Richard Yap gets his biggest movie break to date as he topbills the seventh installment of Mano Po, aptly titled Mano Po 7: Chinoy.
In this new movie produced by Regal Films, Richard plays the central character Wilson Tan, a Chinese business tycoon who is struggling because the relationships in his family are starting to crumble.
It is directed by Ian Lorenos, who helmed the award-winning films The Leaving (his entry for Cinemalaya 2010) and Alagwa (2012).
During the August 4 story conference of Mano Po 7: Chinoy, Richard said that he is excited to take on this new role.
He said, "I'm very excited about this movie kasi it's really something new to me.
"May konting comedy, there's a lot of drama but hindi naman siya siguro overwhelming.
"When I saw the script, it's a fantastic script so I hope people will like it.
"Yung mga nangyayari dito sa movie na ito, these are the things that are happening sa normal Chinese families na they get so consumed with business na they forget about their families."
According to the actor-singer, he was able to watch one installment of this Regal movie franchise about Chinese families.
"Yes, may napanood ako, yung kela Zsa Zsa [Padilla]. Pero medyo more of the female side kaya hindi ako masyado naka-relate.
"Pero Mano Po kasi is a reflection ng mga nangyayari sa Chinese families so may nakikita akong similarities."
He did not clarify, though, if he watched Zsa Zsa's Mano Po 2: My Home or Mano Po 4: Ako Legal Wife.
JEAN GARCIA. Richard also said that he is happy to be working again with Janella Salvador, who played his daughter in Be Careful with My Heart, and with Jean Garcia for the first time.
In fact, Richard made a revelation about his leading lady Jean: "Crush ko siya dati, e."
The 49-year-old actor then clarified that it was during Jean's early days in show business when he had a crush on her.
Jean then reacted with a laugh, "Salamat! Yun lang masasabi ko. Thank you Richard, excited to work with you, looking forward!"
In the story, Jean plays Deborah, the wife of Richard's character, and so the two will have a love scene in the movie.
Since this is also Richard's biggest break on the big screen, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked him if he feels any pressure headlining the comeback of Mano Po.
This is also in line with the success of The Achy Breaky Hearts, his last movie where he figured in a love triangle with Ian Veneracion and Jodi Sta. Maria.
He answered, "Well, of course siyempre, may konting pressure siguro but you just have to do your best. I hope the story itself will attract the moviegoers."
Aside from Janella, the other children in Mano Po 7 are played by Jana Agoncillo and Enchong Dee.
While this is the first time that he will work with Jana, Richard already worked with Enchong in Wansapanataym: Kung Fu Chinito.
Regal Films plans to submit Mano Po 7 for consideration to the Metro Manila Film Festival this year.