Derek Ramsay recounts ‘awkward’ love scenes with wife’s best friend
Shut yourself down, forget that you’re you, and be in your character,” said actor Derek Ramsay when Inquirer Entertainment asked him to share how he managed to shoot all his “very awkward” love scenes with “(K)ampon” leading lady Beauty Gonzalez.
Derek has every reason to feel awkward around Beauty. After all, she is the best friend of his wife, Ellen Adarna. “Yes, they’re very close. I had to arrive on the set with my A game. It was a big wall to overcome. I see Beauty in the house, or when we’re hanging out, then I had to see her as someone I have to do a very intimate scene with,” the actor said during a recent virtual chat.
“(K)ampon,” directed by King Palisoc and written by Dodo Dayao, is an entry to the 2024 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) in December.
“I’ve had long talks with Ellen about how to get into character and she would just laugh at me so it was difficult, uncomfortable. Beauty was very professional and we were able to get through it very quickly. We made sure to do it in one or two takes. Tinodo na namin ni Beauty. The longer it takes, the more awkward it gets,” Derek recalled.
“As for Ellen, she was actually happy that it was somebody she knows. But then, I also had to do an intimate scene with Zeinab Harake. Again, it was very difficult, also because I’ve not acted in a long time,” he explained.
Derek plays a former police officer, with Beauty cast as his wife. “We can’t have a child, and all this time, we were thinking—or at least, we know because it was verified by doctors—that I was the one with the problem. For a guy, this is hard to accept. My character deals with a lot of personal issues. Another big issue is the family of Beauty’s character. Also, he was forced to retire. He has many reasons to cave in, break down and look down on himself,” he said.
“They tried every way possible to conceive a child, so he’s at a point where he has already accepted that they couldn’t. Beauty, on the other hand, is still hopeful and persistent, and then the character of Erin (Espiritu) comes in. She is supposedly his child. That’s when complete chaos happens,” Derek said when asked to share what the film is all about.
Derek said his character initially resisted welcoming the child into their home. “As an ex-police officer, he is concerned with the safety of his family. Strangers could just be using the kid to scam them. It’s so easy to find out who he is, just look him up on the Internet. Another thing is because of the guilt. He knows he did things in the past with other women, so he isn’t really sure. Since doctors say he is infertile, he thinks he shouldn’t have anything to worry about when it comes to getting caught for the wrong things he did,” Derek explained. “I enjoyed playing this character because it’s so different from the usual characters that I do. Yes, I’m in a relationship here with two girls, but it’s not the same dynamic. They’re very different, too.”
Derek then reacted to comments that Beauty was just a replacement of Kris Aquino, who was originally offered to do the movie in 2019, also as an entry to the MMFF.
“I don’t like using the word ‘replacement’ because the script now is even better than the original. There were a lot of big changes. It’s like that in movie production. In ‘No Other Woman,’ I was the second choice. Even for my best actor role in ‘All of You,’ I was the second choice, too,” he pointed out. “It’s hard to say if it was better that Kris was replaced. It was unfortunate that she couldn’t do it. The movie was put on hold for a while, then the pandemic hit. I guess it’s just timing. It’s now the right time to do the film. Meanwhile, Beauty is a great actor. She really delivered in this film. Props to her! She gave her character justice.”
Director King Palisoc said the project needed the three-year “resting period” for them to see how else they could improve it. “For one, it’s normal to have changes in staff and casting. The whole resting period had been a great time for us to revisit the script. We were able to refine it, turn it into the very best version it could be. That was one good thing that came out from that break in 2019. With all the improvements, the best term to describe it was that things fell into place this time around,” he said.
King pointed out that the script had already been “refined” before they sat down with Beauty to discuss it. “At this point, the improvements were more on how she could own the character. She definitely gave inputs and helped create the character background. I think that’s part of the actor’s scope of work when it comes to filmmaking. They bring in insight and opinion on the material. When we sat down with her, it was just all about helping her own it in terms of delivery,” the director said.
King added that prior to working with Beauty in this project, he had heard of her work, particularly in the horror genre. He watched one of her first horror films, Kip Oebanda’s “Abandoned.”
“I also have friends who worked on that film. I knew she was already versatile and confident with the genre. One indicator of how confident an actor is with the genre is when, whether he is the victim or the oppressor, he is able to show his range. That’s what I was really excited about coming into the project.”
“(K)ampon,” produced by Quantum Films, is King’s first all-out horror project. He also directed the thriller-suspense “Bang Bang Alley” and the action flick “Tandem,” (2014). INQ