The love scene of Fil-Italian Ruben Soriquez and Chanel Latorre was so realistic that it somewhat triggered the jealous side of the actor-director's wife.
Ruben's wife, Lani, admitted this during an interview held recently for the indie film Of Sinners and Saints. This drama film is one of the 8 entries competing in the Filipino New Cinema category of the 2015 World Premieres Film Festival.
Organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the WPFF is being held at SM Cinemas until July 7, 2015.
The film Of Sinners and Saints revolves around Leonardo Rossellini (played by Ruben Soriquez), an Italian priest from Rome assigned to a parish in Payatas.
While counseling battered women in the slum area, he crosses paths again with his former lover.
Merlinda (played by Chanel Latorre) is now married to a violent husband Franco (played by Polo Ravales). Leonardo decides to help Merlinda find her son who is a victim of human trafficking.
Direk Ruben's real-life wife Lani is included in the movie as one of the battered women.
When asked how his wife reacted upon knowing about his love scene with Chanel, Ruben laughed before answering, "Very jealous.
"Of course, we argued but it's my job. It's needed for the scene.
"This movie was rated R-16 but initially, it was for everyone. To show naked bodies or people making love in a movie in Italy it's just normal.
To prevent this issue, Ruben offered to make a deal: "For future movies, you be my leading lady. She used to be an actress and fashion model in Italy. She studied theater in Italy."
In the movie, Ruben's character makes love to Chanel's character seven years years ago when he was still a seminarian.
Lani candidly admitted that she initially felt uncomfortable seeing her husband shoot a love scene with another woman.
Did she feel jealous seeing Ruben with Chanel? "Konti," she admitted.
"Noong una konti pero noong lagi ko nang nakikita, sobra na, parang gusto ko na siyang suntukin," she said with a smile.
"Pero okay lang kasi sinabi na niya sa akin dati pa."
Lani continued, "Konting selos pero ngayon okay na...siyempre asawa."
MORE DARING VERSION. The Philippine version of Of Sinners and Saints is tamer compared to the version that Ruben will show abroad.
Ruben disclosed, "I did more daring shots but I decided not to include it. There is another version for the international market.
"I don't want to be rated R-18 even if it's not so daring according to my culture and standards."
Members of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board liked the movie, recalled Ruben.
"They did not want to cut anything to preserve the artistic side of the movie.
They could cut and give Of Sinners and Saints a rating of R-13 but they said they preferred to give it a rating of R-16."
The Fil-Italian director jokes that he was "made in the Philippines" but born in Italy. He went to the Philippines occasionally to spend his teenage years in Quezon City. In fact, Ruben actually remembers watching Fernando Poe Jr. movies during the 1990s.
He tries to shift to Tagalog in order to describe the mature scenes in the movie.
"The sexual, explicit scenes are not...how do you say it here...bastos."
He speaks Tagalog with his trademark accent as he points out, "Tatay ko ay Pilipino from Mindoro. My mother is from Sicily."
ACTION FILLED MOVIE. Twelve out of the 17 days of production were shot in Payatas.
Ruben disclosed that he did his own stunts in the movie. In fact, he got thrown against several plywood around ten times before he was satisfied with the shot.
He shot action scenes with Polo Ravales, the jealous husband of Chanel Latorre's character.
"He slapped me, he kicked me and threw me against some plywood and it was really me. No double. We did it ten times!
"Polo asked me if we really needed to do that. I said, 'I really need to do it.' I was so exhausted and I was also directing.
"I got hurt since there was cement also."
The actor-director explained that he did not a get double since "I wanted to feel it because I am a method actor.
"I really want to feel it and I felt it."
Polo Ravales was violent not just with Ruben's character but with Chanel Latorre as well.
In fact, Chanel was actually scared that she would get hurt during her rape scene but nothing untoward happened.
"Polo slapped her for real. He pulled her hair. The scene looked so real.
"When Polo is in his character, sometimes he doesn't measure his strength.
"In the room, he destroyed one piece of furniture for real. He got carried away.
"He destroyed a glass display cabinet. He punched the display cabinet."
Aside from Of Sinners and Saints, the other 7 entries of the Filipino New Cinema category are: An Kubo sa Kawayanan by Alvin Yapan, Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa by Nestor Abrogena, Filemon Mamon by Will Fredo, I Love You, Thank You by Bebs Gohetia, Maskara by Genesis Nolasco, Piring by Craig Woodruff Jr (Carlos Morales) and Sino nga ba si Pangkoy Ong by Jonah Lim.
For schedules, visit: http://wpff.ph/schedules.php