Beauty queen-turned-actress Ariella Arida says playing a mistress in debut film ‘nerve-wracking’
For beauty queen-turned-actress Ariella Arida, her debut film being a Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, was scary and exciting at the same time.
“It’s my first ever movie. It was so nerve-wracking because it was a new environment for me. I didn’t know how the production is and how things are done behind the scenes. I wasn’t sure if it was the same as doing a television show, which I have tried in the past,” she told the Inquirer in a recent online conference for the family drama “Coming Home.”
To make things more challenging, she ended up being cast as a mistress. “I had to play someone who’s had a hand in breaking a family. I had to find a way to put myself in the character’s place,” she related.
Ariella is Mercy, a nurse working at a hospital in Qatar. There she meets and starts a romantic relationship with Benny (Jinggoy Estrada), an overseas worker forced to leave his unsuspecting family behind in the Philippines. But when Benny figures in a grave accident, Mercy is compelled to return him to his martyr wife, Salve (Sylvia Sanchez).
“My character works abroad as a breadwinner for her family. So I tried drawing inspiration from that. I also watched films, which have mistress characters to see if I can pick up a few pointers. Of course, I tried to imbibe the story itself, my character, and her motivations,” she said.
“And since this is my first ever movie, I really wanted to do my job correctly. I tried to follow the instructions of our director (Adolf Alix Jr.) as best as I could,” she added.
That was the tough part. What’s exciting, though, was sharing the screen with local show biz veterans. “I was looking forward to working with seasoned actors. I tried to keep that in mind,” related the 32-year-old celebrity whose last television project was the ABS-CBN series “The Killer Bride.”
Ariella, a chemistry degree-holder from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños, was crowned Binibining Pilipinas in 2013 and, later that year, represented the country in the Miss Universe pageant, where she finished third runner-up.
She had never imagined herself joining beauty contests, much less an actress. But here she is, part of the MMFF. “These things really weren’t in my plans. They just sort of happened. And luckily, enough things have been working out,” she said. “Pageants opened a lot of opportunities for me.”
Before Ariella knew it, acting beckoned. “I was really scared. The first few times I tried acting, I was convinced that it wasn’t for me. I had a difficult time adjusting in the industry,” she said.
But the more she did it, the more rewarding it became. “After working with different people, I realized it was actually fun. Getting the job done feels good,” she said. “I didn’t expect to receive more offers.”
While she’s content with how her show biz career is turning out, Ariella still hopes to land more challenging roles. “I can say that I’m happy where I am now, but hopefully, I get to learn more about myself, too,” she said.
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.