Kumpirmado nang sasabak sa isang Cinemalaya 2013 New Breed section entry ang tinaguriang ‘La Greta’ ng Philippine showbiz na si Gretchen Barretto.
Matatandaang isa si Gretchen sa aktibong sumusuporta sa taunang film festival bilang ang partner nitong si Tonyboy Cojuangco ang nagsisilbing chairman ng Cinemalaya Foundation.
Sa ulat ni Edwin Sallan ng InterAksyon.com, ang online news portal ng TV5 ngayong araw, February 2, kinumpirma na nga ng director ng The Diplomat Hotel na si Christopher Ad Castillo na pumayag na si Gretchen na magbida sa kanyang pelikula.
Aniya, “Yes, Gretchen Barretto will star in the film and she’s going to play Victoria, the disgraced reporter who maniacally seeks redemption by taking a documentary crew to The Diplomat Hotel to talk about its haunted and evil past.”
Dagdag pa sa ulat, “It’s not a very easy role and it demands going deep down into your own psyche and pulling it out to meld with a character who had it all and in an instant becomes a pariah.
“There’s blood, sweat, and tears in this role.”
Ayon pa daw kay Direk Christopher, si Gretchen daw ang top choice nila to play the role.
Dagdag pa niya, “People told me it was a long shot to get her. But you always have to go for it. She’s a great actress and I love how she’s handled her public persona all these years which is never easy.
“And of course to me, she embodied Victoria both in looks and sensitivity.”
ATTY. JOJI ALONSO. Malaking tulong daw kay direk at sa producer niyang si Alemberg Ang ang pagkasali sa kanilang grupo ng indie producer na si Atty. Joji Alonso.
Dagdag pa niya, “When Alemberg and I talked about producers, we only had one person that we wanted to approach based on her track record and her love of cinema.
“That was Atty Joji Alonso.
“She was the one that was going to do justice to the film.
“And after reading my script, she brought her own ideas and suggestions that made it into the final draft and made the film and its terror more gripping.”
After daw mabasa ni Atty. Joji ang script, si Gretchen din daw ang pumasok sa isip nitong bagay sa role.
Pero parang nagdadalawang isip pa daw siya kung paano nila mapapayag si Greta.
Samantala, nag-offer naman daw ang kaibigan niyang si Alma Concepcion na siyang kakausap sa actress.
HELP FROM DAD. Sa mga panahong yun daw, ay humingi si Christopher ng payo mula sa kanyang namayapang ama – ang batikang director na si Celso Ad Castillo.
Dagdag pa sa ulat, “That was a couple of days ago. I spoke to my father in my thoughts, and I asked him that I needed a sign and clarification from him. I needed and asked for his help.
“And an hour later, Alemberg advised me that he had been called into a meeting. That was the sign I needed.”
“Gretchen, Atty. Joji and Alemberg then met (in Manila) and I went to bed since it was midnight in Los Angeles.
“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen but I believed that after all the personal pain connected with me in this project, this was going to work. My father was guiding me,” detalye niyang kuwento
SLEEPLESS IN L.A. Isang madaling araw daw habang nasa Los Angeles, nag-check ng kanyang Facebook si direk at sobra daw siyang natuwa sa mensahe ni Ate Joji.
Dagdag pa niya, “And there it was...
“Atty. Joji had posted that Gretchen was in. There was my clarification.
“I don’t know what happened in that meeting, and I’m not sure I want to since to me, it was magic. Making a film is magic.”
“Atty. Joji’s determination is the realization of us having Gretchen and Alemberg’s drive and sacrifice of not sleeping made sure that we did not go off course.
“I just wrote a story that I hope will resonate with people.”
Pagtatapos pa ni Direk Chris, “And now Ms. Gretchen Barretto is Victoria in The Diplomat Hotel.”