Ruby Ruiz on Nicole Kidman, being compared to Dolly de Leon
Aside from Dolly de Leon making waves on the international scene, another Pinay, Ruby Ruiz, is also following the same path. She is part of the cast of Nicole Kidman’s miniseries, “Expats” (now streaming on Amazon Prime).
The show takes a peek into the lives of expatriates in Hong Kong. Ruby portrays Essie, the helper of Margaret (played by Nicole). Working with a Hollywood A-lister like Nicole is quite a feat. It only goes to show that Ms Ruiz lives up to what her name connotes. She’s a gem of an actress. Shine on, Ruby!
Here’s my chat with Ms Ruby:
Please share an amusing experience you had with Nicole.
It was when she caught me eating snacks while on set. I was trying to hide in a corner, but she caught me in action, and she winked at me.
What was it like working with Nicole?
She comes prepared on set, all warmed up and ready for the take. I would simply react to her accordingly as my character. She’s very supportive and sensitive towards her coactors.
How did you overcome being starstruck while working with Nicole?
I simply had to be in character as Essie. Nicole made sure I was comfy with her during our shoot.
Do you feel pressured being compared to Dolly de Leon?
No pressure at all. I hope to be as successful as her. I’m happy with where Dolly is, but I’m also quite optimistic where “Expats” could lead me. I am very grateful that our work and the talent of Filipina actors are acknowledged.
As Newton put it, we are here because we are standing on the shoulders of giants. I am also thankful for the hard work of those actors who came before me, whom I learned from and who have helped me along the way.
What’s the difference between working with a Pinoy crew and a foreign one?
The work conditions here and abroad are incomparable. They have the resources we don’t. They strictly follow working hours because of the union thing, etc.
Why should Pinoys watch ’Expats’?
OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) can relate to Essie, the character I play. She shows how dedicated OFWs are to their work, their sacrifices for their families and how they cope with being away from home.
It is also worth mentioning director Lulu Wang’s respect for and awe of Filipino helpers. To pay tribute to them, she made Episode 5 all about the lives of OFWs.
Mirroring human tendencies
The expression “Three’s a crowd” is so apt for cult director Roman Perez Jr.’s latest flick “Palipat-lipat, Papalit-palit (now streaming on Vivamax). Topbilled by Denise Esteban, Aiko Garcia and Victor Relosa, the film is about a couple whose married life gets shaken by an alluring woman. Soon, the domestic front turns into a battle front. Wedded bliss becomes blitzed.
Here are quotes from Denise (D) and Roman (R):
D: Unlike the character I play, I will never allow my man to be with another woman. No sharing allowed.
R: I make films à la experimental cinema of the ’70s. I tell stories with substance so the audience won’t skip scenes and just watch the sexy parts.
D: My sexy costars and I don’t upstage each other. We give each other moments to shine. There’s no rivalry because we’re like sisters.
R: I restrained myself while shooting this film. No unnecessary love scenes. It’s quite and subtle, but with impact.
D: I got several indecent proposals. It comes with the territory. Deadma is the key.
R: In all of my films, I make sure there’s an iconic love scene. Like the ones I shot on a bus, a rooftop, boat, lighthouse, cemetery and watchtower. Next sexy scene location would be in a moving train.
R: Giving a “hall pass” to partners is common among the young generation, but it’s taboo in provinces. Our movie does not serve to entice couples to have an open relationship. We are just mirroring human tendencies.