First time ng female director na si Rory B. Quintos na makatrabaho ang isang foreign actor sa pelikula.
Ang Thai heartthrob na si Mario Maurer ang leading man ni Erich Gonzales sa romantic-comedy na Suddenly It’s Magic, na idinirek ni Rory.
Sa panayam ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) kay Direk Rory sa presscon ng Suddenly It’s Magic noong October 12, ikinumpara niya ang kanyang karanasan sa pakikipagtrabaho sa isang foreign actor at mga local talents.
Panimula niya, “Well, ang Filipino actors kasi or actresses, they have the same sensibilities, e.
“And then like, when you’re working with a foreign actor, medyo you have to learn.
“There’s a period of adjustment when you have to learn what’s this person like. What the kultura is like.
“But when you kinda know… when you kinda gel already, it’s practically the same.
“Kung Filipino ka, sasabihin mo lang one word na ganyan-ganyan, alam na kaagad nila."
Nabanggit din ni Direk Rory na bilib na bilib siya sa pagiging trouper ni Mario.
Kuwento niya, “Kasi nagkakaintindihan kayo, e. Like it’s simple as saying, ‘O, fishballs ka.’
“They already know how to eat fishball, alam na kaagad kung ano ang emotions na kasama.
“Unlike if you just tell a foreigner na, ‘O, kain ka ng fishball, you eat fishball…’ They don’t really know the sarap and stuff like that.
“With Pinoys, they built the sensibilities already.”
LOOKALIKE. Kumbinsido si Direk Rory na kamukha ni Mario ang isang yumaong local matinee idol.
“He reminds me of Rico Yan—he really, really does!
“The way he looks, the way he acts, yung pagka-childishness, yung pagka-intelihente noong batang yun.
“In fact, when we were shooting... there’s a video of Got 2 Believe, e.
“And I was telling him, ‘You know, Mario…’ I told him who Rico Yan was.
“I told him he was the number one superstar at the height of his career… he died in his sleep… ek-ek. ’He looks so much like you.’
“He reminds me so much of him… and tamang-tama, there was a tape of Got 2 Believe so he watched it.
“‘Oh, he looks like me!’ Oh, yeah, they’re really magkahawig…
“And he ended up watching the whole film.”
Ang Got 2 Believe ang 2002 film na pinagbidahan nina Rico at Claudine Barretto. Ito ang huling pelikula na tinampukan ni Rico bago siya bawian ng buhay noong March 29, 2002, sa edad na 27.
Hindi kaya reincarnation ni Rico Yan si Mario?
“Naku, ha?” napangiting reaksiyon ni Direk Rory.
“He really is... Hindi, may ibang mga scenes na I was telling Erich, ‘Oh, my God! He really looks like Rico Yan!’
“’Look at this scene…’ lalo na yung isang eksena na kamukhang-kamukha niya talaga si Rico Yan.”
Alam ba ni Mario kung ano ang kuwento ni Rico Yan?
“Alam niya. We told him the real story of Rico na he was big actor… he was the number one actor at that time and he died in his sleep.
“And he [Mario] said, ‘It’s so tragic and it’s so sad.’
“Siguro when he saw the video of Rico Yan, siguro sinabi nga niya na medyo kamukha nga niya…
“Talagang kamukhang-kamukha nga niya si Mario.”
WHERE IS MARIO? Bakit wala sa presscon si Mario?
“He’s busy with some projects, e.
“With some international projects and he would be able to come lang on the 29th [October] for the premiere.
“I think we’re gonna have another presscon on the 29th or something?” sabi ni Direk Rory.
Kaya ba nila kinuha si Mario para mai-release ang pelikula sa iba’t ibang bansa sa Asia kung saan kilala ang Thai actor?
“Star Cinema, really, is hoping.
“Yeah, it’s the goal really of Malou [Santos, managing director of Star Cinema] and ABS-CBN is to be global already, di ba?
“May goal talaga si Malou na to be able to go global, hindi lang regional.
“And since that’s the thrust already of the mother company, along with ABS-CBN, Malou gambled on this.
“So they researched on who was very famous here in Asia, and they found out Mario Maurer is the number one Asian superstar.
“So, they negotiated for quite sometime.
“Matagal yung negotiation nila, e… di ba a year?
“A year yung negotiation nila before, finally, they were be able to say yes.
“Nakailang balik yung story because the Thais wanted a story, they want a choice of the actress.
“So, finally, noong nabuo, and they gave us twenty-five shooting days.
“Actually, a Filipino film forty-plus, forty to forty-five days, e… all they gave us is twenty-five days.
“So, sabi nila, we have to do it, by hook or by crook. Kasi, this is our chance.”
Walang extension yung twenty-five shooting days.
"Walang extension kasi Mario has other international commitments."
Paano niya ginawa yung twenty-five shooting days sa Ilocos at sa Thailand?
“Hindi ko nga alam na twenty-five days noong una kaya…
“Sabi ko nga, ‘When you gave me this project, hindi naman ninyo sinabi na may limitations kayo.’
“Noong nalaman ko, nakapag-oo na ako.
“Kaya lang, what can I do?
“Of course, at the end, thank you to Star Cinema for entrusting this project to me.
“Pero talagang nahirapan talaga... sobra!
"Sobra akong na-pressure dito because of the time frame.”
NATURAL ACTOR. Paano niya napalabas ang acting ability ni Mario gayong first time lang nilang magsama sa trabaho?
“Natural na artista siya, e,” tugon ni Direk Rory.
“So, parang hindi mo na kailangang i-motivate or whatever—naiintindihan na niya kaagad.”
Ipinaliwanag din ni Direk Rory ang "twelve hours per working day" ni Mario na in-impose ng Thai staff sa Star Cinema.
“With regards to the twelve hours, really our goal… sabi nga nila, we cannot have actors who are mediocre.
“We have to cast good actors who will know their roles, who will study their roles ’coz we only have twenty-five days to do everything.
“Which is why we got the actors that we did… like si Ces [Quesada], matagal ko nang kakilala, college pa.
“Si Dion [Masanto] nakasama ko na. At least si Cacai… yun.
“Talagang, ‘Sino dito ang magaling? Sino ang fun to work with, easy to work with… would be able to work with the conditions that we have?’”
May isang eskena sa trailer ng movie na hahawak si Mario sa breasts ni Erich.
Hindi ba off ito sa culture ng mga Thai?
“Medyo sa culture nila, oo. Medyo sa culture nila, oo…” sabi ni Direk Rory.
“Noong nag-story conference kami sa Bangkok, ‘Hey, there’s a scene that you have to hold the boobs of Erich.’
“So, medyo nahiya-hiya siya [Mario].
“I don’t know what he was saying to his… they were speaking in Thai.
“Sabi ko, ‘But that’s necessary.’
“He’s an actor. He’ll do what is necessary. And he’s such a gentleman, I have to say…”
ERICH GONZALES. Hindi ang Suddenly It’s Magic ang unang directorial project ni Direk Rory na artista niya si Erich.
Naidirek na rin niya ito sa dating teleseryeng Maria La Del Barrio ng ABS-CBN.
Ano ang kaibahan ng acting ni Erich sa serye at sa lalabas niyang movie?
“Well, in Maria Del Barrio kasi, she was like a kid na matapang kahit ano… di ba, she’d fight?
“This is more mature, more sensual.
“And then because this is a more mature story of love… so her character is definitely more mature and she added a lot of depth in this movie,” kumpara ni Direk Rory.