Why Roderick Paulate still feels resentment toward longtime friend Maricel Soriano
No matter what happens to our relationship outside work, we still treat each other with love and respect while on the set,” said actress Maricel Soriano when asked to explain why her onscreen tandem with Roderick Paulate—that began in the 1980s—remains very effective till the present.
The two will be seen together on the big screen again in FM Reyes’ dramatic film “In His Mother’s Eyes,” which will be shown in cinemas starting Nov. 29. Their last movie project, Luciano Carlos’ comedy flick “Gorio en Tekla,” was released in 1989.
“It’s true that the two of us go a long way. Whenever I would open up to Dick (Roderick’s nickname), he would listen and remember what I told him. I do the same whenever it’s his turn. You can never be really mad at someone like him. When he chooses to simply keep things to himself, that’s his prerogative. I respect that, as well,” said Maricel, admitting that there were times when the two of them would have disagreements as normal friends often do.
“Respect is important. That was what kept our relationship intact through all these years. I also respect the times when she would rather be alone,” Roderick added. “These days, we can only watch on TikTok the clips of the projects that Marya (Maricel’s nickname) and I did together. That’s why I encourage people to watch this new movie because our tandem here is not what they saw from us in the ‘80s. But, I have one major complaint about this movie. We play twins here. That’s really insulting to me,” quipped Roderick.
‘Very beautiful script’
“In His Mother’s Eyes” follows the story of Tim (played by LA Santos), a child diagnosed with autism who was left in the care of his uncle Bibs (Roderick) by his working mother Lucy (Maricel) for several years. Lucy returns and tries to regain the affection of her son and brother but the two are not as welcoming as expected, and her attempts of make up for her absence seems to only make things worse. The story was cowritten by Jerry Gracio and Gina Marissa Tagasa.
“We’re happy because we were given a very beautiful script. When Jerry congratulated me earlier, I told him, ‘No, thank you! Marya and I simply acted and spoke whatever you wrote.’ As for our director, his credibility and believability are something we can’t contest. If he tells you to move in front of his camera, you better make sure that you’re prepared,” Roderick told reporters during a recent media gathering in Quezon City.
As for Maricel, she said she had fun doing the movie even though it’s highly dramatic and required her to cry so much. “The emotions I expressed in this movie are really from my heart. I guess it’s because I can relate to my character. Everything she did was for her son,” she said. “Of course, I had help from Dick and guidance from Direk. I also have to say that LA did great in this movie. As Lucy, I had to get pushed to the ground several times whenever I tried to hug Tim. They were a little painful, but necessary to the story.”
Emotions from experiences
The movie’s trailer shows Bibs feeling extremely bitter toward Lucy for abandoning him and Tim. At the press conference, Roderick was asked if he had a hard time acting mean to Maricel on the set.
“No, he didn’t!” Maricel interjected.
“To be honest, I simply tried to recall real-life experiences, those that happened to me with Maricel,” Roderick explained. “It’s true that we’ve had some quarrels when we were younger. Not a lot of people know that we actually went through something difficult back then. I think digging up old issues helped us with all of our scenes. We used our real-life relationship to create the siblings that we portray here. All those pent-up emotions reemerged whenever Marya and I would talk about being siblings.”
Roderick clarified that what they had when they were younger were more of petty quarrels. “This was in the ’80s, so we were much younger. Marya is a loving person. I’m one of the friends she took good care of back then. Now that we’re much older, she is still the same to me. On the set, she would remind me to powder my nose when it’s becoming too oily, or she would ask our assistants to wipe my back when I become too sweaty. At one point, I had to remind her, ‘Matanda na ako!’
He continued: “Back then, she would feel hurt when I would go out with my other friends and didn’t tell her. One time, she called my nanay to ask where I was. When Nanay said she didn’t know, Marya asked, ‘Is he wearing leather shoes or rubber shoes?’ Nanay said I was wearing leather, so she told Nanay not to worry about me anymore because she will bring me back home whether I liked it or not.”
Roderick said Maricel eventually found him at a bar. She demanded that he come home with her immediately. “The security guard came up to me to say, ‘Excuse me, but Maricel Soriano is outside, looking for you.’ True enough, she was there in her pajamas, with her face all white with powder. looking like an espasol. She threatened to come out of the car looking the way she did and to raise hell at the venue if I didn’t go with her. I had no choice. I left with her to go home.”
The actor added: “I admit, I really carried anger and resentment toward Maricel while on the set. Even while we were cracking jokes there, I would still have those feelings. Marya and I both took care of our families while growing up. We’re also both orphans now. Emotions resulting from those experiences were what we held on to while portraying our characters.”
Off-cam, director FM admitted that he would hear Roderick and Maricel talk about their past through the lapel microphones pinned to their clothes. “That was why, even before it was shot, I was convinced that the scene where Bibs lashed out on Lucy for abandoning them would actually work. Maricel was so cute when she told Dick, ‘Ang galing-galing mo!’ They both looked so fragile and small, considering that they are both great performers. I learned so much from them and enjoyed working with them,” he declared.
“In His Mother’s Eyes,” FM’s first big-screen project, is produced by 7K Entertainment. It also stars Ruby Ruiz, Maila Gumila and Ogie Diaz, as well as young stars Elyson de Dios, Vivoree Esclito, Reign Parani, Inah Evans and Bong Gonzales. INQ