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Raymond Bagatsing recalls audition for Manuel L. Quezon role

/ 01:34 PM June 13, 2019
Raymond Bagatsing

Actor Raymond Bagatsing stars as Manuel L. Quezon in the 2019 film “Quezon’s Game”. Image: Screengrab from Instagram/@ejcdelosreyes via @raymondbagatsing

Before landing the role of one of the Philippines’ former presidents Manuel L. Quezon in the film “Quezon’s Game”, Raymond Bagatsing initially thought he did not impress director Matthew E. Rosen during auditions.

Bagatsing recalled the process of getting the role of Quezon and the late president’s contribution to Philippine history in an episode of the morning talk show “Magandang Buhay” which aired yesterday, June 12.

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The actor, when asked by host Karla Estrada on how he got the role, said he was filming “Pusong Ligaw” when he received a text asking him to meet with the film’s staff.

“May text (There was a text), ‘Would like to offer you a movie, Raymond. Can you come to the office 9:00 in the morning,’” Bagatsing narrated. “Sabi ko, ‘Sayang ‘yung movie na ‘to. Baka maganda ‘to, indie film. Sige, punta na lang ako.’”

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(I thought it would be a waste if I do not go, since it could be a beautiful film, an indie. I decided to go.)

“Pagdating ko do’n, hinintay ko lang i-explain sa akin ‘yung role, ‘yung movie. Biglang binigyan ako ng direktor ng script na mahaba, ng speech ni Quezon. Sabi niya, ‘Are you ready,’” the actor said.

(When I arrived, I was waiting [for the film’s staff] to explain the role, the movie. The director suddenly gave me a long script, the speech of Quezon. He said, “Are you ready?”)

“’Ready for what?’ ‘Are you gonna audition?’ ‘Oh, I’m gonna audition, I thought you offered me the role,’” Bagatsing said.

“Then I did the audition, so masaya naman ako dahil ‘yung nakapaligid na kababayan natin do’n sa set, palakpak naman sila. Tuwang-tuwa naman ako siyempre, ‘Uy, ang galing ko ah, okay ah,’” the actor added.

(Then I did the audition. I was happy since the people on set applauded. I was happy, of course. “Hey, I did good. This is ok.”)

“Pagtingin ko sa direktor, British-Jewish, naka-ganoon lang sa ‘kin,” Bagatsing said, while demonstrating the sharp facial expression Rosen apparently made. “Sabi ko, ‘Hindi ‘yata nagustuhan ni direk ‘yung arte ko ah … sayang, tinulog ko na lang sana.”

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(When I saw the director, British-Jewish, he was only [looking sharply] at me. I said, “Maybe he did not like my acting. Too bad. I should have just slept.)

The actor said he did not receive any notification from the film’s staff for two months, which led him to think he did not get the part.

“Biglang may na-receive na naman akong text (I suddenly received another text), ‘Raymond, you are chosen to be one of the final casting,’” Bagatsing said.

The actor, when asked by host Jolina Magdangal about Quezon’s role in Philippine history, admitted that he did not know much about the late president until he researched for the part.

“Kaya natuwa ako n’ung na-research ko siya at marami akong natutunan about him, specifically itong time period na noong sa buong mundo, walang makatulong na mas malalaking bansa, mas powerful na bansa,” he said. “Ang Pilipinas no’n, napakaliit at tayo ay sakop pa ng mga Amerikano at that time.”

(That is why I was pleased when I researched and learned about him, specifically about the period when there was no big [and] powerful country which could help. The Philippines at that time was so small and we were under American rule at that time.)

“Quezon’s Game” is currently showing in cinemas. Hannah Mallorca/JB

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TAGS: Biopic, History, Manuel L. Quezon, President, Raymond Bagatsing
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