealing than going out of town or attending parties. It may sound boring, but that’s when you know that your happiness no longer depends on what is happening around you. Literally, the world can stop and you’re OK with that, because you’re together.

If your love story were a movie, what would the title be? The hashtag that became popular when we got married in 2013: #LoveWins.

Selfies for a cause

Stars battled it out for a cause in the first ever #VivoPerfectSelfieCup using Vivo’s smartphone brand V5 Plus. Celebrities who competed for the most number of likes for their selfies posted on Instagram (@vivophil) included Yeng Constantino, Erich Gonzales, Jessy Mendiola, Enchong Dee, Jane Oineza, Sue Ramirez, Miles Ocampo, Maris Racal, Loisa Andallo and winner Andrea Brillantes.

Proceeds were donated to Habitat for Humanity. They turned taking selfies into a “selfless” deed!

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TAGS: Born Beautiful, Die Beautiful, Direk Jun Robles Lana, Paolo Ballesteros, Perci Intalan
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