What convinced Cassy Legaspi to accept ‘Ako Si Ninoy’ role
By her own admission, Cassy Legaspi was initially hesitant to do the musical film “Ako Si Ninoy” because of its political undertone. But after reading the plot and her character description, she knew that she had to accept the offer.
“I later realized that the role and this project can be a potentially good challenge for me… here’s politics. And given my image, some people may find it surprising that I tapped into something like this. But I took interest in it because of the story of my character,” she said at a recent press conference organized by Sparkle.
Based on a 2009 theater musical of the same title, “Ako Si Ninoy” recounts crucial events in the life of the late former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, and interweaves stories of present-day Filipinos inspired by his life. Cassy plays Ingrid, a student and a victim of assault.
The GMA 7 artist couldn’t expound on her character without revealing crucial plot points, but did let on that she resonated with Ingrid’s story. “I believe she has an important message that’s dear to my heart and needs to be put out there,” she said, adding that it’s not out to “force anyone to switch sides.” (Another movie, the pro-Marcos “Martyr or Murderer,” is also set to open in theaters.)
“I’m proud of what I have done in this film. And I hope people can be respectful about it, too,” she added.
Nevertheless, the 22-year-old actress is happy that movies like “Ako Si Ninoy” are being produced, so that young viewers can learn more about the country’s history in a more digestible medium.
“My character represents the Gen Z kids. I learn more about the past through my character. It’s good to be aware of what happened in our history and apply what we have learned from it into the present time,” she said.
Series of firsts
And with the rise of such television shows as “Maria Clara at Ibarra”—which delves into the Jose Rizal novels “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo”—there’s no reason for young people to not get into history. “I’m super happy that there are shows, films about our history, because we can get too caught up with what’s happening on social media, and forget about the past,” she said.
“There are now various platforms, like films and movies, that present history in a way that’s more relatable to young people. And that’s beautiful,” she added.
“Ako Si Ninoy”—which opened in cinemas last Thursday—marks a series of firsts for Cassy.
“It’s my first film, first musical, first heavy drama. I’m used to doing more commercial projects, so this was quite a challenge for me,” she said. “Back then, I only wanted to do rom-coms or action. But now, I look forward to doing drama. You always have to raise your level as an actor. Instead of the usual cutesy-cutesy, I get to be more serious in this one.”
Another challenge was the singing part. Good thing her rumored boyfriend Darren Espanto was there to give her valuable advice.
“He told me that I just have to be confident and just practice the material. He reminded me that I’m not singing pop or R&B. It’s a musical, so the approach is different. But he knows that I’m a diligent worker, that I really study hard and find ways to learn and adjust. I did my own thing here,” Cassy related.
“But of course, I also asked for my coactors’ help. Many of them are theater or choir performers, so I would ask them how to do a certain note. It was a different experience,” she added.
Moving forward, Cassy said she will be open to the idea of either doing solo projects or being in a love team. “I have been thinking about the kind of roles I want to do. But I always keep an open mind,” she said.
But given the chance, Cassy said she would love to work with Alden Richards. “I have had a crush on him ever since. He’s a good actor and well, he’s Alden. We have been part of a variety show, but never an acting project. So this is an idea I’m putting out there… We never know. Hello, GMA, kaway-kaway!” she said, laughing.
And as she takes on more challenging projects, Cassy hopes to finally prove her worth as an actress. “I hope these things help pave the way for me and allow me to prove that I’m not just Carmina Villaroel and Zoren Legaspi’s daughter, or Mavy’s twin sister… that I can be just Cassy,” she said. INQ