Diether Ocampo's birthday wish—though not entirely the easiest to achieve—is downright straightforward.
"Gusto kong makatrabaho 'yong mga artista na hindi ko pa nakakatrabaho. Marami pa lalo na 'yong mga beterano nating aktor at tsaka 'yong mga bago din. I want to reach 'yong market na hindi ko pa nare-reach," said Diether during an advance celebration last July 18 at Pizza Hut in SM Cubao, Quezon City. The actor turned 33 years old last July 19.
Diether mentioned the names of KC Concepcion, Anne Curtis along with veteran stars like Lorna Tolentino, Christopher de Leon, Sharon Cuneta and "idol" Robin Padilla as dream co-stars in a television or movie project.
"Hopefully makatrabaho ko rin 'yong mga direktor na hindi ko pa nakakatrabaho pati siyempre 'yong mga nakatrabaho ko na nung nag-uumpisa pa lang ako. Kasi nag-evolve ka na rin and nag-mature ka na rin naman at marami ka nang natutunan. Siyempre ngayon gusto mong i-apply 'yong mga natutunan mo and that's one way of giving back to them kung ano 'yong naituro nila sa iyo dati," added Diether, who started in the industry in 1994 as part of the now defunct youth gag-variety show Ang TV.
ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL. That is why Diether considers his latest movie project under Regal Films as a dream come true.
Through Mamarazzi, the actor gets to work alongside Eugene Domingo, who is arguably the most in demand comedienne today, and veteran director Joel Lamangan.
"50th anniversary offering ito ng Regal and ito 'yong handog nila para sa mga Pilipino na talagang sumusubaybay sa lahat ng ginagawa nila. Hindi ko na alam kung ilang pelikula na ang nagawa ng Regal pero more than 500 na yata so napaka-espesyal nitong handog nila para sa mga manunood," said Diether with a smile.
More than just having Eugene around, the film is also boosted by an all-star cast, namely John "Sweet" Lapus, Andi Eigenmann, JC Tiuseco, Xian Lim, Carl Guevarra, and Carla Abellana. In the film, Uge plays a single mother who works as a funeral makeup artist to provide for her triplets (portrayed by AJ Perez and Andi portraying dual roles in this movie). Diether is cast as the surrogate father of Uge's children but the hardworking mother tries to keep her children from knowing the identity of their biological father.
"Hindi matatawaran ang kanilang mga galing," Diether fondly said about his co-stars.
But the actor and driving force behind the charity organization K.I.D.S Foundation was particularly proud of being able to work with Direk Joel Lamangan.
"Pinagmamalaki kong makatrabaho ang napakagaling na direktor na katulad niya. Lahat ng projects na nagawa niya halos naisali niya sa mga international film festivals kaya isang malaking bagay na makatrabaho ang isang magaling na direktor," he said with pride in his voice.
Lamangan is responsible for delivering some of the memorable films in the history of Philippine Cinema like Hiram na Mukha (1992), Ngayon at Kailanman (1992), Kadenang Bulaklak (1994), The Flor Contemplacion Story (1995), Pusong Mamon (1999), Deathrow (2000), and Aishte Imasu (2004), among others.
"Itong Mamarazzi ang handog namin sa inyo kasi pampamilya ito—bata o matanda mag-e-enjoy dahil sinigurado namin na magiging sulit and, of course, parang treat na rin ni Mother Lily [Monteverde] ito dahil birthday niya rin," added Diether. The matriarch of Regal will celebrate her birthday on August 19. (CLICK HERE to read more about Regal's offerings for its 50th anniversary)
Regal Films' Mamarazzi opens nationwide on August 25.