Director Jerrold Tarog’s tip to newbie actors: Acting is more about reacting
“I accepted it only when I was sure I’d be able to pull it off,” said award-winning filmmaker Jerrold Tarog of the first project he took on after a five-year hiatus—a horror-comedy episode titled “Mukbang” in the three-part film “Shake Rattle and Roll Extreme.”
“I’ve been wanting to do comedy for a long time. I’m grateful to (producer) Regal Entertainment, which also provided my entry to mainstream filmmaking,” said Jerrold of his first “Shake” episode in 2010 titled “Punerarya.”
Jerrold’s last big-screen project was the historical film “Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral,” which stars Paulo Avelino and was released in 2019.
“This film is a comeback for me after five years. The journey in making this was fun, especially with the cast who only gave a really happy vibe,” Jerrold told Inquirer Entertainment. “I allowed them to do ad lib while on the set, and, every time, they would keep coming up with really funny stuff.”
“Mukbang” stars Jane Oineza, RK Bagatsing, Elle Villanueva, Paul Salas, Esnyr Ranollo, AC Bonifacio, Phi Palmos, Jana Taladro, Ian Gimena and Ninong Ry.
“Even RK, who is known to do drama, contributed a lot of funny moments to the film, and off-cam, we would just keep on laughing. I’m pretty sure it’s entertaining,” the director said.
‘Like playing on the set’
“It was like we were just playing on the set,” recalled RK. “Like what Direk said, we did a lot of improvs here, based on who our characters are. All the characters here are going through something, so that adds more layers to the story and makes it more interesting. Overall, it was a really fun experience, not just with Jane, but with the whole gang.”
Meanwhile, Jane pointed out that this was her first horror project and that she was glad she got to work with her boyfriend RK. “Our first movie was a romantic drama (‘Us Again’) while the second was more mature and daring (‘Swing’). This one is a different experience. I really enjoyed it because it’s been my dream to make a comedy with RK. I was able to tick it off my bucket list.”
Working with first-time actors like Ninong Ry wasn’t too difficult, said Jerrold. “I gave Ninong Ry a briefing before we started filming. I told him that he can give the character his own take, and that acting in this film is more about reacting so he doesn’t have to come up with any emotion that’s not a natural reaction for him. He took this to heart so he was able to pull it off. I don’t want to spoil it for the viewers, but his character is the most astig here.”
Ninong Ry, or Ryan Morales Reyes, is a culinary chef turned creator and vlogger. Jerrold said he had been following Ninong Ry’s Youtube channel, and was surprised when he learned from the producers that the latter was among the cast.
Ninong Ry said he was also surprised to have discovered through an email that he was being considered for the cast of a “Shake Rattle and Roll” movie. “I asked myself, ‘Is this true? Why me?’ The offer was kind of hard to believe but it turned out to be real,” he said. “I have no regrets saying ‘yes’ to the project. I learned a lot, especially on the production side in terms of how to deal with people.”
Ninong Ry recalled his first day on the set. “It was in Tagaytay. It’s so far from where I live in Malabon, but I enjoyed it because the place was beautiful. When I arrived with Ian, (Ninong Ry’s kitchen assistant) the crew was already there. Ian was the first one to shoot. He was recalling his experience while I was trying to picture it in my mind. When it was my turn, the experience was something else. I’m so lucky because I’m so used to socializing with people I’ve never met before. Before the day ended, we were all OK. Working on the set turned out to be a lot easier because I’ve become friends with all of them.”
Acting-wise, Ninong Ry said he was grateful that he was given the chance to act out the role as he saw it fit. “Thing got much easier when Direk told me that Chef Ino was written with me as inspiration, that I am Chef Ino,” he said.
A Korean term for an eating show, “Mukbang” is about a group of influencers who go to a mansion to do a collab with the host, not knowing that the host has a different plan for them, Jerrold explained.
“Shake Rattle and Roll Extreme,” which also features the episodes “Glitch” and “Rage,” has been screening in theaters nationwide since Nov. 29.