Throughout his career as an actor, Xian Lim has memorized so many lines, put on numerous costumes, and gotten into characters in front of the cameras. And yet, there are roles that he still wanted to portray.
Xian admitted that there’s a long way to go in terms of his acting career and he can never depart from being an actor. But instead of chasing those movie and television characters that he hasn’t played yet, he is immersing himself in work behind the camera.
“Being able to create a world – create something out of nothing – gives me a different high. Working behind the camera allows me to channel all my frustrations as an actor through writing and directing,” the 33-year-old actor told Manila Standard Entertainment in an interview during the press conference for Hello, Universe!.
“Having an opportunity to tell a story, to write, and to be part of every step of the filmmaking process is another kind of fulfillment. Am looking forward to making more of these stories,” Xian carried on.
His directorial debut Tabon (2019) was part of the Cinemalaya Film festival. And that experience allowed him to embrace the role that enables him to look at a movie project from a different perspective.
“Being called a director gives me the greatest thrill,” Xian added. “I am more excited when I hear the word director because it’s what I really wanted to be since the very beginning.”
Xian’s second directorial movie is a comedy that stars Janno Gibbs, Anjo Yllana, Benjie Paras, Maui Taylor, and Sunshine Guimary.
“I created this film not just to entertain but to also uplift the audience. This is the kind of film that I himself will want to watch,” he said.
In the movie, Janno Gibbs plays Ariel who is married to his high school sweetheart (Maui Taylor), father to a sweet and hardworking young lady (Madelaine Red), works as a quality inspector in a fertilizer company, and now experiencing midlife crisis.
Ariel feels that if only he had made that winning shot during a crucial basketball game back in high school, his life would have turned out way better. He is particularly envious of his former rival who is now a famous and wealthy basketball coach. Luckily, Ariel’s best friend Rocky (Anjo Yllana), is always there to cheer him up every time his thoughts are filled with “should have, could have, would have”.
But as they say, repeated thoughts are a great magnet and the universe conspires to help you achieve your dreams. In the case of Ariel, it takes a magical figure named Jessie (Benjie Paras), with a futuristic jeepney, to let him live the life he’s always dreamed of – in an alternate universe.
In his new reality, Ariel finds himself with a new wife (Sunshine Guimary), a new daughter (Majo Lingat), but still with the same old foes, Mac Morales (Gene Padilla), his arch nemesis in basketball, and Leeroy (MJ Cayabyab), the manager at the fertilizer company.
From Viva Films, Hello, Universe! opens in cinemas on January 25.