Don't be deceived by the looks of RS Francisco in the Sinag Maynila 2017 entry Bhoy Intsik.
In this indie film, his character has a preference for feminine clothing and putting accessories in his hair but when it comes to action sequences, he doesn't hold back.
"Kasuntukan ko si Ronwaldo," disclosed RS regarding his co-star Ronwaldo Martin who is the younger brother of Coco Martin.
"Kasi kaaway ko siya. Yung haharbatin ko, haharbatin niya."
As the titular character Bhoy Intsik, he depicts a gay thief who considers a cemetery as his home. He initially hates another small-time felon named Marlon (played by Ronwaldo) but the two eventually develop a close bond.
Bhoy Intsik is one of the five finalists in the third edition of the Sinag
Maynila Film Festival. The entries are being shown from March 9 to 14 at SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, Gateway, and Glorietta 4 cinemas.
(Read: PEP Guide to Sinag Maynila 2017 entries)
To prepare for this movie directed by Joel Lamangan, RS immersed himself by talking with the people living in a cemetery in Cavite.
I spoke to the people there. I spoke to the badings. I spoke to the moms. I spoke to the bata. Yung mga bata doon na mga ano, paano ba dito, paano yung...
"Nameet ko doon yung mga bading...
"Tinanong ko sila, 'Paano yung mga lalaki niyo?' Of course, I have to ask kung paano bumu-booking, e, wala namang motel since they’re living inside the cemetery.
"Pag ganyang sementeryo, sa ganyang lugar, nitso, lapida and all...
"Mayroon palang mga bading na ganoon talaga. May nakatira sa nitso? May baklang ganyan? ‘Yon pala, may ganoon."
He also found out that this community has become a hotbed for criminal activities.
"Yung mga parang raket nila doon: holdapping, nagi-ssnatch...small crimes...petty crimes. Nangungupit nung offerings sa simbahan."
Since his character had to steal from his victims, how did he prepare to become a snatcher?
"Ang dali naman siguro manghablot," he said with a laugh.
"As an actor, ‘yon talaga, hindi na kailangan aralin. Alam mo, kasi noong bata ako, I lived in Cubao so I go to Farmer’s Cubao, sa Ali Mall, Nepa Q Mart, ay I’ve seen manlalaslas. Nakakakita na ako ng manlalaslas I’ve never done it but I’ve seen it."
RS pointed out that even though his character is a criminal, he shares his blessings with other people in the community.
"I play parang Robinhood. Nagkukuha ako sa mayayaman tapos pinapakain ko yung mga poor. I feed the poor."
RS said he was drawn to the film because, "Makikita mo yung redemption, makikita niyo...it got me thinking what the movie is about. It’s about sacrifice."
ON COCO MARTIN AND RONWALDO. RS and Ronwaldo's characters often clash but eventually, their bond develops into something similar as father-and-son.
Did Coco ever visit their set to look after his brother?
"Hindi pumupunta pero respeto pa rin. Sinasabihan how to do it. How to ganyan.
"Nagkaroon kami ng photo shoot for the press releases. Si Coco pa yung nag-ayos ng isusuot ni Ronwaldo. Pinicturan niya. Ito yung mga susuotin."
The theater actor gushed, "Bait, 'no? Sabi ko, ‘Ang bait naman ng kuya mo. Stylist pa.’
RS, whose real name is Raymond, ended up being the executive producer of this Sinag Maynila 2017 entry because he admits he is a "control freak."
RS recalled that he initially could not believe that he was handpicked to play the lead character in this indie film.
"Sabi ko, ‘Direk Joel, kaya ko ba maglead?’
"Kaya kong maglead sa mga plays. I do lead sa mga plays. Pero kaya ko bang maglead sa movie?"
RS then explained how he ended up producing this movie:
"I found out, ‘So you don’t have a producer yet.’ Sabi niya wala pa kaya sabi
ko, 'I’ll just produce it.'
"I’m doing it and it’s gonna be my first title role, lead role. E, gawin ko na lang din. Ako na magproduce.
"Para I can, kumbaga, control the production. I’m a medyo control freak, e."
KATHNIEL MOVIE. In the past, RS has chosen to portray characters who do not fall into the stereotypes usually associated with homosexuals.
"I can say that most of my roles dignify the gay male image. I don’t do roles that would make people look down on gays. I prefer those types na may magandang representation ng gay male.”
This is evident in his previous projects: the period drama Markova: Comfort Gay and the romance movie She’s The One. Later on, he became part of the teleseryes Magkaribal, Princess & I, and Dolce Amore.
This 2017, RS is working an upcoming Star Cinema movie.
Titled Can't Help Falling In Love, this movie features the Kathniel love team of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla as well as Matteo Guidicelli.
"Ang role ko doon, wedding coordinator," disclosed RS.
"I play the wedding coordinator ni Kathryn saka ni Matteo.
"Kathryn hired me as the best wedding coordinator tapos I met Matteo. Aayusin ko yung wedding nila and then may madidiscover sila. Basta yun na yung twist ng story."