Carlo’s tips to develop good working relationship with costars
You can be both professional and genuine at the same time,” said Carlo Aquino when asked how he has managed to maintain a good working relationship with all of his leading ladies in the almost 30 years he has been working as an actor.
Carlo played leading man in several hit romantic movies—”Exes Baggage” with Angelica Panganiban, “Meet Me in St. Gallen” with Bela Padilla and “Isa Pa With Feelings” with Maine Mendoza to name a few. “As much as possible, I try to take good care of my leading lady so that she would feel I’m real and true—this doesn’t necessarily have to lead to anything romantic,” he explained.
Carlo is currently promoting another romantic film, “Love You Long Time,” this time, with newcomer Eisel Serrano. The movie, directed by JP Habac, is an entry to the 1st Summer Metro Manila Film Festival, which will run from April 8 to April 18.
“Of course, it’s important to work on having chemistry with the lead actress, but it’s also necessary to have a good relationship with the other cast members,” said Carlo, admitting that chemistry with Eisel required more effort because while their characters would have long conversations, they don’t really meet physically.
In the film, Eisel is Ikay, a young romance screenwriter whose recent heartbreak leads to writer’s block until she meets and falls in love with a mysterious guy named Yuri (Carlo) through an old push-to-talk phone.
“Admittedly, it’s harder to build chemistry with Carlo because it’s still better if the person you’re talking to is actually right in front of you,” said Eisel. “But through Carlo’s support and everybody’s, I was able to pull it off.”
Carlo agreed by saying: “I also absorb my coactor’s emotions by looking into her eyes, but the shooting setup we had prevented this. There were times when the production team would bring Eisel and me together so she could throw lines with me, just so I’d know the emotion she was giving for that particular scene. Going more technical, the team would also show me how her scenes were shot so I’d have an idea of the camera blocking and timing.”
“Love You Long Time” was shot in Baguio City and Atok, Benguet, in 2021 during the strictest implementation of the pandemic lockdowns. Carlo said they had no chance to visit tourist spots in these areas during the two weeks it took them to finish the movie.
Despite the circumstance, Eisel said she was grateful to have had the chance to get to know Carlo better. “I’ve known Carlo, the actor, since I saw him in the movie ‘Kokey’ (1997), but I made sure to watch as many of his movies as I could just to observe him. I didn’t have a hard time adjusting on the set because he would reach out to me. I just want to share that it was also during that time that I saw and felt how much he loves his daughter (Enola Mithi). She is very important to him,” Eisel revealed.
“I used to be an introvert. I guess this was also why building chemistry required so much effort from me. Ilag ako sa tao. I actually don’t like participating in Q&As. These days, I’ve started to be more open, especially to my coactors. I guess the realization came with age,” said the 37-year-old actor.
Carlo then said he has no qualms about giving acting tips, but only to those who would seek him out personally. “I don’t want to appear high and mighty, especially because we have our directors to guide us. When I was new in the business, I was fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to grow. I didn’t mind when Eisel would sometimes ask me questions. Making a film is a collaborative effort,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Eisel admitted to feeling starstruck and intimidated by Carlo in the beginning. “I didn’t expect we’d end up being close friends after the project. He is now someone I can call or chat with. He never made me feel that he’s the more experienced one and that I’m just a newcomer. He made me feel comfortable to be around him right away,” she recalled.
“Love You Long Time,” which also features Ana Abad Santos, Meanne Espinosa and Arlene Muhlach, is produced by Studio Three-Sixty Inc. INQ
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