Pinoys recall their stint on ‘Bourne Legacy’
SOME 300 extras—called “reactors”—were hired when Tony Gilroy’s “The Bourne Legacy,” the fourth installment of the acclaimed action-film franchise starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton, came to the Philippines early this year to shoot around 40 percent of its scenes.
We talked to four of the few Filipino actors—Lou Veloso, Madeleine Nicolas, Antonette Garcia and Ruby Ruiz—who had scenes with Renner and Weisz, and whose short participation didn’t end up on the cutting-room floor, as confirmed by Nicolas (who attended the film’s premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York last July 30.)
We’ve acted with Lou in a number of stage musicals, so we “suspected” that he could turn any of his scenes in the action franchise into comic situations—and we were right: The actor-politician, who portrays the owner of a fishing boat that figures in a chase scene with the leads, had us in stitches when he laughingly recalled how Gilroy gently reminded him to “tone down” his reactions as the sequence was being shot: “It’s too big, Lou!”
But, the award-winning comedian got tongue-tied when an unexpected visitor arrived on the set—Edward Norton: “Nagpunta s’ya para lang magpagupit sa van ng makeup and prosthetics. He turned to me with a smile when I mistakenly addressed the guy I was talking to on the phone as ‘Edward’—I was so star-struck that I couldn’t say anything! (Laughs)”
Nicolas was Cinemalaya 2012’s Everywoman, having appeared in short but solid roles—in six entries! She relates, “I play the landlady of the house where Renner and Weisz’s characters take refuge. The first of my two brief scenes was shot on a street in San Andres, Manila, with actor Louis Changchien. Mr. Gilroy asked me to improvise a line in Filipino.
“The second scene was with Jeremy and Rachel. I was impressed with how relaxed the working environment was despite the ‘bigness’ of the scenes. The director was cool, gentle and very approachable. At one point during the set-up, he gamely joined my conversation with Sue, the makeup artist, about my Nanay—who turned 100 years old last year!”
Antonette Garcia is the TV mom screaming for police assistance in one of “Bourne’s” trailers. Anne’s scene is with Weisz: “During rehearsal for a sequence in which I’m supposed to shout at Rachel, I was ready to go at it—but, she advised me to take care of my voice and save it for the actual take.
“I was also impressed by how the production worked—they didn’t go beyond 12 hours.” Nobody was shouting, and the atmosphere on the set was very harmonious!”
Ruby Ruiz recently wrapped up her scenes for National Geographic’s “Locked Up,” as well as “Thy Womb,” Nora Aunor’s entry to the Venice film fest. She shares, “I play a small but significant role in ‘Bourne’—as a woman who figures in four sequences with Rachel’s character.