Alex Gonzaga and the harmful side effects of fame
When the video of Alex Gonzaga smearing cake on a waiter’s face went viral, I suddenly remembered the time my son IC [Mendoza] cohosted TV5’s defunct talk show, “Juicy,” with Alex.
Back then, Alex was not super famous yet. But even then, she was already an “eksenadora.” Now that she’s way up there, it’s no surprise that Alex gets embroiled in controversies that she thrives on. Her rude behavior towards the waiter goes to show that fame has harmful side effects when not handled properly.
Miss Universe musings
Even if our queen, Celeste Cortesi, did not bring home the crown, Filipino American R’Bonney Gabriel (Miss USA) being named Miss Universe 2022 is victory for us Pinoys somehow. She has a striking resemblance to Eula Valdes and Ryza Cenon.
Meanwhile, the pageant’s first runner-up, Miss Venezuela (Amanda Dudamel), is a cross between Alessandra de Rossi and Megan Young.
The new “Miss U” has that Pia Wurtzbach vibe. For sure, she will eventually have TV commercials and billboards here in Manila. Viva la ganda Americana y Filipina.
Xian takes inspiration from unfulfilled dream
Xian Lim’s biggest dream was to become a professional basketball player. But fate had other plans, so he ended up in show biz instead. Taking inspiration from his unfulfilled dream, Xian wrote the screenplay of “Hello Universe” (HU).
The fantasy-comedy, which Xian also directed, is about a frustrated baller who is given a chance to live his dream life in an alternate universe. Showing in cinemas on Jan. 25, it is topbilled by Anjo Yllana, Janno Gibbs, Maui Taylor, Sunshine Guimary and Benjie Paras.
HU will make you ponder on the “what ifs” of your life. It will prod you to ask, “Why me? Why you? Why not?”
Here are quotes from Xian (X), Janno (J) and Anjo (A):
X: I wrote HU as my way of reminding people not to dwell on “what ifs,” to appreciate what they have and realize that their life is not so bad, after all.
J: I hope our movie will bring back quality comedy in cinemas. This is just the start. I pitched a reboot to Viva of our classic comedy show, “Ober Da Bakod.”
A: It is harder to make the audience laugh than cry. In drama, you just have to internalize the character and, with the right background music, you can make people cry.
But in comedy, timing is important. You have to consider the sensitivities of your target market. As a comedian, my fear is to come across as corny and my punch lines to fall flat.
X: Everyone was collaborative and gave his or her 100 percent while we had fun shooting our movie. I’ve been watching Janno and Anjo since I was young, that’s why I am the way I am (laughs). I was blown away watching them because they did not run out of ad libs.
J: For millennials, my and Anjo’s brand of comedy is new to them. Comedy didn’t change. What’s funny before is still funny now, like Tito Dolphy’s old films. We just added a new lingo and changed the presentation to keep up with the times.
A: My biggest what if is “What if I didn’t accept Tito Douglas Quijano’s offer to join show biz when he discovered me while I was a player for San Sebastian? And what if I pursued my dream to be a PBA player, where would I be now?”
J: I don’t deny that I had a bout with severe depression. It reached a point where I wanted to migrate to Australia with my family. But I’m in a better place now.
Sexy drama about the ‘green-eyed monster’
An ex of mine coined a funny term for jealousy attacks: SJ (Selos Jealous). That green-eyed monster is what the movie “Panibugho” (now streaming on Vivamax) is all about.
The sexy drama, directed by Iar Arondaing with creative producer Roman Perez Jr., features real-life sisters, Angela Morena, Stephanie Raz and Micaella Raz. Their hot leading men are Benz Sangalang and Kiko Estrada.
It’s a tale of three sisters and one man who turns their world upside down. Watch how jealousy turns them into sinister sisters.
Here are quotes from Angela (A), Benz (B), Iar (I) and Kiko (K):
A: We were not allowed to talk in Taglish on the set. Our dialogue in the film is pure and deep Tagalog, so even off-cam, we had to get the feel of it.
B: When I feel jealous, I tell my girl about it. I don’t like playing mind games and pretending to be cool about it when I’m not.
I: The three girls had an acting workshop. We did not include Kiko so they wouldn’t feel comfy with him. The experiment worked because during the shoot, ramdam mo na ‘di pa nila kilala si Kiko. So natural ang acting nila. That was necessary because Kiko portrays a stranger who barges into the sisters’ home.
K: I play a gray character … a bida-kontrabida who’s neither good nor bad. I had to cut my hair and grow a moustache for my role.
A: My sisters and I didn’t talk to each other prior to our scenes so we could internalize our roles. It was heart-wrenching to make them cry, but I had to do it.
I: Our film has elements of fire, water and darkness. As you observe the characters closely, you anticipate their emotions exploding. It explores different forms of jealousy in Pinoy culture.
More action than sexy scenes for Christine
Lunar-powered creatures unite in the sexy thriller, “Nightbird” (NB), which is now streaming on Vivamax. Directed by Law Fajardo, it is topbilled by Christine Bermas, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Arron Villaflor, Felix Roco and Sid Lucero. Watch how night owls on the prowl become tipsy ever after as they live up to their mantra, carpe noctem (seize the night).
Here are quotes from Christine (C), Aaron (A) and Mark (M):
C: Unlike in my previous films, I have more action scenes than sexy scenes in NB. I had extensive training on how to hold a knife. It’s harder to do action than love scenes because it requires full-body strength. It’s more physical, whereas sex scenes are more sensual.
A: Our film can serve as a cautionary tale to the young and the restless who are hooked on so many vices. It will make them realize that they have to pay for the sins of the flesh eventually.
M: I don’t miss my matinee idol “Gwaping” days, but I’m thankful for that stage in my career. I have evolved from it. I’m a better version of myself now, physically and mentally.
C: If I would compare my leading men to a bird, they’re all like eagles. In the gang rape scene, they didn’t cross my boundaries.
A: I got depressed when my career seemed like it was going nowhere. So I found a way to reinvent myself. I am enjoying my transformation as an edgier actor. I am game to do frontal nudity if it’s needed in the story.
M: Our film is called “Nightbird” because just like it, Christine is a mysterious beauty. It’s also because its riveting story happens in one night.
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.