Dawn Zulueta wants to go on "helping our industry do good films"

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"I'm not in it for the money. I'm in it because I like my work and I would still like to continue also helping our industry do good films. So, this is my first indie movie and I feel honored to be doing it," says Dawn Zulueta about acting in her first indie film Sigwa

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Matutuwa ang mga tagahanga ni Dawn Zulueta dahil sa kasalukuyan ay abala sa paggawa ng pelikula ang award-winning actress. Ito'y sa pamamagitan ng independent movie na Sigwa, entry sa gaganaping Cinemalaya Film Festival and Competition (Open Category) sa July 2010, mula sa direksiyon ni Joel Lamangan.

Nakausap ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Dawn nang magkaroon ng story conference at sa unang araw ng shooting ng Sigwa. Buong maghapon ang shooting niya sa Baseco compound, isang lugar ng mahihirap sa Maynila.

"It's so depressing," banggit ni Dawn tungkol sa abject poverty na bahagi ng kuwento. Dito'y ginagampanan ng aktres ang papel ng isang dating aktibista na nag-migrate sa U.S. at nagbalik sa Pilipinas matapos ang tatlong dekada upang muling buuin ang grupo nilang student activists na mayroon nang iba't ibang buhay.

Tinanong ng PEP kung bakit bihira nang lumabas sa pelikula si Dawn.

"My last movie was Magkaibigan," ani Dawn tungkol sa Metro Manila Filmfest 2008 entry na idinirek ni Jose Javier Reyes. "And then I got pregnant, so I had to wait [again for a new movie offer]. I really want to do more films, it's just that the projects are not what I want to do. Kaya madalang. Kasi namimili ako, e."

Hindi nagdalawang-isip si Dawn nang aluking gumanap sa isa sa mga pangunahing papel sa Sigwa.

"Nabasa ko yung synopsis and I find the subject-title very interesting," wika ng aktres. "Of course, I wanna work with Direk Joel again. Plus, matagal ko nang sinasabi na I've always wanted to participate in indies...the Cinemalaya, because it's helping the [movie] industry.

"I mean, I'm not in it for the money," patuloy ni Dawn. "I'm in it because I like my work and I would still like to continue also helping our industry do good films. So, this is my first indie movie and I feel honored to be doing it."

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Huling nagkatrabaho sina Dawn at Direk Joel sa pelikulang Filipinas noong 2003.

CHANGE OF ACTING STYLE. Nais din ni Dawn na umayon sa pagbabago ng local movie industry sa pamamagitan ng pagganap na mas maa-appreciate ng makabagong manonood.

"Like in terms of performance kasi, I've started to change my style. It's no longer like high octane," sabi niya. Naaayon din ito sa gustong makita ni Direk Joel sa kanyang mga artista sa Sigwa.

Kabilang sa cast sina Zsa Zsa Padilla, Tirso Cruz III, Allen Dizon, Gina Alajar, Jim Pebanco, at ang mga kabataang magsisiganap, like Megan Young bilang teenager na character ni Dawn, Pauleen Luna, Marvin Agustin, Lovi Poe, Rico Barrera, Jay Aquitania, among others.

"If you notice, my work of late... I mean, since I did Magkaibigan or Filipinas... my past recent works, it's really an effort also to do better in my performance, and I'm close...as much as possible, closer to a real person.

"How hard kasi nung dalaga pa ako, sunud-sunod yung mga pelikula na ginagawa ko. Hindi ako halos... I didn't have so much time for myself anymore to go introspective and see how I can still improve on the character," pagbabalik-tanaw ni Dawn.

Noong '90s, gumanap ang aktres sa mga pelikula ng mga tanyag na direktor, tulad ng Una Kang Naging Akin ni Laurice Guillen, Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit and Saan Ka Man Naroroon ni Carlos Siguion-Reyna, at Kung Mawawala Ka Pa ni Jose Mari Avellana.

Maganda man ang naging bunga ng mga performance niya, para kay Dawn ay kulang pa rin ang naibahagi niya bilang aktres. Hindi niya raw naibigay ang lubusang panahon para sa mas masusing pag-aaral sa ginampanang tauhan o karakter.

"You're just in it, parang, 'Let's do and finish the film,'" sabi pa ng aktres. "Now, I've matured, after getting married. I took time off and all that. And I have really begun to see what I am missing."

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With maturity comes a more introspective actress, richer in terms of insight and experience.

"I feel [that] I am richer in my perspective...sa mundo ko, sa vision ko. So, meron akong bago na puwedeng i-offer at puwedeng ipakita sa screen. And that lately is my goal, not just accepting whatever comes my way. But really to choose the kinds of roles that I really would like to portray."

PRIVATE LIFE. Sa kanyang pribadong mundo ay walang pag-aalinlangang maligaya si Dawn Zulueta—o Rachel Zalman Taleon-Lagdameo, half-Filipina, half-Lebanese.

"Yes. I am very happy with my private life," nakangiting banggit niya. "Talagang lumagay na sa tahimik."

With her politician husband, Rep. Antonio Lagdameo of Davao del Norte, ay may dalawang anak si Dawn: Jacobo, 4 years old, at Ayeesha, 8 months old.

Of Rep. Lagdameo, nabanggit ni Dawn na tumatakbo itong muli sa pagka-kongresista.

"Second term na niya as Congressman [2nd District, Davao del Norte]," aniya. "Although he's running unopposed. Wala naman kaming kalaban, pero nangangampanya pa rin kami."

Buo raw ang pagtulong niya sa kandidatura ng asawa kaya inayos ang shooting schedule ng Sigwa para sa campaign period ngayong Marso.

FOR GIBO. Nabanggit din ni Dawn ang pagsuporta nila ni Anton sa isang presidentiable sa halalan sa May 2010.

"Nangangampanya rin kami for our president, Gilbert Teodoro," ani Dawn. "Kaya busy tayo this summer. Sinabi ko na 'yan kay Direk [Joel Lamangan] kaya sang-ayon nga siya na matatapos kami [by the end of this month]."

Dagdag niya, "I believe in Gilbert Teodoro, not because he's the administration candidate [of Lakas-Kampi-CMD]. He's good, he's good!"

Ang talent manager ni Dawn na si Boy Abunda ay sumusuporta naman sa kandidato ng Liberal Party na si Noynoy Aquino. Wala bang conflict na ibinunga ito sa ugnayan nila bilang talent at manager?

"Hindi naman kami nagpapakialaman," sagot ni Dawn. "We respect each other's choices and we don't force anything on each other. At saka just because he's from the other camp doesn't mean, 'O, sige hindi muna tayo friends!' Hindi naman kami gano'n, e. Childishness naman yun. It's just that we respect what our choices are."

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