MATTEO Guidicelli plays the lead role of a dedicated Muslim soldier who belongs to the Special Action Force (SAF) in the big-budgeted action-drama “Across the Crescent Moon,” written, produced and directed by Baby Nebrida, and turns Matteo into a full-fledged action star.
“I trained hard for my role and I did the stunts and action scenes myself,” he says. “The movie gave me the chance to work with Tito Christopher de Leon for the first time, whom I really admire so much as an actor. He plays my Muslim father in the movie and my mom is his real wife, Tita Sandy Andolong. The story is very timely as it’s about human trafficking and we have to save Filipinas who are kidnapped and sold to syndicates abroad. It’s also a love story as I fall in love with a Christian woman, played by theater actress Alex Godinez, whom I’ve known from way back. Playing her parents are Gabby Concepcion and Dina Bonnevie, who are against me because I’m a Muslim. Puro magagaling ang mga kasama naming veteran stars kaya we’re inspired to give our best also.”
Will he ask his inamorata Sarah Geronimo to watch the movie with him?
“Of course, I’d like her to see it as I’m very proud of this movie which is not only entertaining as a hard action film but is also meaningful and timely as it tackles valid problems concerning our nation.”
Writer-director Baby Nebrida has nothing but praises for Matteo. “Masarap siyang katrabaho kasi kahit ang dami naming pinagawang mahihirap na eksena sa kanya, including big risky action scenes with explosions, he never complained,” she says.
Why is the film’s title “Across the Crescent Moon”?
“The crescent moon is the symbol of the Muslim faith while the cross represents Christianity. The film shows that there is unity in diversity. We can have different religious beliefs but can still co-exist in peace and harmony, as seen in the relationship of Matteo, a Muslim, and Alex, a Christian, who fight to uphold their love and marriage. We shot the movie on location in beautiful Tawi-Tawi and some unknown distant islands there, and I’d like to thank all the people who helped us, both Muslims and Christians, in the making of this movie.”
Ivan Dorschner belongs to the same batch of “Pinoy Big Brother: Clash of 2010” where James Reid emerged as the winner. Both of them were given supporting roles in ABS-CBN but their careers didn’t really prosper.
James hit it big when he moved to Viva while Ivan decided to just go back to California. Now, he’s back in circulation and has moved to GMA-7, given his biggest break so far as one of the four leading men of Barbie Forteza in “Meant to Be.”
“It was James who convinced me to return to Manila and make a showbiz comeback when we saw each other in L.A.,” says Ivan, who’s now 26.
So does he expect that what happened to James’ career will also happen to him?
“For sure, people would compare me to him, but between us, there’s no competition. We’re good friends and he’s very supportive of me. But I’ll just do my best on my own.”
They’re so close folks say they have a “bromance.” “Well, bahala na ang mga tao kung gusto nilang lagyan ng malice ang friendship namin. Go ahead, it’s fine. Actually, James is also close to Bret Jackson, na kasama rin namin noon sa PBB. Kasi nawala ako, ‘di ba? At sila, naging magkasama sa Viva. But we’re all just good friends.”
So is he happy now with GMA?
“Sobra. They gave me a really warm welcome at lahat kami ng cast ng ‘Meant to Be,’ nagkakasundo. I gained new friends here.”
The show’s very fashionable program manager Hazel Abonita says they’re very happy with the high ratings and very positive feedback that the show got in its pilot telecast. Congratulations!
Director Dan Villegas has the most enviable track record among young filmmakers today. All his films are acclaimed, starting with his indie debut in “Mayohan” which gave Lovi Poe a Cinemalaya best actress award. His subsequent mainstream films are all blockbuster hits and some also won awards for him as best director and acting awards for Jennylyn Mercado, Derek Ramsay and Jericho Rosales: “English Only, Please,” “Walang Forever,” “BreakUp Playlist,” “Always Be My Maybe” and “How to Be Yours.”
After making nothing but romantic films, he now does a horror movie, “Ilawod,” for Quantum Films producer Joji Alonso, written by Palanca awardee Yvette Uy Tan.
“Ilawod” means downstream. The story shows how the water elemental messes up the family life of a peaceful couple, Ian Veneracion and Iza Calzado. Ian is Dennis, a reporter who works for an online news publications that covers supernatural stories. Together with his photographer, Carlo, played by Epi Quizon, they cover a story of possession in the mountains.
Unknown to Ian, when he returns to the city, he brings home the ‘Ilawod’ with him and it then possesses his wife Kathy (Iza Calzado), their daughter Bea (Xyriel Manabat) and youngest child Ben (Harvey Bautista). Their family then has to fight to save not only their lives, but more importantly, their souls.
“This is definitely a new challenge for me kasi after doing love stories, mananakot naman ako ngayon ng viewers,” says Dan. “When I read the script of Yvette, nakita kong kakaiba ito kaysa sa usual fright stories about ghosts or vampires. The ‘ilawod’ here is a life force that is more terrifying than ghosts and the plot will grip the viewer from start to finish. So if you enjoy having a good scare, don’t miss ‘Ilawod’ when it opens in theatres on January 18.”