Even Charo Santos had to take an acting workshop for ‘Humayo’ | Inquirer Entertainment

Even Charo Santos had to take an acting workshop for ‘Humayo’

By: - Reporter
/ 12:15 AM September 29, 2016

CHARO Santos at the film’s premiere in Venice. AFP

CHARO Santos at the film’s premiere in Venice. AFP

Santos attended a workshop under actress-trainer Malou de Guzman “to brush up on my acting.” Her last film, the adaptation of the ABS-CBN drama series, “Esperanza,” was released in 1999.

“I had to be observant; I had to forget about myself and think like my character. I observed some friends and asked them how it’s like to be ‘astig’ and manly. I noticed that while a woman always has her feet together, a man doesn’t. He puts his weight at his body center,” said the former ABS-CBN president and CEO.


The film, now screening in local theaters, premiered at the 73rd Venice Film Festival and won the coveted Golden Lion award. It features Santos as a former schoolteacher who is released after 30 years for a murder she did not commit.


“To exact revenge, Horacia had to disguise as a male,” she told the Inquirer. “I had to make my voice two decibels lower and use slang words. I even had to curse often. Voice acting was required of me.”

Aside from lengthy discussions with Diaz about her character, Santos said: “I also received feedback from my costars. It was a collaborative experience.” She admitted to have needed a lot of help during the first shooting days on the set in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro.

CHARO Santos in “Ang Babaeng Humayo”

CHARO Santos in “Ang Babaeng Humayo”

Santos likewise paid a visit to the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City. “I was shocked to see young girls imprisoned. I talked with some of them, and the reason was always in the context of poverty,” Santos said. “You see the instinct to survive and to positivize their situation in life.

“That’s where I drew strength from. That’s also what I brought with me as Horacia, who went out into the world with a bitter heart, wanting to avenge her plight. But when I met good people along the way, the inherent goodness in me resurfaced.”

She was all praise for her director: “Lav is a brilliant man, but his brilliance does not define him. He is very grounded and humble. His passion for cinema is the reason that, up to this day, he comes up with excellent movies. His love for his country is seen in all of the movies he has created.

“But the one thing that really makes him special to me is that he treats his cast as friends. He has no diva complex. He just wants to share his stories to the world.”


Charo said she was still unsure about her next film project. “I don’t obsess about the future. If the right project comes, I’ll do it.”

Santos won best actress at the 1978 Asian Film Festival for her performance in Mike de Leon’s “Itim.”

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As to whether she had missed acting, the current chief content officer of ABS-CBN pointed out: “I actually did not. I had a clear picture of what I wanted to do—like get involved in production work.”

TAGS: Ang Babaeng Humayo, Charo Santos, Golden Lion award, Lav Diaz, Malou de Guzman, Oriental Mindoro, Venice, Venice Film Festival

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