Enrique Gil's 'Big' screen comeback is 'genius, irreverent' | Inquirer Entertainment

Enrique Gil’s ‘Big’ screen comeback is ‘genius, irreverent’

'I feel we will be banned,' says film director Victor Villanueva
/ 01:23 PM July 13, 2023

Enrique Gil. Image from Instagram

Enrique Gil. Image from Instagram

Actor Enrique Gil will be making his film comeback through “I am not Big Bird,” dubbed as a mature adventure comedy set in Thailand. This will be his first movie in four years and after a hiatus from the entertainment industry since 2020.

“Tahimik na ang buhay ko. I really walked away from show biz. I just wanted to focus on my business pero something didn’t really sit well with me. I just can’t leave na wala man lang akong naiwan more than the projects that I’ve done. So sabi ko, I want to make a difference … to push Filipino content out there not just for local but for international viewers,” he said in a mediacon hosted by Anima Studios on Wednesday night.


(My life is now quiet… I just can’t leave without even leaving anything behind, more than the projects that I’ve done. So I said, I want to make a difference…)


In Thursday morning’s announcement at ABS-CBN, where Gil started his career since he was 16, he said, “I have always wanted to do a full-blown comedy. So when they pitched [the project], sa title pa lang … genius. I have to do something like this.”

Kriz Gazmen, head of ABS-CBN Films, said his team has been pitching many projects to Gil over the last few years but it was “I Am Not Big Bird” that finally got the actor’s interest. “Quen wanted something very groundbreaking. He said, ‘please, ayoko mag-comeback doing the same things I’ve been doing.’ He’s very conscious and I like that he’s in control of his career,” Gazmen said.

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True to Black Sheep’s thrust to go for out-of-the-box concepts, “I Am Not Big Bird” got the film arm’s backing because of its plot. “It’s actually a story of a boy turning into a man. It’s like a coming-of-age story pero medyo na-delay lang,” Gazmen said.

Gil will be playing a dual role: Luis Carpio, somewhat of a 30-year-old virgin, and Big Bird, a famous porn star in Thailand. Carpio, and his friends played by Nikko Natividad and Red Ollero, travel to Thailand, where they meet Pepe Herrera’s character. The adventure or misadventures begin when Carpio gets mistaken for Big Bird.

The script, written by Palanca Award winner Lilit Reyes and Joma Labayen, is based on the real-life experience of Reyes and his friend while living in Bangkok. Victor Villanueva, who directed the surprise hit Patay Na Si Hesus, will be directing the film and promised that it will be “five times more irreverent that I feel we will be banned.”


Ranvel Rufino, Gil’s manager, said the actor’s comeback role “is gonna be crazy.” The actor has worked on a variety of genres including horror and romantic comedies but this is the first time he will be doing this kind of material.

Gil said the choice of playing Big Bird is intentional. “I don’t want to do something na nagawa ko na. I want to do something different.” He acknowledged that it is a risk, but a risk he is ready to take. “The problem kasi if you’re too comfortable so you don’t move. Kailangan maging uncomfortable ka para gumalaw ka. So I really take that into heart.”

Enrique Gil. Image from Instagram / Black Sheep

Enrique Gil. Image from Instagram / Black Sheep

“More than anything, I just want a good time. I want the people to have a good time, to laugh despite … sa lahat ng stress sa buhay,” he added.

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The film is co-produced by Anima Studios, Black Sheep, Epicmedia, and Gil’s very own Make-A-Break Productions which he set up with Rufino. It will be his first time producing and has been hands-on. Bianca Balbuena, Anima’s managing director, said Gil has been involved in the creative process, including the choice of the cast.

The film is expected to be shown in local cinemas this year and in festivals abroad next year. EDV


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