Beauty Gonzalez: From over-the-top TV acting to subtle portrayal in horror trilogy
Actress Beauty Gonzalez, known for her dramatic and campy characters on television, said the hardest part about being in a horror trilogy like Adolf Alix Jr.’s “Huwag Kang Lalabas” was shifting from the often over-the-top TV acting to the subtle and controlled one for the big screen.
“I’m used to TV acting, to be honest. The energy level is higher, and movement is bigger. I learned that for my role here, everything has to be subtle. To start with, my character is really mild-mannered and quiet. She’s a novitiate inside a convent. When she cried over a sad news about her father, for example, she just whimpered. I had to be conscious of those things,” said Beauty in a virtual chat with Inquirer Entertainment while in a shooting bubble in Bolinao, Pangasinan, also with Adolf.
The horror trilogy, which also features Kim Chiu and Aiko Melendez is an official entry to the ongoing 2022 Metro Manila Film Festival.
The last horror project Beauty worked on was Bobby Bonifacio’s “Hellcome Home.” She said she made sure her “attack” on her character in “Huwag Kang Lalabas” is different. “I prepared for this. I did some research, especially on how nuns act and behave. Research is part of being an actor. You need to help create your character,” she explained. “I thank Direk Adolf for his guidance, as well as Elizabeth Oropesa. Acting alongside her is so easy because she is such a giving actor.”
She added that the set location also helped her get into character. “We shot our episode in an old convent in Baguio City, where we experienced several hair-raising moments,” she recalled. “Actually, the shots Direk Adolf took on the set were all beautiful. They were really eerie. Add to this the fact that when a horror film feature nuns, it’s really scary. The challenge is to make it different from those we’ve already seen.”
Adolf said that among the three stories, the “Kumbento” episode is the most personal. “It’s based on a story that my grandfather told me,” he explained. “Before shooting this episode with Beauty, I explained to her that the characters are nuns staying in an old convent. My instruction to her was to make her acting subtle.”
“Bahay,” meanwhile, is based on an urban legend about offering the blood of innocent children in order to fortify a bridge that is being built. “The episode happened during Marcos time, when mothers warn their kids from going out of the house at night so they don’t end up being the next sacrificial lamb,” he declared.
The film is Adolf’s first collaboration with Kim. “I watched some of the horror films that she appeared in, and I think they’re OK. She told me early on that she gets frightened easily. This happened on the set, too. This actually helps her get into character.”