BB Gandanghari: Casting callBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
When Rustom Padilla became BB Gandanghari and opted to live and work here, we wondered what her regular working prospects in local show biz would turn out to be.
At first, the offers came few and far between—and, with reason, because local producers were still figuring out what to do with her!
Yes, BB was different, exotic and edgy, and all that, but her transgender appeal could also be just a novelty that would decrease in outré appeal as the viewing public got used to her.
Remember that a popular midget was also quite the novel attraction many seasons ago, but her stock quickly declined and dissipated after she was involved in a sexy video! Would the same fate befall BB?
Happily, no. After a skittish start in terms of regular and steady work prospects, she was able to snag a stellar role in a fantasy teleserye for TV5. It had “transgender” written all over it, so it was a good fit for her.
—But, after it wound up its storytelling?
—Well, the exciting offers haven’t exactly been pouring in, but BB is doing well enough, and another attention-calling assignment has fallen on her lap—the lead role in the play, “Halik ng Tarantula,” the Filipino version of Mario Puig’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman.”
Talk of the town
Obviously, the role of the homosexual Molina is a good vehicle for BB’s looks and talent, so the play should be the talk of the town when it opens next year. Incidentally, we caught the musical version of “Kiss of the Spider Woman” in London some years ago. Maybe BB could prep up her singing voice to do the musical version as a follow-up production a couple of theater seasons from now?
For the moment, however, she could look into hosting an edgy kind of TV talk show, possibly with the similarly “out there” Aiza Seguerra as cohost? With so many TV channels around, they should be able to find one that would be open to such an edgy proposition.
Right off the bat, the Aiza-BB show would make the competition look and sound positively dowdy in comparison. As well-known gender-benders who frankly and succinctly tell it like it is, the talky tandem could attract an avid niche audience all their own!
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