The coming screen drama, “12,” is especially close to Alessandra de Rossi’s heart because not only did she star in it, she also penned the screenplay.
“I have always wanted to write a film. I have noticed that, these days, we get a lot of romantic comedies, but not too many dramas, the kind we see on ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ or movies of old,” Alessandra said in a recent interview.
Crafting the script was fun but extremely challenging, Alessandra admitted, because she doesn’t have a background in it. Luckily, she has a lot of writer friends to turn to.
“I enjoyed writing it, but it was also hard. I don’t have formal training; I haven’t undergone workshops. I didn’t even know how to make a sequence guide! So, I just called up my friends, like Zig Dulay, and asked them for their opinions—how to do this and that,” related the 33-year-old actress, who also dreams of becoming a director.
“I actually directed the music video for ‘12,’ and people told me I did OK. But, I still have a lot to learn,” she said. “I will also be directing another project, but I can’t reveal [it] yet. I don’t want to jinx it!”
For inspiration, Alessandra drew from personal experiences and those of people around her. “It’s not based on my life, but some of the scenes were. Some of the lines were said to me—or I wish I was able to say,” Alessandra said. “But it’s also about stories I have heard from family and friends.”
Directed by Dondon Santos, “12” follows the lives of Erika (Alessandra)—a former band member who becomes the stay-at-home partner of Anton (Ivan Padilla), a commercial director. They have known each other for 12 years—five as best friends; seven as a couple. But when Ivan finally asks to marry Erika, doubt and uncertainty creep into the relationship.
Asked why she and the team went for a newbie as a leading man, Alessandra said that if there was one thing she learned from “Kita Kita,” it’s that star power doesn’t always necessarily equate to success.
“‘Kita Kita’ proved that the industry should give a chance to other artists. ’Di porke hindi sikat wala nang manonuod,” she pointed out. “We could have very well gotten a more popular artist. But no—I believe more in the acting [Ivan’s] and the material.”
While she’s grateful for the success of “Kita Kita,” the highest-grossing Filipino independent movie, Alessandra feels that it’s quite unreasonable to compare her subsequent projects to the said film, which earned some P320 million in the box office.
That feat, she stressed, shouldn’t define her as an artist.
“My life won’t stop because of ‘Kita Kita.’ It’s unfair if people would simply base my worth on the movie, because I have been in the industry for 20 years. I have already done many things prior to that, and I still plan to do more,” she said.
Thus, Alessandra worked on “12” (opens in cinemas on Nov. 8) with no pressure or expectations.
“That P320 million? I don’t think it would ever happen to me again,” she said.