Ruru and Yassi’s takeaway from ’90s-themed film: Life seemed simpler then
As kids, Ruru Madrid and Yassi Pressman used to rent movies from the exact same Video City branch in Antipolo City. Little did they know that they would one day work together and star in a movie inspired by their shared childhood pastime.
“I don’t think we ever saw each other though,” Yassi said at a media conference for Viva Films and GMA Pictures’ “Video City: Be Kind, Please Rewind,” which is now showing in cinemas,
“Well, even if we did cross paths, she probably wouldn’t have noticed me,” Ruru said, laughing.
Still, they found it fascinating how a seemingly ordinary hobby or family-bonding activity like watching films could have such a tremendous impact in their lives. It’s one of the main reasons they ended up pursuing a career in show biz, they said.
“I used to watch VHS and VCD recordings of live performances and musicals. That made me dream of becoming a performer. I also loved watching old Filipino movies, even when I couldn’t speak Tagalog yet. I loved watching Judy Ann Santos, Vilma Santos and more,” she related.
Ruru’s to-rent list, on the other hand, wasn’t complete without movies starring Robin Padilla, Raymart Santiago, Cesar Montano and Fernando Poe Jr.
“‘Anak ni Baby Ama,’ ‘Maging Sino Ka Man’… I watched them all. And that had me dreaming of becoming an action star one day. Thankfully, I was able to do that with some of my past projects. I’m very happy and lucky that I didn’t give up on my dreams,” he said.
Directed by Raynier Brizuela, “Video City” is about two people from different eras who find themselves at the titular video rental shop back in the mid-1990s.
Han (Ruru) plays a film student who has lost his motivation to finish his thesis. After attending a tribute event for his mother, a famed director who has fallen ill, Han visits an old internet cafe. There he finds a VHS tape rewinder. Before he knows it, he’s transported back to a Video City store in 1995.
He meets Ningning (Yassi), an aspiring celebrity. Han is instantly mesmerized. And so he shuttles back and forth, from 2023 to 1995 through the magical portal he has discovered. The more he spends time with Ningning, the deeper Han falls in love with her.
However, Han realizes later on that his allotted time in 1995 gets shorter and shorter with every succeeding visit, threatening their blossoming relationship.
This is Ruru and Yassi’s first project since “Dormitoryo” in 2013. “We didn’t see each other for a while, but I saw her work on TV. I’m proud of her achievements in life. She’s still the Yassi I knew, a person who brings light to every room she enters. Everyone’s happy when she’s around. She’s very talented and generous, not just with food, but with the emotions she gives in every scene. I’m lucky to work with her again,” Ruru said.
‘Heart and trust’
“We were still teenagers when we last worked together. We were dreaming, working toward our goals … It was nostalgic seeing each other, in a way. I also watch his shows,” Yassi said. “I also find him a good actor. I wouldn’t be able to give the emotions needed if he weren’t reciprocating mine. I have respect for him as an actor.”
While the two have never been linked together, the chemistry, they said, was something they didn’t have to force.
“We put our heart into our work. We’re not the type who plan what we have to do na kailangan magpakilig kami dito. We go by heart and trust. The first time we did a look test, the connection was already there. We helped each other during our shoot. The chemistry just naturally came out,” Ruru said.
The material itself, Yassi pointed out, is enough to elicit kilig. “There’s this fantasy of how two people from two different eras can connect and feel like they belong together; the idea of fighting time and destiny for the person who you want; that feeling of doing everything you can to achieve what seems to be impossible,” she said.
Yassi was born in 1995; Ruru, in 1997. They didn’t really get a feel of what it was like growing up or living in the 1990s, but they got a glimpse of how things were like while doing the movie. And one of their biggest takeaways was that life seemed simpler before the advent of social media.
“I feel like our problems get magnified these days and they really get to us. Technology makes life easier, but it also makes time seemingly fleeting. Everything’s fast. I just feel like, back then, you had more time to cherish each moment,” Ruru said.
Yassi also pointed out that the myriad options social media presents to people have made it more difficult for people to focus on their goals. “I feel like people keep on switching. There are a lot of options. There’s a lot of noise. And sometimes, we give up and lose our faith. But you really have to have a strong heart and believe in yourself and take the needed steps,” she said.