Actor-director-producer Ace Cruz wants to represent Philippines in Hollywood

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"To be here is a great feeling. I'm proud to be Filipino. I want to be the first Filipino director to represent the Philippines in Hollywood, like how John Woo represents China in Hollywood. That's been my goal for a long time," says Ace Cruz.


Excited ang Hollywood-based Filipino producer-director-actor na si Ace Cruz dahil ang latest sci-fi-action-thriller movie niyang Outrage ay maipalalabas na dito sa Pilipinas starting with its premiere sa August 14 sa SM Megamall.

Nagkaroon ng pagkakataon ang PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) na ma-interview si Ace sa presscon ng Outrage na ginanap last July 19 sa Annabel's restaurant. Nandito nga siya sa bansa para i-promote ang kanyang pelikula.

"I'm very excited especially coming back to the Philippines. After 14 years, finally I'm back home to release a film that I did in Hollywood. To be here is a great feeling. I'm proud to be Filipino. I want to be the first Filipino director to represent the Philippines in Hollywood, like how John Woo represents China in Hollywood. That's been my goal for a long time," pahayag ni Ace.

Pahapyaw ding ikinuwento ni Ace kung tungkol saan ang Outrage.

"Outrage is about a woman who inherits a lot of money. And a bad man wants to take it from her. So, there's cat and mouse chase in the woods where she gets away. In the run, she meets a healer, a spiritual being in the woods that teaches her the law of attraction. The reason why you have all the bad things in your life is because of what you have in your heart which is full of anger. You have to let go of your anger in order for positive things to happen in your life. And the bad man will no longer follow you around."

Patunay lang na maganda ang pagkagawa ng pelikulang ito, na co-produced ni Ace with Paul D'Agnese, ay ang pagkapanalo nito ng Best Sci-Fi Picture Award sa Action on Film (AOF) International Festival na ginanap sa Pasadena noong 2009. Napili rin ang pelikulang ito na maipalabas sa most recent Cannes International Film Festival kung saan ito nakatanggap ng mga papuri sa mga manonood.

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Tampok sa Outrage sina Michael Madsen (Kill Bill, Free Willy, Species), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), Natasha Lyonne (American Pie), Katie Fountain, Derek Lee Nixon (The Jerk Theory), Ken Lesco (Star Trek), at siyempre si Ace bilang si Trey, na isa sa mga kaibigan ng bidang babae.

PINOY ACTOR IN THE '90S. Sa mga hindi nakakaalam, bago nagkaroon ng career bilang Hollywood producer, director at actor si Ace ay naging artista muna siya sa Pilipinas. Na-discover siya ng veteran talent manager na si Alfie Lorenzo.

Ilan sa mga Pinoy movies na tinampukan niya ay ang mga sumusunod: Mistah with Robin and Rustom Padilla; Sa 'Yo Lamang with Richard Gomez and Aiko Melendez; Sana'y Mahalin Mo Rin Ako with April Boys Vingo and Jimmy Regino, Vina Morales and Donita Rose.

Kuwento ni Ace, "Tito Alfie discovered me in 1992. I became a Viva contract star. Then I left in 1996 and went back to film school in the U.S. Then I started acting, directing and producing my own films. And I have done six movies. And now after 14 years, I'm back in the Philippines."

Bukod sa Outrage, ang iba pang pelikulang nagawa niya sa Hollywood as a producer, director at actor ay ang Last Chance co-starring with Todd Bridges (Different Strokes), Urban Task Force, Psychotic with Sam Jones (Flash Gordon), Fate with Lee Majors (Six Million Dollar Man), at The Golem.

Ipinanganak si Ace sa Manila noong 1966 sa kanyang mga magulang na Pinoy, sina Bing at Yolie Cruz-Herrera. Nag-migrate sila ng pamilya niya sa Los Angeles noong three years old pa lang siya. Nag-aral siya sa IHM elementary school sa Los Angeles, tapos ay sa LeConte Jr. High, at sa John Marshall High School. Nagkolehiyo siya sa University of Southern California taking up Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Drama. After graduating sa college ay nag-produce na siya ng stage plays kung saan naging aktor din siya.

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Sa isang U.S. stage play siya na-discover ni Alfie Lorenzo at dinala sa Pilipinas para mag-artista. Matapos gumawa ng ilang pelikula ay bumalik siya sa States para muling mag-aral sa USC Film School hanggang sa maitayo na nga niya ang sarili niyang production company, ang Spirit Films. And the rest is history, ika nga.

NEXT MOVIE. Sa ngayon ay binubuo na ni Ace ang follow-up movie niya sa Outrage na may working title na The Wishing Well.

"The Wishing Well is something that I want to put into the Cannes Film Festival or the Oscars," sabi ni Ace. "My ideal person to play the lead role is Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical because she is half-Filipina. The role requires a half-Filipina, so it's perfect for Vanessa."

Nakapili na rin siya ng lokasyon para rito at ito nga ay ang isla ng Boracay dito sa Pilipinas.

"I want to shoot it here. That's why I'm in Boracay now and I'm starting to come up with ideas and scenes on how the movie will run. It's like Memoirs of a Geisha, Slumdog Millionaire, August Rush, put in one. It's an inspirational film with drama."

Posible rin daw kumuha siya ng local actors sa Pilipinas para maisama sa cast ng The Wishing Well.

"I want to do that if possible. But I'll be particularly writing the script for Vanessa Hudgens. She's my leading lady. Then around that, I can get local actors. I don't know who yet. But people like Cesar Montano, Raymond Bagatsing, Alvin Anson, and people I know can come in handy," sabi niya.

WANTS TO DIRECT JUDY ANN. Kung mabibigyan daw siya ng pagkakataon, gusto rin daw ni Ace na makapagdirek ng isang purely Pinoy movie at mayroon na siyang nasa isip na gawing bida rito.

"I'd like to direct Judy Ann Santos someday," sabi niya. "I've known her since she was 14 years old because of Tito Alfie. I know how she works. She can emote very well. I can see in her eyes the drama that she goes through. She is very well-equipped as an actress."

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Posible rin daw mai-cast niya si Judy Ann sa gagawin niyang Hollywood movie in the future.

"I'm sure if there's a role that I can put her in, you know, it depends on whatever script that I'm pushing together. So, maybe by the time I'm writing, maybe I can come up with a story set in the Philippines which will be perfect for Judy Ann."

Dahil mauuna nga niyang gawin ang The Wishing Well, malamang daw kapag nakagawa na siya ng script para kay Juday ay nakabalik na sa showbiz ang aktres matapos nitong makapanganak sa Oktubre.


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