BATANGAS Governor Vilma Santos-Recto admits she had fears before she started shooting for her currently showing indie film, Ekstra, that earned for her the Best Actress trophy in the recently-concluded Cinemalaya Film Festival.
“First of all, my concern was, would I really look credible as a film extra? There was also the possibility that my fellow actors who were extras in real life might get star-struck with me and that would reflect in our scenes. Even in the way I delivered my lines, it should be appropriate for the character of Loida Malabanan. Of course, the main character’s being deglamorized was also a huge consideration.
“It was my first indie project so I also wanted it to come out well. Thanks to the whole production team because the finished product turned out to be a real gem! I’m thankful to Star Cinema and Quantum for taking a gamble on this project and Jeffrey Jeturian for guiding me in my interpretation of the role. This was really unforgettable for me,” she says.
Before she accepted the project, some tried to discourage her.
“I weighed their opinions. For one, they said that indie movies have limited audience and it would not be good for my status. But I took it as a challenge. Among the many scripts offered to me, I instantly fell in love with Ekstra. It was really something new for me. In fact, the talent fee was no issue to me since I know the budget for indie movies isn’t that huge.
“We shot the film in just 12 days and I’m glad that my producers and director adjusted to the schedule I gave them. They were very understanding. They knew my political duties in Batangas. So when my day was really free like Saturday, we maximized our shooting hours. I’m really glad we finished the film without problems.”
Considering her countless trophies, does her Cinemalaya triumph still excite her?
“I’m very proud of my Best Actress trophy. Unlike the common notion that I don’t get excited anymore in receiving acting recognition, I still got thrilled with this one. This is my first indie movie and Cinemalaya recognized my work. The fulfillment is different. I’m simply honored!”
With Ekstra, the Star for all Season achieved another milestone in her acting career.“Acting is a continuous learning process. For true thespians, there is no big or small role. You just can’t be content because you’ve already won past accolades. The more you should feel challenged to try and experiment on new offerings. One thing more, in my 50 years in the ‘biz, in my own little way, Ekstra is my tribute to one of the local entertainment industry’s unsung heroes,” ends Vilma.
Marian Rivera doesn’t entertain the thought of being pitted against Carla Abellana at this point when the latter’s currently airing soap My Husband’s Lover is a commercial and critical hit.
“Honestly, I’m happy for her. We are part of the same home studio so we shouldn’t be competing with each other. Instead, we should help each other. It’s a joy to see that GMA is able to build female leads amid the stiff competition. Carla and I are lucky to be given landmark roles so we should just be thankful.
“Especially now that her soap is doing so well, the more that we should support her. It is GMA’s success. And being a Kapuso talent, I’m also part of that triumph, right? So as I’ve said, as GMA talents, there should be no competition between us,” she says.
She recently renewed her contract with GMA which will run for three years. This ended speculations that she would transfer to TV5.
“That’s right! I’m still a Kapuso! I’m very excited because there are a lot of projects I will do starting this quarter until next year. My team and I will sit together with the management as we explore on the type of programs I will star in. What’s good with my new contract is that I am allowed to choose my shows.”
She has almost done everything from fantasy to action to comedy to drama to epic. Does she have any particular genre in mind she wishes to explore this time?
“Any, as long as it’s real good. Based on our initial meeting, my next big offering is a heavy material which requires long preparation. This early, I’m simply excited!”
With her contract renewal, she remains as GMA’s Prime Time Queen.
“Well…thank you! But that title, I didn’t ask for that. GMA gave it to me. Of course, it’s flattering but it also entails a huge responsibility. I’m here to work and hone my craft so I always give it my best,” avers Marian.