Alessandra de Rossi tells it like it is
WE’VE HAD our fair share of celebrity interviews—but, our recent chat with Alessandra de Rossi at GMA 7’s executive lounge is one of our favorites this year, and here’s why: She’s candid without being brassy or condescending—in fact, you won’t find anybody as quotably unguarded. Alex doesn’t bore you with bland niceties.
When we told her that her idiosyncratic portrayal of a perpetually inebriated housewife in Lem Lorca’s “Mauban” blew us away, but were underwhelmed by some of her indies (like Gil Portes’ “Liars”), she asked us, “But, how was my performance in it?” She expects you to be just as honest: “I don’t mince words, because I don’t want to sound insincere.”
Alex recalls, “I don’t drink, but what you saw in ‘Mauban’ wasn’t acting. I know how to act drunk, but I can’t fake the flushed look of someone inebriated—so I drank lambanog and was drunk for 10 days! I don’t accept characters whose actions I can’t justify. (She won QCinema’s best actress prize for her “committed” portrayal.)
“I don’t believe in showing excessive violence onscreen, because it gives people wrong ideas. That’s why I have not done horror and R-18 films for about 10 years now, because of the extreme emotions they require.
“I take my craft seriously, but I don’t spend that much time ‘processing’ what I’m supposed to do. I ‘live in the moment’—and snap out of it the minute the director shouts, ‘Cut.’ Our acting styles are what set me and Assunta apart—I only realized it when we acted in ‘Baybayin.’ She was busy internalizing, while I was clowning around before a crucial dramatic sequence. Suddenly, she snapped, ‘Alex, please…this is a difficult scene!’ Ooops.”
In her upcoming teleserye, “Maybe This Time,” Alex will make life a living hell for lead star Camille Prats. How different is her new role from her other kontrabidas? She replies, “In indies, the characters are real. TV characters don’t change a lot—they’re either black or white, and you play them to entertain viewers.”
When we learned about “Adrift” and the 13-track chillout album Alessandra is about to release for free, we asked her what she couldn’t do. Without missing a beat, she quipped, “I can’t dance—suntukan na lang (laughs). But, I’d rather dance than do love scenes!”
We listened to her recorded songs on YouTube and realized that she wasn’t as “green” as we thought. She shares, “I began making music in 2006 and quickly realized that there’s no market for the kind of songs I want to do—so, ba’t ko ibebenta kung walang bibili?”
The dusky 31-year-old beauty will next be seen in Lem Lorca’s QCinema entry, “Water Lemon,” Sari Dalena’s Cinema One docu-drama, “Dahling Nick,” about National Artist Nick Joaquin, and Lav Diaz’s intriguing “Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis,” starring John Lloyd Cruz and Piolo Pascual.
Alex shares, “‘In ‘Hele,’ I play Cesaria Belarmino, the so-called ‘Taksil ng Katipunan.’ The movie dramatizes the 30 days spent looking for the dead body of Andres Bonifacio.”
We ribbed her: Does the film also have a 30-hour running time? She quips with a smile, “No, it’s Lav’s short film—it’s only four hours long (laughs)!”
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