“Conquer the world na ang peg!” exclaimed a bubbly Rufa Mae Quinto during an afternoon of scorching heat on the set of Miri: Ang Huling Henya in Cubao.
Facing a small group of entertainment writers, the 34-year-old sexy comedienne, who is usually seen in skimpy dresses, sported a rugged outfit of jeans and a loose shirt.
“Yun na nga from Booba, ngayon Henya na!” she excitedly said, referring to the latest film she stars in.
The actress, who once portrayed the Pinay version of the dumb blonde, Booba, takes on a character of an intelligent agent who is out to kick evil butts in Huling Henya. The Regal Films’ action-comedy is slated to be released in May this year.
Drawing laughter, Rufa explained the differences of her character Miri from Booba: “Kasi matalino, e! English-speaking, mga ‘phylum cordata,’ ganyan… Saka agent na totoo, e!”
Although the film promises laugh-out-loud entertainment, Rufa’s preparations for the film entailed serious training in boxing and firing, as well as acting lessons from PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association), which her director, Marlon Rivera, required of her.
Even the actress’s low-fat diet had to go.
Rufa shared, “Una ko munang ginawa siyempre, nagpalakas ako ng katawan. Kain [ako] nang kain ng rice, pansit, lahat ng carbo loading, tapos protein.
“Di kasi totoo! Kailangan mo maging malakas, e! Ikaw kaya makipagbugbugan sa boys, sa mga brusko at sa alien, pati sa zombies!
“Di ako nagda-diet ngayon kasi kailangan ko maging malakas, e. So medyo gumu-goons ang attack. Goons-goons na si Rufa Mae, di ba?
“Di lang the usual na naka-heels, ganun. Ngayon, jeans-jeans na. Sabak na, talagang Angelina Jolie ang dating!” remarked the actress, amused by her latest venture.
A nasty scar was visible on the actress’s left wrist. Inquired if the injuries she got discouraged her, Rufa answered, “Kailangan, e. Kasi anong mabibigay kong bago, di ba?
“So, yun na lang dadagdagan ko para sa kanilang lahat, para sa inyong lahat na hindi lang nakakatawa.
“Definitely it’s really the funniest movie I’ve ever done, yes. In my whole, entire life… Pero, ito may action, e.
“Kumbaga, advanced na! Upgraded, updated, makabago, e. May zombie, may mga 3G, 3D… 1,2,3… !” Rufa quipped.
RE-LAUNCHING FILM. Rufa used to star as the solo lead in movies as Booba (2001), Super B (2002), and Masikip sa Dibdib (2004). In the last films that she was seen in, however, the actress co-starred with other artists as in the films Apat Dapat, Dapat Apat (2007), Pasukob (2007), Desperadas (2008), Manay Po! 2 Overload (2008), and Temptation Island (2011).
This time, she makes a comeback in starring solo in Huling Henya—“Kaya ngayon, I’m back. And I’m not afraid… yes, with a vengeance, stronger, wiser, firm, and not a victim!”
Rufa is cast with a solid set of supporting actors such as Edgar Allan Guzman, Frances Makil-Ignacio, Candy Pangilinan, Abby Bautista, DJ Durano, Fabio Ide, and other surprise guest stars.
Being the first comedienne to star in a lead role, Rufa vowed to make the project work.
“O ngayon, I’m back and I will relaunch myself. Di ba? [parang] nung unang panahon [may] ‘Introducing’ …tinanggal na yung mga ‘Introducing,’ e!
“O ngayon, I’m bringing [myself] back. This is my re-launching film— Miri: Ang Huling Henya!”
She also believes that now is the time to do this.
“Hindi na ako bagets. Kailangan mo mag-elevate na, e… Mature na,” the actress beamed.