Vilma Santos wary about giving acting tips: "Baka sabihin nagdudunung-dunungan"

by Romy Peña Cruz
May 20, 2021
As an actress with a career spanning almost six decades, Vilma Santos says, "One thing that I have learned: to give respect and support sa co-actors mo."
PHOTO/S: Star Cinema

There is no denying Vilma Santos’s iconic screen presence.

Whether she's playing a mean real estate tycoon with stage 3 cancer (Everything About Her, 2016) or a bit player giddy over being in a scene with her idol (Ekstra, 2013), Vilma Santos owns the character she portrays.

A screen idol, Vilma however does not forget that in showbiz, she's only as good as her last project and her true value is not found in how her last movie went. It is found in what remains after all the adulation dies down.

For one, it's in how well she treats her co-stars.

She says in her PEP Exclusives session with the editorial team of PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) via Zoom on April 28, 2021, “There’s one thing that I learned sa tagal ko na po sa showbusiness, being professional and being a good co-actor.

"Kasi hindi all the time, eksena mo. Alam mo yung ibig kong sabihin?

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"Meron kang mga kasama sa pelikula na dapat po’y nag-i-i-stand out sila na pag moment nila, ibigay mo yung moment na yun for them.”

The Star for All Seasons elaborates: “Pag gumawa ng pelikula, hindi naman kaya talaga ng isang artista lang, e.

"Lahat ay nagko-contribute, even, of course, yung wala sa harapan ng kamera.

“Pero sa co-actors ko, pag moment niya, ibigay mo sa kanya and give the full support. Kasi at the end of the day, tutulungan ka rin niya.

"Gaganda yung eksena, and pag maganda yung eksenang kasama mo siya at ikaw nando’n, dala yung eksena, kasama ka na rin.”

She says giving the other actors their due is a responsibility she takes seriously.

“So kung ako binibigyan nila ng moment ko, obligasyon ko bilang isang co-star na ibigay din pag moment nila, na nandidito’t nakasuporta sa kanila."

She gives an example wherein, during filming, off-camera actors would remain on the set not just watch the other players shoot a scene but to keep themselves in synch with the flow of the story.

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Vilma gives details, “We do that, behind the camera. Siguro, if I may, pag close up ko… siyempre ikaw lang ang nakikita.

"One thing we have learned kaming mga artista, lalo na yung mga senior, hindi porke close up mo magka-eksena tayo, close up mo, aalis na ako kasi ikaw naman close up mo.

“Hindi po. Sa amin pong mga naging artista, kaming mga naging senior, andun din kami sa likod ng camera at nakikipag-interact with them para mahugot yung acting nila dahil ka-eksena ko rin sila kahit behind the camera.

“Yung iba kasi, nakaranas na rin po ako nun pag close up ko, iniiwan ako nung artista, yung ka-eksena ko.

"So ako lang mag-isa nakikipag-usap sa camera at yung direktor.

“But it’s different pag nakaharap pa rin yung ka-eksena mo do’n kahit nandun siya sa likod ng camera.”

“So that is one thing that I have learned: to give respect and support sa co-actors mo.

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"At the end of the day, hindi lang ikaw ang may dala ng pelikula. Lahat, kabuuan ng pelikula, dala mo, kasama ka dun pag naging successful.”

VILMA ON GIVING ACTING TIPS TO CO-ACTORS

But what if her co-actor can't keep up in the acting department, would Vilma help out, like a coach giving acting tips?

She laughs, maybe because she's actually done that, “Minsan po. Minsan naman nag-iingat din po ako baka sabihin nagdudunung-dunungan ako."

Vilma underscores she offers unsolicited help only when she's sure it will be good for the entire project; otherwise, she is cautious about giving acting advice.

She tells PEP.ph, “Minsan pag magka-eksena kami, hindi maganda yung… yung direktor nagagalit kasi hindi kuntento dun sa dinedeliver niyang acting.

“Nakikita ko na po na medyo hirap na, dun po ako nagshe-share nang konti na, ‘Baka ito gawin mo, ganito. A, lika magmotivate-an tayo, mag-motivate tayo ng isa’t isa.’

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“Do’n pumapasok na ako pag nakikita ko pong hirap na din siya.

“Pero kung ordinary lang na ganito, ayoko naman pong basta-basta magturo. Meron namang direktor. Kasi baka mamaya nago-overboard ako sabihin, ‘Yabang naman nito.’

“Pero pag nakikita ko pong kailangan na, nandidiyan din po ako to guide at makatulong sa motivation ng co-actor ko or kung sino man yung ka-eksena ko. Ganun po.”

Vilma Santos is PEP.ph’s top pick in The PEP List of 15 Greatest Actresses of Philippine Cinema in Leading Roles, 2000 to 2020.

To read more about The PEP List of 15 Greatest Actresses of Philippine Cinema in Leading Roles, 2000 to 2020, click here.

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As an actress with a career spanning almost six decades, Vilma Santos says, "One thing that I have learned: to give respect and support sa co-actors mo."
PHOTO/S: Star Cinema
  • This article was created by . Edits have been made by the PEP.ph editors.
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