Drug-themed indie showcase provides gender-bending challenge for JC de Vera
JC de Vera, who plays a drug addict and pusher in the film “Best. Partee. Ever,” said actors did not have to try drugs to portray effectively the role of a drug user.
“Many films tackle drugs, and I know some actors who think they can’t play their characters well without using them. I will never know how that feels. What I do is simply ask people who have gone through the same experience and follow their pointers to portray the role well,” JC told reporters during the launch of the 2016 QCinema International Film Festival.
“Best. Partee. Ever,” a film by Howard “HF” Yambao, is one of seven finalists in the Circle Competition category of the annual indie fete, which opened yesterday and ends its run on Oct. 22. Screenings are held at four mall venues: Ayala Trinoma, Gateway Cinemas, Robinson’s Galleria and UP Town Center, all in Quezon City.
“Those I have consulted shared with me what they felt, how they reacted to certain situations and how they looked physically [while they were high on drugs]. It also helped that my director shared with me what really happened, since the film is based on true events,” JC said. “The fact that my character is gay also made it more challenging. Things eventually became easier after I embraced my character.”
He agreed to do the movie because “it’s something out of the box. It’s something I’m not comfortable doing. I didn’t purposely look for it. It just landed on my lap. When it was first offered to me, I asked my director, ‘Why me?’”
Howard explained that, aside from JC being physically fit to portray the role, “I also looked for someone who hasn’t done any gay roles in the past. The audience tends to expect something from actors who are known to play similar characters.”
The director added, “I feel that this is the perfect time to release the film. It’s the movie’s destiny to be included in this year’s QCinema, especially now that there’s a crackdown on illegal drugs. This is our way of helping the administration in educating the youth on the effects of drugs.”
The story revolves around Mikey, who must adapt to life in prison while his case for drug pushing is ongoing. “It focuses on the repercussions of the ‘fun’ things a young person wants to do; what happens if he gets caught,” Yambao said.
JC said Mikey’s experiences could serve as an inspiration to many. “Life became frustrating for him when he was imprisoned. He had exciting plans for himself, but he ended up behind bars,” the actor said. “What’s interesting is what happens to Mikey in jail.
The film shows how he became a gang leader who brought positive change to the lives of inmates he inspired.”
“Best. Partee. Ever” also features Odette Khan, Mercedes Cabral, Kristoffer King, Jordan Herrera, Acey Aguilar, Aaron Rivera, Shandii Bacolod and Angela Cortez.