Movies delving into the complicated relationships of wives, husbands, and mistresses have been part of local pop culture for decades, but the upcoming film The Significant Other on February 21 promises to put a new spin to the well-established genre.
Directed by Joel Lamangan and starring Lovi Poe, Tom Rodriguez, and Erich Gonzales, the sexy drama film uses a non-linear narrative.
Says Tom, “Ang maganda sa story may mga eksena para siyang candy bar. It keeps going back to key moments. Hindi siya yong nakakawalang gana. Para siyang candy bar na every time you peel a wrapper off, you’ll see another element ng eksena na 'yon nako-contextualize 'yong relationship between these three people.”
Screenwriter Eric Ramos, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jerry Gracio, points out: “This is a familiar story. Maraming elements na napanood na natin lahat. Ang challenge sa akin is to make the old familiar story fresh. I overhauled the plot. Kung ipi-pitch mo ito sa producer, it’s Magkaribal meets No Other Woman. Hindi kami nag ulit basta ng kwento. Iniba naming yong recipe.”
The movie gives Tom a new opportunity to work with Lovi, whom he calls his “favorite fake wife,” and Erich, whom he last worked with when he was still with ABS-CBN.
Tom says about his character in The Significant Other, "I play Dr. Edward Santillan. Isa siyang cosmetic surgeon. He thinks he is one of the best in his field. Medyo mayabang siya and he's pretty secure in himself. He has a relationship with one of the top supermodels in the industry [played by Lovi Poe] kaya para sa kanya, nakakadagdag sa machismo niya.
"Until the comfort in the relationship made things change. Hindi na niya nararamdaman sa sarili niya ang ego niya or pride niya kaya nakuha niya sa ibang paraan."
The film courted controversy last year when a video of Erich crying in between takes circulated on social media, her white dress stained with blood (Erich’s hand accidentally hit one of Lovi’s earrings during a slap, with the jewelry slicing through the former’s skin).
Speaking to Lovi, Tom says jokingly, “Parehong mabigat ang kamay ninyo. Nagkapasa na ako sa iyo dati. Akala ko imposible kasi kutis kargador ako. Hindi ako pasain. Ikaw, napapasa mo na ako!”
He continues, “Eto na lang mahirap makakuha ng scale or barometer para sa sampalan nila sa isa't-isa pero ako bilang isang lalaki na nasampal na nilang pareho, masasabi ko lang malakas silang parehong manampal. Malakas talaga sila manampal.”
Referring to Erich and Lovi’s heated scene, he says, “No it’s just a testament to how they work, how they give it all out. That couldn’t have happened any other way.”
ON LOVE SCENES WITH LOVI, ERICH. In an earlier press conference, Tom opened up talked about the difficulties of shooting intimate scenes.
"Ang hirap gawin ng love scenes because you're in a very unnatural environment.
"Pag makita mo sa screen, it feels so intimate and so raw and it feels so real.
"It wouldn't be that way if we didn't have a great helmsman and that's why I thank Direk Joel [Lamangan] for that.
"Pag pinapanood mo talaga ang mga previews after, the way they light the scene, the way they frame it, they move the cameras..."
How does Tom feel about being the object of affection of two women?
"Siguro mali i-admit pero sa pelikula pa nga lang, nakakapump na ng chest mo, paano pa kaya sa totoong buhay?
"Sorry ha. I know it's the wrong thing to say but that's just the initial reaction. You feel a bit of ego," Tom candidly admits.