Angel Aquino’s li’l angel is now a lady
Actress Angel Aquino’s little angel is now all grown up.
Iana Bernardez, Angel’s eldest daughter, has officially joined mom’s profession and will be introduced in Dwein Baltazar’s “Gusto Kita With All My Hypothalamus,” an entry in next month’s Cine Filipino fest.
She landed the lead role of Aileen, an enigmatic colegiala who becomes the object of affection, and obsession, of four different men, from different age and lower social brackets, in the Avenida-Quiapo area.
Before taking the big plunge into showbiz, the 24-year-old dutifully finished her schooling at the Ateneo de Manila University, clinching a degree in psychology.
Her original goal was to work behind-the-scenes; fate, however, had other plans. “I didn’t really decide to go into acting. I only wanted to try film production. But luckily the opportunity presented itself, and I didn’t want to pass it up.”
According to director Dwein, Iana was initially hired as the film’s talent coordinator. “In one of our meetings, I mentioned that my peg for the main protagonist was Angel Aquino.”
Iana joked that she could play the plum part.
The newbie read, auditioned and eventually won the role. “Iana was serious about it pala,” Dwein quipped.
“I’ve always been interested in acting, although only recently had the courage to pursue it,” Iana said.
The team’s fervor pulled her through this baptism of fire.
“I just felt the passion from the entire cast and crew, especially from my director,” Iana related. “This film is her baby. We all felt like we needed to accomplish our part so that her dream would be realized.”
Iana pointed out that it had been an honor to be “allowed to share in my director’s dream.”
“The entire team was amazing,” Iana exclaimed.
The young filmmaker, who won at the Jeonju fest for her debut “Mamay Umeng” in 2013, conceded that casting a newcomer was a huge gamble.
“But what I loved about Iana, aside from her wanting to be Aileen, was the uncertainty, as well,” Dwein remarked.
The director relished the fact that her star was completely clueless, and guileless, about the craft. “Her rawness … that’s where the magic lies.”
Did Iana turn to her award-winning mom for acting tips?
“Mom told me to stop re-reading the whole script so I wouldn’t get tired of it,” Iana recounted. “She advised me that, after taking in the story and the character, I should take it by day, by sequence. Most importantly, she told me to follow my instincts.”
Iana nurtures bright hopes for her newfound career.
“I honestly wish I’d be given other opportunities to act,” she owned up. “I really enjoyed my experience and the process.”
Although acting came as a surprise, she’s raring to sink her teeth into other roles. “I’m excited to tackle good parts in good movies. I am ready to face the challenge of bringing a character to life—one with her own nuances and reactions.”
For sure, she simply wishes to make her mom proud.
“Ultimately, I hope to be good at this and give justice to each writer and director’s vision for their story and character,” Iana said.
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