Matteo Guidicelli ventures into the action-drama genre for the first time as he topbills Tupang Ligaw.
In the action-indie film, Matteo portrays a soldier searching for his lost brother (played by Rico Barrera). He goes to Barrio Paraiso, which is under the iron rule of El Diablo (played by Paolo Contis).
Matteo’s character discovers that it was El Diablo who killed his brother. He teams up with his brother’s wife (Ara Mina), and together they will seek justice.
To prepare for Tupang Ligaw, the singer-actor went through rigorous training for action techniques like "hand defense" and "firearm techniques."
Matteo admitted that even though the fight scenes were a challenge for him, he also enjoyed doing action stunts.
"I just enjoy this, I love doing stunts.
"I love jumping and doing crazy things, pinaghandaan talaga namin 'tong lahat.
"Maraming takbuhan dito, very physical film."
He recalled how he shot one fight scene with the main villain played by Paolo.
"Iyong fight scene namin ni Paolo Contis, iyong sa totoo, noong nag-shoot kami, mga 20 minutes dire-diretso yun, bugbugan kaming dalawa."
"Pero sa screen I think it’s short, [it was] cut already, pero yung original sobrang haba.
"Nagbugbugan talaga kami, as in tirahan yun, pasa pasa kami the next day.
"All the different stunts here, tumbling, jumping and all that stuff, lahat yun challenge but it’s all fun."
NO LOVE INTEREST. One notable difference of his movie fro, other action flicks is that Matteo’s character doesn’t have a love interest.
Director Rod Santiago, the creator of Agua Bendita (the fantaserye that Matteo also starred in 2010 together with Andi Eigenmann), pointed out that the story can stand alone without Matteo having any love interest.
Dennis Evangelista said on behalf of BG Productions International (producer of the movie), explained that they cannot also add a twist in the story where Matteo’s character fall in love with Ara because of their age difference and the relationship of their characters in the movie.
Matteo added, "I guess may masasabi lang ako, ito kasi ang consultants namin sa pelikula, professionals.
"Imagine mo, ex-CIA agent, lahat ng moves namin, lahat ng firearms.
"Halimbawa sa fight scenes, kapag sasabihin ng ibang tao, ganito ganito, pumapasok talaga yung consultants.
"[Sasabihan nila] 'Hindi po totoong ganyan,' so ina-authentic lang nila.
"I think idea rin nila na walang romantic interest to make the story more credible, the fight scenes more credible."
Does he think Tupang Ligaw will be able to bring back the popularity of hardcore action films in the country?
Matteo says, "First action film ko po 'to so sana, with the help of the production, with the help of ABS-CBN, of course BG Productions and Direk Rod, sana maging okay and sana magtuloy-tuloy yung action natin, di ba."
He then revealed that there is a possibility that he will do another action movie with the same production company later this year.
SARAH WATCHING THE MOVIE. Matteo also happily said that his management Star Magic and ABS-CBN fully supports his action film Tupang Ligaw, which will be screened starting February 17 in cinemas.
Since this is Matteo’s first action flick, will he also invite his real-life girlfriend Sarah Geronimo to watch his movie?
Matteo answered with a joke, "Siyempre po. Itweet na natin siya ngayon!"
He then immediately followed it up by saying, "Siyempre sasabihin ko pero busy rin siya ngayon, e.
"[She’s] promoting her album, marami siyang mga tours tours ngayon.
"So tignan natin. Pag libre siya papanuorin naming dalawa ito."