John Lloyd Cruz downplays issue about talent fee and billing in the Lav Diaz film, Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis.
At the press conference of the movie held earlier today, March 18, JLC tried not to talk about how much he earned from doing the eight-hour movie.
When asked about his and Piolo Pascual's billing in the film, John Lloyd reminded reporters, “Hindi po 'yan ang issue rito. There's a bigger issue here, 'yon ang sinasabi ng pelikula.
“Basta ang malinaw, for Piolo and I, hindi po talaga problema 'yan.”
Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis, which won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer trophy at the Berlin International Film Festival, will be shown in Philippine cinemas on March 26.
More than seeing it as work, John Lloyd treated Hele as an obligation.
“Actually, to be honest, hindi tungkol sa akin ito,” said the Kapamilya actor.
“Katulad nga ng sinasabi ko, kasalanan na hindi mo ito gawin.
“Parang obligasyon 'yon para sa sarili mo as an actor, obligasyon mo sa bayan, obligasyon mo sa kapwa mo actors.
“'Yong mga ganung project, mahirap isipin ang sarili.”
JLC considers it a privilege to play Isagani in this movie, which incorporates elements of mythology with the search of Gregoria de Jesus for the body of Andres Bonifacio.
“He represents the mind, the questions, and the pains of Filipinos noong mga panahong 'yon,” he described his character in Hele.
Asked if doing the movie had an effect on him, John Lloyd replied, “Kung anuman ang naging impact niya... Siguro ang mahirap dito is when you're dumbfounded with this kind of experience, it's irreversible.
“Sabi nga ni Lav [Diaz, director], “Nasa sa inyo na 'yan. Nasimulan na. So the rest is up to you.
“At saka parang it's actually a privilege to be part of this movement. More than a film, this is a movement.”
Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis will be shown at the following malls in Metro Manila: Trinoma, Market! Market!, Fairview Terraces, Greenhills, Newport Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Uptown Cinema, Robinsons East, Robinsons Galleria, SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM City Sta. Mesa, and SM Fairview.
In provinces: KCC General Santos, Robinsons Bacolod, Robinsons Iloilo, Gaisano Davao, and Gaisano Davao-Tagum.
(View photos: Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz attend 66th Berlin Film Festival for Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis)