Why Enchong Dee agreed to play a transwoman in ‘Here Comes the Groom’ | Inquirer Entertainment

Why Enchong Dee agreed to play a transwoman in ‘Here Comes the Groom’

/ 12:25 AM April 05, 2023

Enchong Dee STORY: Why Enchong Dee agreed to play a transwoman in ‘Here Comes the Groom’

Enchong Dee

Actor Enchong Dee said a life-changing experience in 2022 prompted him to accept a role “that will surprise my audience and enable them to appreciate me as an actor and not just someone who is merely trying to hold on to my past reputation.”

Enchong is referring to his latest film, Chris Martinez’s “Here Comes the Groom,” where he plays a guy whose soul gets magically swapped with that of a transgender woman’s a day before his wedding.


In 2022, a cyber libel case was filed against Enchong by party list Rep. Claudine Bautista-Lim over a comment he posted on his Twitter account in 2021 that said that the money used at the latter’s controversial wedding in Balesin island was supposedly meant to benefit commuters and drivers during the series of pandemic lockdowns in 2021.


The actor apologized a few days after posting the tweet, saying that he was “reckless” and that he was taking full responsibility for the consequences that would result from his “lack of judgment.”

“I want to show something new to them, something that will enable them to appreciate my craft,” said Enchong. “With what happened in the past, I just want to look forward. Whatever will happen in the future, I know that I’m in full control. I will not let this experience ruin my future.”

Lead role offer

When pressed further, Enchong refused to elaborate and simply said: “I’m pretty sure that you all know what happened to me in the past.”

At the Q&A session after the screening of “Here Comes the Groom” on Wednesday night at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, Enchong also recalled the moment he got the offer to play the lead role.

“It was a Sunday night when I got a call from Atty. Joji (Alonzo, producer) about the project. She’s the type who you can’t really say ‘no’ to. But when I told her, ‘Yes, let’s do it!’ this was also because I felt that I needed a material like this,” he recalled. “Half of the work was already done by Direk Chris, who also wrote the script. The other half was done with a lot of help from KaladKaren. I’m grateful to Jervi (KaladKaren’s real name) for being so generous in sharing her ideas on how I could transform from being my character, Junior, to her character, Wilhelmina.”

KaladKaren, meanwhile, was asked to rate Enchong’s performance. She said: “I will give him a 10-over-10! I know how hard it was for him to act like a transwoman because he is straight, but he was very willing to learn, to step out of his comfort zone. We were very detailed, from how he moved his fingers to how he used his eyes to stare down someone. Ang galing n’ya d’on!” she said.

Keempee de Leon

Keempee de Leon

“I’m also thankful to Enchong for teaching me how to deliver my lines as a man. To be honest, it’s hard for a transwoman like me to become the man I already turned my back on many years ago. I had to really dig deep in order for the needed emotions to come out. There’s this one line of Enchong’s in the movie that I found very appropriate, ‘Blast from the past!’”

The film is director Chris’ followup project to the hit 2010 fantasy-comedy “Here Comes the Bride,” which carries a similar soul-swapping theme.

“I don’t mind if this one would be compared to my previous film; that’s natural. However, this story has more depth and is more focused on the soul. It attempts to answer the question: ‘Does our soul hold our true identity and not really our body?’ The first film is just wishful thinking, while this one attempts to present our stand on something,” the director pointed out.

Return to theaters

He also said that more than winning awards, it’s more important for him to encourage the local audience to return to watching in theaters. “My heart was filled with joy to hear that the audience was actually laughing and clapping during the screening. It’s been a long time since we’ve experienced that. I hope that this movie will be instrumental in making viewers return to movie-watching,” Chris declared.

The film also features Miles Ocampo, Maris Racal, Gladys Reyes and Keempee de Leon as Junior’s bride, sister, mother and father, respectively. Iyah Minah, Xilo, Awra Briguela and Nico Antonio play Wilhemina’s friends who are on their way to compete at a provincial gay beauty contest when their van collides with the SUV of Junior’s family.

The vehicular collision, which caused the magical soul-swapping event, supposedly happens at the top of the fictitious Magnetic Hill during a total solar eclipse.

Keempee, who has already portrayed a lot of gay roles in the past, explained why this project was especially challenging to him. “To act gay is easy, but to portray an actual person, or to be Xilo, is hard. I had to really observe how he speaks and how his body reacts during certain situations, and then copy him. Direk Chris gave us some points to discuss, then Xilo and I sat down to talk about them,” Keempee recalled.

Maris, who supposedly swapped souls with the character of Awra, explained: “When I learned that I had to play Whitney, I felt that it was a blessing in disguise that I was already able to work with Awra twice prior to this project. While I would still consult him on how to better deliver my lines, I already knew him very well. I would just copy how he pouted his lips and easily transformed. It also helped that he was very generous when it came to giving tips on what I should do.”

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“Here Comes the Bride” also features Eugene Domingo, Kim Atienza and Tony Labrusca, and is a coproduction of Quantum Films, Cineko Productions, and Brightlight Productions.


Enchong Dee surrenders to NBI, posts bail for P1-billion cyber libel case

Enchong Dee would love to do this PH president’s biopic

Enchong Dee on urging other artists to speak up: ‘Our voice is not for us’

TAGS: Chris Martinez, Enchong Dee, Entertainment, Here Comes the Groom

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.