Kristoffer Martin, who is a part of YES! Magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful Stars for two years in a row now, was at the press launch of the annual star catalogue held at the Richmonde Hotel, Eastwood, Quezon City, yesterday, July 2.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) had a brief chat with the 17-year-old actor who also recently took on a role in his first independent film.
Kristoffer stars with Kristoffer King and Tanya Gomez in the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival entry, Oros, to be screened in competition from July 20 to 29.
"First indie [film] ko at Cinemalaya na agad," initially states the GMA-7 talent.
"So, sobrang natutuwa ako kasi kinuha ako ni Direk Paul Sta. Ana."
Oros depicts the exploitation of the dead by the purchase of an unidentified cadaver to be eventually displayed in a fake wake. During the staged wake, gambling becomes a lucrative activity where individuals earn easy money by participating in various games of chance such as bingo, tong-its, and sakla.
(CLICK HERE to read all about the 2012 Cinemalaya full-length entries)
Kristoffer tells that the shoot in Baseco, Tondo was a remarkable experience for him: "Lahat kami parang naninibago. Ako, lalo naninibago kasi first time ko dun."
If anything, the Tondo environment initially scared him.
The young actor explains, "Kasi ‘pag sinabi mong Tondo, di ba? Matatapang na tao. ’Tapos, ito pa. Tuwing nagshu-shoot kami, nababalitaan ko… laging may namamatay. Pero hindi naman sa [set] namin."
He relays the horrific crime stories in Tondo he heard while they were shooting Oros: "May [mga] nababaril. Ganun daw, so natatakot ako."
He, nonetheless, did not let his fears get in the way of his acting. "Masaya naman," states Kristoffer.
In the film, Kristoffer is Abet, the younger brother of a sakla operator named Makoy (Kristoffer King). It is Makoy who buys a cadaver sold to him by a funeral parlor. While Abet is reluctant to participate in the illegal activity, the brothers hold a three-week-long funeral where all sorts of gambling, including the saklaan, transpire.
The film may expose the filth of society but Kristoffer mentions that his character presents a redeeming factor to the plot.
"Pero si Abet, yung role ko dito, may hope… magagawan ng paraan… makakaahon kami.
"At mas magandang paraan [yung] sa legal na paraan, na hindi rumerenta ng patay."
The conflict between the two brothers in the film will root from Abet’s insistence of putting up an eatery, or a karenderia, instead of being a kasero like Makoy.
RUNNING IN TONDO. The seven-day shoot in Baseco, Tondo is poignant in Kristoffer’s head.
"Ang init, sobra! Tapos yung ambience ng lugar… kakaiba, mabaho, pero masasanay ka rin…"
He describes a scene he found most challenging: "Sobrang na-drain ako kasi tumakbo ako nang nakapaa. Tineyp [tape] yun ng 10 a.m. Sobrang init na nun, so medyo [mataas] na yung araw."
The chase scene took about seven takes, tells Kristoffer. "Tumakbo akong naka-paa sa rough road. Tapos nakatapak ako sa kanal, mga ganun.
"[Pero] okay lang yun. Part siya nung [movie] para mapaganda!"
Catch Oros at the 2012 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival to be held from July 20 to 29 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and in selected cinemas in Greenbelt, Makati City and in Trinoma, Quezon City.
Kristoffer will also be seen in the second book of GMA-7 primetime series Luna Blanca, where he will be paired with Barbie Forteza.