Direk Epy Quizon wants ‘cerebral actor’ for Jesse Robredo role
NAGA CITY—Epy Quizon, director of the film bio on the late local government secretary Jesse Robredo, is looking for “a cerebral actor” to portray this city’s distinguished son, who died in a plane crash last August.
Quizon said auditions for the role were ongoing and priority would be given to Bicolano applicants.
Among the actors earlier eyed were Ricky Davao, Christopher de Leon, Joel Torre and Albert Martinez. Actresses Lani Mercado and Dawn Zulueta were initial choices to portray Robredo’s wife, Leni.
Quizon said the film would be about Robredo as a father, husband and friend. He said he did not want “a political movie,” though Robredo’s political career would be woven into the story.
The director was overwhelmed by the amount of material gathered in just a week here. He said his challenge was to tell an “authentic” story about a man whom many looked up to.
Quizon noted, “He was very smart and goal-driven. He had no vices. He had lots of friends but no one was special—he treated them equally.”
He said the screenplay would be written soon, and that the film would show both Robredo’s virtues and flaws.
From interviews he had conducted with Robredo’s friends, Quizon said, he learned a lot about the late secretary’s sense of humor.
“It was very apparent that they loved him,” Quizon said, “because as they related experiences with him, they would be smiling.”
He said the shooting was set to early this year but had to be postponed because of the midterm elections.
This altered the whole timetable, Noel de Luna, executive producer, added. The film bio was originally meant to be released on Robredo’s first death anniversary in August this year.
“But had we started filming last summer,” De Luna pointed out, “our activities might have been construed as political propaganda, especially because Leni Robredo ran for Congress. That would have been a lose-lose situation.”