In her more than 35 years in show biz, Cherie Gil has starred in numerous films and television shows, acted in stage plays, and recorded music.
At 47, the veteran thespian still yearns for growth and is hungry for new experiences. Producing films is one of the fields she wants to explore.
“I never even considered producing films—until it dawned on me, just recently. I guess I’m at a point in my life as an artist where I have to start reinventing myself, so that I could be more inspired and excited about the craft I’ve known all my life,” Cherie told the Inquirer at the recent opening and blessing of Reluxe Spa at the Luxent Hotel in Quezon City.
“I have time in my hands these days; I thought it was about time I participated in that arena,” she added.
Cherie hopes to produce three indie films this year. The one she’s focusing on at the moment is an entry to the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ Sineng Pambansa festival, which will be held this September.
Titled “Sonata,” the film will be helmed by Cherie’s longtime director, mentor and friend, Peque Gallaga.
“Shooting starts in April,” Cheried said. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed! It would be amazing to be part of the festival’s topnotch roster this year.”
Having worked with Gallaga in various projects—such as the 1980s sitcom “Champoy” and the classic “Oro, Plata, Mata”—Cherie described their coming reunion as a celebration of sorts.
“I owe Peque so much. He’s been a big part of my career since I was 17,” she related. “He has been working on the script of ‘Sonata’ for the past three years, he said, with me in mind. It’s such an honor. It will be my tribute to him.”
In “Sonata,” Cherie plays a fading opera singer who falls into a deep depression after damaging her voice. She goes back to her hometown in Negros, where she rediscovers life through the eyes of a child.
The actress, who portrayed the renowned opera singer Maria Callas in The Philippine Opera Company’s restaging of “Master Class” in 2010, said “Sonata” has already become very close to her heart.“It’s a simple and poignant film,” she said. “There are no other stars except for Richard Gomez, who has agreed to do a cameo. Other than that, it’s just all about the story.”
How challenging is her role in “Sonata”?
“It’s quite demanding because I have to learn songs and speak a little bit of French and Czech,” she replied. “I hope to deliver the goods credibly!”
Working with Gallaga has always been an “open” process, Cherie noted, and “Sonata” is no different. “We collaborate on a personal level, and he allows me to voice out my own inputs from time to time. But at the end of the day, he’s still the filmmaker, and in him I trust.”
Although excited, Cherie confessed that she’s daunted by the uncertainties in the new endeavor. Laughing, Cherie candidly said, “I hope I don’t lose the shirt on my back, as they say!”
She’s taking baby steps. “I hope ‘Sonata’ does well so I can move on to the next two films I’m planning to produce,” she added. “But… no risk, no gain.”