Alessandra de Rossi portrays a journalist in Cinemalaya 2013 entry Liars

Alessandra de Rossi stars in the Cinemalaya entry The Liars, which is inspired by a real sports scandal that rocked the world of baseball.


Alessandra de Rossi is on her third year of joining Cinemalaya through the Gil Portes entry titled Liars.

In the 9th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, Alex (Alessandra’s nickname) stars in this entry that is competing in the Directors Showcase category.

(To learn more about this year's entries, read: PEP Guide to Cinemalaya 2013)

Inspired by a true story, Liars tells the story of a journalist named Eloisa (Alessandra de Rossi). Her expose of the truth results in life-changing consequences to a baseball team of poor boys from Smokey Mountain.

This film is inspired by a real-life sports scandal that took place in 1992. A baseball team from Zamboanga was crowned the champion of the 46th Little League World Series. However, Filipino journalists revealed the team had used ineligible players who did not meet either age or residency requirements. As a result, the team was stripped of its title.

Liars also stars Arnold Reyes, Sue Prado, Cris Villanueva, Benjie Felipe, John Michael, Richard Quan, Nanding Josef, and Princess Manzon.

Alex got to work with kids hailing from Payatas. She described the experience as "challenging pero nanalo na sila ng awards from Cinemalaya."

The actress shot her scenes for around 8 days, considering "mahirap yun sa Smokey Mountain pero okay lang naman.

“Eto lang siguro, ano ba challenge ko dito...yung hair extensions ko lang, at mayroon [sequences] after ten years so pinatanda pa ako," explained Alex, who has been sporting a short pixie cut for the past few months.

Alex was previously part of the 2011 Cinemalaya entries Busong (Palawan Fate) and 2012 entry Sta. Niña. Both films gained critical acclaim here and abroad. What does she feel when watches herself in her old films?

"Iba-iba, e, iba ang Sta. Niña, iba rin ang Busong, kakaibang levels, may kanya-kanyang challenges dumarating sa characters."

What does she hope to get from her new film Liars?

"Exciting, e, kapag pinanood mo yun movie may pagka Mga Mumunting Tinig kasi may bata, tapos ako journalist, nakakamiss si Direk Gil..."

In 2002, Alex topbilled the film Mga Mumunting Tinig that earned for her acting awards and earned recognitions abroad.

Alex candidly shares, "Actually nung shinushoot namin eto, may biruan kami ni Direk Gil. ‘Direk ano, okay na ba?’ and Direk Gil would answer, ‘Uy galingan mo, Alex ha, kalaban mo dito si Ate Vi ha.’"

Vilma Santos is one of the stars competing in the Directors Showcase category for the film Ekstra (Bit Player).

Alex narrates that she would tell Direk Gil after a take, ‘O, ano gagalingan ko pa ba?’ and Direk Gil would say, ‘Huwag na, itawid mo na lang.’ The actress reveals that she would say after every take, ‘Good na ba direk? Talo na ba si Ate Vi?’ and Direk Gil would chide her, ‘Hindi hindi...’"

She says it just became a running joke between her and Direk Gil. Kidding aside, the GMA-7 actress says that she just wants to offer a good film to the public. "This year, andyan si Ate Vi, to think magkalaban kami pero hindi ako umaasa, hindi ako ganoon, gusto ko lang magbigay ng magandang pelikula sa mga viewers at in fairness naman to me nagagawa ko naman siya."

The 28-year-old actress who has won a fair share of awards for her versatile body of work reveals, "Ako naman, never naman ako umasa na manalo, e, tama din naman na never ako umasa, kasi mas maraming beses na natalo ako kaysa nanalo."

She says that every time she does get an award, "grateful lang ako palagi, yun lang naman ang pwede kong isipin. Di ko naman pwedeng isipin 'wow galing ko,' kundi, salamat na tumatak siya enough na mabigyan ka ng recognition."

Does Alex ever feel though that there were times she did deserve a particular award more for her film now than another film of hers? She answers quite honestly, "Mayroon akong mga ganoon, pero naiintindihan ko kung bakit at that point hindi siya binigay sa akin."

Alex shares her take on awards, "it's just an award, opinion eto ng ibang tao, ikaw pa rin makakapagsabi at yung trabaho mo kung karapat-dapat kang bigyan o hindi. I mean may award, tapos pinanood mo parang hindi naman ata, so may ganoon lang din na moments, siguro ibibigay din talaga sa iyo at the right time."

"Yung mga times na yun di ko siya siguro kailangan, ngayon ko siya kailangan talaga."

Does Alex go through days when she sometimes feels like not being artsy and all into her craft? Alex quickly says, "Kung ano vision nila yan na gagawin mo, wala kang choice, parang ganoon. Okay rin yun pag wala ka sa mood maging artistic parang kahit ano sasabihin nila, gagawin ko naman."

For Cinemalaya 2013, Alex has received several invitations to go out and watch the entries, and surprisingly, she shares, "Ang dami na nga nagyayaya sa akin na manood ako, bihira na kasi ako lumabas ng bahay, takot na takot ako sa maraming tao."

Is Alex happy to embrace the actor's actress or the out-of-the-box-actress label she's been tagged with?

After a reflective pause, Alex wisely answers, "Well, feeling ko kung may box tapos ilalagay mo lahat ng artista doon, malamang wala ako sa box na yun kasi ang layo ng itsura ko sa kanilang lahat, di ba?"

We joke that she is exotic na maganda, to which she retorts, "Ako maganda? Hindi. Exotic? Oo.

"Kung ano man yun exotic na role, mukhang farmer, mukhang teacher, sa akin napupunta."

"Hindi ako yung anak mayaman, may-ari ng kumpanya, or magandang babae na maputi na kulot yung buhok, hindi ako siya or feeling nila di ko siya kayang ma-achieve."

How does she feel about it, even though we tell her na maganda naman talaga siya, "so okay lang. Once in a while it would be nice, di ba, to try something new, yung sasabihin ko, ‘Uy panoorin n’yo, in fairness ang ganda ko diyan.’"

"Hindi yung, 'o huwag ka na mag-make-up kasi eto yung role mo' or 'huwag na magsuklay', minsan gusto mo rin naman yun may ganoon hangin, o ang ganda mo ha, in fairness yung ganoon, pero hindi naman talaga siya issue sa akin."

Liars will be shown as part of Cinemalaya 2013 which runs from July 26 to August 4, 2013 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Trinoma, Greenbelt 3 and Alabang Town Center. For information on Cinemalaya 2013, call the CCP Box Office at Tel. No. 832-3704 or visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph

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