Iza’s indie challenge pays offBy Marinel R. Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
For Iza Calzado, the biggest challenge in doing an indie movie was to veer away from TV acting, the kind that she was used to.
Iza said she learned a lot about the difference between TV and film acting when she appeared in Joey Reyes’ “Mga Mumunting Lihim,” an entry to the Director’s Showcase category of the ongoing 8th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.
She related: “Direk Joey said not to overact. There was one scene when he said, ‘You don’t have to shed tears. Just show the proper emotion.’ I did what I was told and realized that it felt better to just be truthful.”
She said she was surprised to find that Reyes was “so easy to work with. He knew exactly what he wanted out of each actor. I guess it’s because the script was very personal to him.”
Iza said she had so much fun doing the indie movie and felt excited to finally be in a Cinemalaya project.
“I’ve always wanted to do this, but the timing was never right,” said Iza, who recently signed up with ABS-CBN after 10 years with GMA 7.
“It just so happened that I had more free time for this movie because ABS-CBN was, at the time, still conceptualizing a first project for me,” she said. “Also, I did not find a material that I liked until now.”
Beaming with pride, Iza said she considers joining Cinemalaya a big deal.
“You sometimes dream of joining festivals like this in the hope of landing a role that’s worth your while,” she explained.
Iza, however, clarified that this didn’t mean the materials she did for mainstream were not good.
“It’s just that there were a lot of compromises made just to complete [the movies],” she said. “First and foremost on the agenda was how to make them big hits.”
Iza said she discovered a lot about her coactors in Reyes’ movie.
“It’s my first time to work with Ate Janice (De Belen). I found her very funny,” Iza said. “Juday (Judy Ann Santos) hasn’t changed at all. She’s such a talented actress. I’m still her fan.”
The actress added: “I’ve long been friends with Agot, but I never got to work with her until this movie. I already know that she’s wacky and that she’s game for anything.”
The 8th Cinemalaya runs until July 29 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City. A select lineup is being screened at the Greenbelt Cinemas in Makati City and the TriNoma Mall in Quezon City.
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