Maria Ozawa did not mind doing her own stunts even though she could have asked a double to do them for her 2015 Metro Manila Film Fest entry Nilalang.
In fact, the former adult video star had a bruised wrist when she fought against a warrior in one of the key scenes of the action-suspense thriller.
How difficult was it for her to do the action scenes?
"Oh my god, the action scenes, it was like, one of my dreams completed," gushed the Japanese actress.
"I had to prepare a lot on cam, which was good because when I arrived on set, everything was like so new to me: like the guns ripping, and the fighting but actually I love everything because it was so great.
"I learned a lot. I had a bruised wrist but then it was all worth it when I saw the movie."
Why was her wrist bruised?
"It was when I was in there [in the temple]...in the fighting scene."
Is it true that she will move here to the Philippines? Is she buying her own house here?
"Actually, I’m not gonna move right away," explained Maria. But then I just found a condo, so we could stay here. I’ll be staying here for a year, and then I’m going back to Japan."
Maria, who will turn 30 years old on January 8, plays the daugther of a Yakuza who is tapped to stop a mysterious curse.
She says about Nilalang, "It’s a mix of everything, there’s gonna be Japanese culture, of course, the Philippine culture and then we have the martial arts."
SEQUEL FOR NILALANG? Cesar Montano is cast as the NBI agent who is the leading man of Maria Ozawa in this MMFF 2015 entry.
When asked about his future projects, he answered, "I’m looking forward to do a teleserye with my son Diego."
What about doing another action film?
He disclosed, "‘Yan ang tinatahak naming direction, to do another action film. Actually probably a sequel of Nilalang."
Is it confirmed that they would do a sequel of Nilalang?
Cesar said with a smile, "Well ako, I’m looking forward, kasi yun ang pinag-usapan namin ni Direk Pedring. Makikita mo pa lang dun sa ending, e.
"Nakakatuwa yung ending. Talagang meron. Open, di ba? Open-ended."
MORE CINEMAS. Nilalang was able to win five technical awards during the 41st MMFF Awards Night held at the Kia Theater, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City.
The action-suspense thriller topbilled by Cesar Montano and hot Japanese star Maria Ozawa grabbed the following awards: Best Cinematography for Pao Orendain, Best Editing for Jason Cahapay, Best Musical Score for the veteran Jesse Lasaten, Best Sound for the award-winning Ditoy Aguila, and Best Special Visual Effects, represented by Dondi Chuidian.
Of the five winners, Cahapay and Aguila were able to attend the awards night to personally accept their trophies.
Nilalang’s director Pedring Lopez, who is in the United States for a vacation, expressed his happiness and pride in receiving these recognitions from the MMFF.
“Recognitions like these awards serve as a big inspiration for us, newbies in the film industry. Especially when you know that you’ve worked so hard for the film,” says Direk Pedring.
In spite of the controversy behind MMFF this year, WeLovePost, Haunted Tower Productions, Parallax Studios, and Viva Films – the production groups behind the action flick – are so grateful for the recognition of the said awards for Nilalang.
To date, the movie is being shown in Eastwood Mall, Festival Mall, Fisher Mall, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Manila, Robinsons Metro East, SM Fairview, SM Manila, SM North Edsa, SM Centerpoint, SM Megamall, SM San Lazaro, and Trinoma.