Richard replaces Dennis in 'Mano Po 5' cast



IT was previously reported that Dennis Trillo would topbill Mano Po 5: Gua Ai Di (I Love You) alongside Angel Locsin. In a surprising turn of events, Richard Gutierrez was announced as the screen partner of Angel in this movie produced by Regal Entertainment.

Annabel Rama, Richard’s mother and manager, emphasized that they did not snatch the role away from Dennis. Annabel said in media interviews the role was offered to Richard and that no one from their camp had exerted any influence on the producers. She is thankful to the producer, Regal Entertainment, for including Richard in the film’s cast.

In a separate interview, Richard mentioned that he never really wanted to make movies this year because he wanted to concentrate on his fantaserye Captain Barbell. He also said that he is in good terms with Dennis, who was a co-star in Mulawin. Mano Po 5 will participate in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival.

The camp of Dennis has remained mum regarding the issue.

According to Manny Valera, Regal’s line producer for the film, the cast change was a “non-issue.” In an interview, Manny said Regal matriarch Mother Lily Monteverde wanted a reunion of the Richard-Angel tandem – the formula that produced successful movies like Let the Love Begin, Sigaw and I Will Always Love You, and the television top-rater Mulawin.

Valera added they had communicated with Dennis regarding the change and said he had no problem with it.

In the movie, Angel comes from a wealthy Chinoy family and falls in love with a middle-class veterinarian played by Richard. Their love story is seemingly doomed because Richard does not have Chinese blood in his veins and Angel is arranged to be married to a pure-blooded Chinese played by Christian Bautista. This is the debut movie of the singer dubbed as “Asia’s Pop Idol.”

Other cast members include Boots Anson-Roa, Joel Torre, Dina Bonnevie, Gina Alajar, Michelle Madrigal, Ethel Booba, Ketchup Eusebio, Tony Mabesa, AJ Dee, and newcomer Joyce So.

(With reports from People's Journal, October 3, 2006)

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