Arci Muñoz challenges her own beauty and physicality in her role as "cat woman"

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Arci Muñoz physically goes through a lot to look like Felina (inset). From head to toe, Arci is made to wear a thick red wig, green "cat's eye" contact lenses, layers of face and body paint, and a body suit full of fur! So how does she endure all this? "Kapag gusto mo talaga 'yong ginagawa mo walang mahirap," she says.


Arci Muñoz takes on the role of a kind-hearted lady born with a unique cat-like appearance in TV5's new series Felina: Prinsesa ng mga Pusa.

Given all her previous kontrabida roles, the 23-year-old actress says this is something she hasn't done before.

In an interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during TV5's trade launch on February 15 at the NBC Tent, The Fort, she remarks, "Ako gusto ko kasi ng challenge sa lahat ng roles na gagawin ko.

"Gusto ko every character iba talaga, iba-iba 'yong role na gagampanan ko. So dito siyempre, medyo mahirap dahil sa costume, pero 'yon lang.

"Kung sa getting into character hindi naman ako nahihirapan kasi sinu-suportahan din ako ng mga co-artists ko. So they're always there to motivate me.

"At saka naniniwala ako na kapag gusto mo talaga 'yong ginagawa mo walang mahirap, e. So masaya ako, hindi ako nahihirapan sa kanila."

MAKEUP AND COSTUME. She mentions her struggles in putting on her costume for the show.

What exactly does she have to go through to achieve her feline look?

"Sa make-up siyempre, meron akong face paint and then they do body paint as well.

"I have this catsuit na puro balahibo na mukha akong carpet.

"And then the hair, I have to wear this red wig. 'Tapos nagco-contacts [lenses] din ako ng green, 'yong cat's eyes."

Where did the stylists get their inspiration for this look?

"We have this peg, si Tigra, Marvel [comics] character siya, so parang may tiger lines siya na stripes 'tapos red 'yong buhok niya.

"Doon namin actually binase 'yong character ni Felina, 'yong look niya, 'yong magiging itsura niya.

"Kasi hindi kami masyadong...kasi during the time na nagsa-start kami ng taping, hindi kami masyadong nakapag-prepare, so hindi kami nakapag-costume [testing].

"So habang nagte-take kami, do'n namin tinitingnan kung ano 'yong puwede pa naming i-enhance kay Felina."

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It takes at least an hour for Arci to get into her full costume, which she wears for long hours on set.

One can only imagine how grueling it must be for her skin to take in all those elements.

Not to mention, she does numerous retouches as the face paint usually wears off due to heat.

So how does Arci keep her skin healthy after wearing layers of face paint all day?

"Basta I make sure every after taping I take off my make-up, siyempre, 'tapos hinuhugasan ko siya. Iyon lang, then I moisturize."

The Kapatid star also points out how lucky she is that she did not have to use prosthetics on the show.

"Kasi mas mahirap actually prosthetics, e, kesa sa make-up.

"Ito make-up lang, mas madaling tanggalin. Iyong prosthetics ang dami, e, ang hirap pa tanggalin, 'tapos ang baho pa ng pandikit."

HAIR PROBLEMS. Besides warding off skin problems, Arci also worries about hair damage.

"Sa hair, dahil lagi akong naka-wig, medyo nagkakaroon ako ng falling hair. Pero wala akong magawa, e.

"Pero patapos naman na kami, so doon siguro ako magpapahinga ng ulo."

Once her taping days are over, Arci plans to get full-on salon treatments to bring life back to her hair.

STUNTS. Another challenge for Arci is to make sure her moves resemble the cat's quick reflexes.

One scene had Arci jumping over a moving truck.

She relates that she did the stunt herself with the help of a double harness.

Did she undergo specific training for her stunts?

"Hindi, hindi...Kasi 'di ba dapat airing kami ng October [last year]?

"So during that time no'ng nagshu-shoot kami we were rushing things.

"So nagmamadali kami na tapusin so hindi kami nakapag-prepare ng mga training kasi biglaan din, e."

Good thing Arci has a background in Muay Thai, plus, she also jogs constantly.

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Arci says coming home with bruises after shooting her action scenes has become a common occurrence.

"Puro pasa talaga pero hinahayaan ko lang kasi parang battle scars ko na 'yon."

When asked if she regrets taking on such a physically-taxing role, Arci's reply:

"Sana 'yong next show ko iyong parang mala-Angelina Jolie," referring to the Hollywood actress who became famous for playing Lara Croft.


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