The McBride twins, Sheena and Brigitte, found it challenging to prepare for Direk Ato Bautista’s latest film Gemini.
This psychological thriller is about twin sisters Julia and Judith who are haunted by a crime that they committed years ago. In the trailer of the film, one of the sisters can be seen stabbing a man to death (played by Lance Raymundo) while the other helplessly looks on.
Julia is a psychiatric patient who seeks the help of a detective named Manuel (played by Mon Confiado) to save her from her estranged evil twin sister who wants to kill her.
Gemini is one of the five entries included in the New Wave category of the 40th Metro Manila Film Festival. Just like the other entries, this film is being screened at SM Megamall and Glorietta 4 cinemas until December 24, 2014.
With Gemini’s complex story come equally sophisticated characters. Brigitte finds it hard to describe her character without giving away the movie’s plot twist. She withholds, “Yung character ko, medyo mahirap siya i-explain.”
Sheena agrees, saying that they can’t reveal who’s Julia and who’s Judith just yet. They then both say, “Secret po.”
Sheena explains, “Actually...hindi pa namin [pwede] ma-reveal yung character namin dito.
“Kasi pag nakita niyo, magkamukha, parang sino ba talaga dun yung ano, sino ba talaga yung kontrabida.
“Pero it’s more of emotional, at the same time physical, kasi more on drama siya and suspense na mapapabilib kayo sa story nito...kailangan nakatutok [ka.]”
Brigette elaborates, “Parati ko pong sinasabi, yung Gemini yung one word, very mysterious.
“Kailangan mong mapanuod mula sa umpisa hanggang sa dulo wag kang magpapalampas sa gitna or what kundi di mo siya maiintindihan, yung buong story. Kailangang mag-isip.”
PREPARATIONS. Since their characters are placed in dire situations and they have to portray complex characters, how did they prepare for their roles?
“Meron po kaming one-month workshop. Tinulungan po kami ni Mon Confiado, at saka ni Direk Ato. One month. Kaya po after ng shooting, talagang napagod kami.
“Kasi besides po dun sa parang suspense thriller, meron pang drama so talagang nakaka-challenge yung merong patayan, bloody scenes.
“Sobrang hirap, kasi first time ko po, e. Nag-adjust po ako, siguro part ko na rin na goal na nagcome up kami sa magandang pelikula,” Sheena told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
Brigette admits that the pressure of them being lead stars in a film also affects them in a way. But the twins are thankful nevertheless.
“First time namin so masaya kami kasi na-practice namin yung ganung situation lalo na ang pagpatay kasi ang hirap i-acting e. Pero ngayon alam ko na na sa next project, ganito pala yun.”
Sheena continues, “Sobrang blessed po kasi MMFF, e, kilalang festival. Parang winner na kami dun. Dapat mag-thank you ka sa 'kin kasi pinilit ko siya mag-audition.”
INTERNATIONAL SHOWING. Gemini had its international debut at the World Cinema Fantastic Section of the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea last July.
Sheena was amazed at how Koreans analyzed the scenes in such detail, “Napaka-great experience po, kasi yung question and answer after ng premiere, sobrang genius po magtanong ng mga Koreans.
“As in bawat detalye, ano nangyari dito, bakit ganito yung suot niyo. Sobrang talino po nila.”
Brigette also recalls a funny incident wherein Korean moviegoers were shocked to find out that they are actually “real” twins. “May nagtanong pa nga po, nagulat sila pagbaba namin ng stage, akala nila isang tao lang, yun pala kambal pala talaga.”
“Napakasaya nila, minsan lang magkaroon ng twins in the movie na horror kasi usually edit lang po, e,” Sheena says with a laugh.
SISTER ACT. The newbie actresses revealed some fun facts about being twins.
Brigette says, “Minsan po, nafe-feel ko yung nafi-feel niya, nase-sense ko yung iniisip niya.”
In relation to that, Sheena and Brigette were also asked if their director, Ato Bautista, ever gets confused working with the two.
Sheena confidently answers, “Kilala niya na po kami, e.”
As for their co-stars, they would sometimes interchange the twins.
“Direk Ato lang talaga [yung hindi nako-confuse,] kasi kilala niya yung may nunal,” confirms Brigette who has a mole on her forehead.
They also narrated how they auditioned for the role. Originally, only Sheena was into acting while Brigette was more musically-inclined.
Sheena was the one who persuaded Brigette to try out for the role. She narrates, “Nalaman ko po yung audition, and then siyempre twins [ang hinahanap] so parang inencourage ko siya na ‘mag-audition ka na.’
“Kasi ako po more sa acting. Masipag ako mag-audition and then ini-encourage ko siya, ayun nagustuhan na rin niya.
“Naging swerte na lang po na nagkasama kami.”