Estranged ex-couple Harlene Bautista and Romnick Sarmenta both appear in the movie Write About Love, an entry to the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
Harlene plays the mother of Yeng Constantino’s character, while Romnick takes on the role of Miles Ocampo’s father.
Yeng gives life to Joyce, a lead character in the screenplay being written by Miles, who’s only known as Female Writer.
Joyce and Female Writer don’t interact, along with the people in their respective realms.
For this reason, Joyce’s mother (as played by Harlene) and Female Writer’s father (as played by Romnick) don’t share screen time.
This setup made possible the casting of ex-couple, who announced their separation in October 2018 after 19 years of marriage.
“Hindi naman talaga kami magkasama,” Harlene pointed out. She talked to PEP.ph at the Write About Love premiere night held recently at SM Megamall.
“Sinabi naman nila [producers] sa akin. Nakalimutan ko na. Kanina ko lang ulit naalala. Okay naman, maganda naman ang pelikula.”
When asked for her reaction upon seeing Romnick onscreen, the actress said she had none, as in wala.
“Alam ko naman na ando’n siya, e,” she explained. “Actually, bago mag-start, sabi ko, ‘Ah, eto pala ’yong movie na magkasama daw kami.’”
How was she persuaded by the producers to accept this project?
“Maganda din kasi ’yong kuwento,” she said. “And I’m really happy na tinanggap ko ito kasi it’s a beautiful movie. Maganda talaga. Happy ako. Proud ako na-cast ako dito.”
This production is penned by debuting director Crisanto Aquino and produced by TBA Studios.
Harlene has also gone into movie production through Heaven’s Best Entertainment (HBE), in which she sits as president.
HBE’s entry to the 2018 MMFF, Rainbow’s Sunset, won 11 awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Gloria Romero, Best Supporting Actress for Aiko Melendez, Best Supporting Actor for Tony Mabesa, and special jury awards for Eddie Garcia and Max Collins.
Eddie and Tony, who played childhood friends-turned-loyal lovers, both died in 2019, just four months apart, with the former passing in June and the latter, in October.
After Rainbow’s Best, HBE is producing at least two movies, In the Name of the Mother and Isa Pang Bahaghari.
Harlene said that In the Name of the Mother, a family drama starring Snooky Serna, is set to be released in time for Mother’s Day in May 2020.
She added that there’s no playdate yet for Isa Pang Bahaghari, which stars Nora Aunor Phillip Salvador, and Michael de Mesa.