Vina: Robin is still so sweet, but we have boundaries now
Vina Morales’ favorite leading man is still Robin Padilla. And although they haven’t top-billed an acting project since 2000, the singer-actress is happy to see that her screen tandem with the action star hasn’t lost its spark.
In the 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry “Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo”—a reunion film for the ex-couple — Robin plays the titular character Andres Bonifacio; Vina, the revolutionary hero’s second wife Gregoria de Jesus.
On a recent set visit, Vina told a small group of reporters that Robin was just as thoughtful as he was when they made their first film, “Ang Utol Kong Hoodlum,” in 1991. “He has remained very sweet, gentlemanly… but of course there are boundaries between us now. Still, there’s been a lot of teasing around here.”
The 39-year-old described her romantic scenes with Robin in “Bonifacio” as “simple.” No bed scenes, no torrid kissing.
Not that there was any need for that. “The chemistry is still there. We didn’t need to act; Robin and I would merely exchange glances, and the staff and crew would start cheering,” Vina said.
She especially liked reenacting Andres and Gregoria’s wedding. She and Robin had never been “wed” in the movies until now. “Puro pa-cute lang dati,” she quipped. “The [wedding] scene was fairly straightforward, but put together really well— lighting, everything. You can really feel the couple’s love for each other.”
Vina recalled always being “spoiled” by the actor: “When he’s not on set, he made sure someone else assisted me. Actually, he’s that way with all his leading ladies. He has also remained down-to-earth, and treats the staff with kindness.”
She noticed a few changes, Vina said, but all for the better. “He’s no longer short-tempered, he seems happier now… good boy na!” Best of all, she said, both she and Robin have clearly matured as actors.
Asked about the intrigues that may sprout from this screen reunion, Vina said Robin’s wife, Mariel Rodriguez, had nothing to worry about.
“Bonifacio” is Vina’s first stab at a historical drama, and she made sure to do her research to better play Gregoria, or Aling Oriang. “She’s a loving wife and a fighter—a very strong woman. I can relate to that,” she said of her character.
A few moments before the interview, we witnessed Vina at work, anguished while slowly walking along a dark corridor after visiting Andres in prison. She said director Enzo Williams was satisfied with the third take, but shot three more, for good measure. “That was such a heavy scene.”
“Bonifacio”—shot using the state-of-the-art Arri Alexa camera—may be the best movie she has ever done, Vina said.
With the biopic going up against the usual fare of fantasy, comedy and horror flicks in this year’s MMFF, it could be an uphill climb for “Bonifacio,” box-office wise. But, Vina said, “We’re just grateful that we’re even a part of this project.”
She used to be in a relationship with controversial businessman Cedric Lee, father of her 5-year-old daughter Ceana. At the moment, she’s enjoying being single, Vina said, and not seeing anyone.
“When you’ve been single for a while, you realize that you can be strong even without a love life,” related the actress, who last dated someone two years ago. No, she’s not giving up on love. “I know I will find the one I will end up with,” she said. “I just have to be patient.”