Why Jodi’s son Thirdy threw her phone upon seeing her latest horror flick
He (Thirdy) would watch horror films before, and I’ve shown him the trailer [of my latest movie ‘Clarita,’” Jodi told reporters at a recent press conference, organized by producer Black Sheep last Sunday.
Jodi Sta. Maria plays a woman possessed by a demon in the horror flick, “Clarita.”
“In the scene where the face of Father Salvador (played by Ricky Davao) appears in the frame, naibato niya talaga ang phone ko. That’s how scared he was of the movie.
“I told him, ‘It’s going to be OK. It’s just Mama playing this role. That’s not really me.’ He answered, ‘No Mama. Nakakatakot talaga!’ I still think that because he loves me, he will watch the movie,” she said, laughing.
The film is based on the true story of Clarita Villanueva, who was suspected of being a victim of demonic possession in 1953. Performing exorcism on her becomes a true test of faith for priests Salvador and Benedicto after learning that a group of doctors were also killed by supernatural forces.
For Jodi, the film, directed by Derrick Cabrido and written by Cenon Palomares, is definitely “one of the most difficult, most dangerous and most challenging that I have done in my career.” This was not only because she had to “internalize” a character who is possessed; she also had to wear prosthetics, do her own stunts and study foreign languages she needed to use in the film.
“There were scenes that were really physical so getting cuts and bruises were unavoidable. There were days, too, when it hurt in the crotch area because I had to wear harness for hours. They had to hang me upside down several times,” Jodi beamed.
“When they finally showed us the trailer and gave us a [sneak] peek of the rushes, I can say it was very rewarding,” she added. The movie trailer got an “X” rating from the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board twice before it was finally approved.
Jodi had to learn how to speak French, German and classical Latin for the film. “These aren’t just Latin-sounding tones. What I said really had meaning. There was a language coach on the set to make sure I didn’t mispronounce the words because one wrong sound can change the meaning completely,” she explained. “I have to know the context and say them with full conviction.”
There were priests, who are experts in exorcism, on standby, too. “I found out that priests have specializations, too. Not all can perform exorcism. According to our consultant, there are standards for a case to be considered a legit possession. One proof is that the person is able to speak a language that he or she has never known before. For example, classic Latin or Aramaic that are no longer being used today.”
Jodi said she knew from the onset that the role would be physically demanding, but she didn’t expect she’d almost get traumatized filming it. “I was confident that I’d have a body double on standby. The next thing I knew, I was the one being hanged upside down,” she recalled.
While she said she did have fun, there was also a time when she feared for her safety. “They hung me so high up that I thought to myself … ‘Bata pa ang anak ko!’”
“Clarita,” which will be screened in cinemas starting June 12, also features Arron Villaflor, Romnick Sarmenta, Alyssa Muhlach, Nonie Buencamino, Angeli Bayani and Che Ramos. It is produced in partnership with Clever Minds Inc. and Purple Pig.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.