January 16, 2018, 11:15 pm
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Jen reunites with Derek

LOVI Poe is busy both on the big and small screen these days. Her new movie with Regal, “Woke Up Like This,” will be shown on August 23. Right now, she’s also shooting “The Significant Other” with Tom Rodriguez. On TV, she’s seen as Magindara, the goddess of water in “Mulawin Vs. Ravena.” 

“I feel blessed sa dami ng projects ko,” she says.

In “Woke Up Like This,” she plays a top model named Sabrina. “Dahil very successful ako rito, umakyat sa ulo ko ang success at naging selfish at mayabang ako. 

“Si Vhong Navarro naman is a popular basketball player na lumaki rin ang ulo at naging makasariling gaya ko. Dahil dito, isang mahiwagang matanda, played by Lou Veloso, punished us. Nagkapalit kami ng katawan. One morning, we wake up na ako, naging siya, at siya naman, naging ako.”

So how is it playing Vhong on screen? 

“Ang hirap, huh! Mahirap na ngang umarte na naging lalaki ka and in this case, si Vhong pa mismo ang gagayahin ko, so I had to copy the way he moves, the way he talks, pati kung paano kumain ang lalaki and, I tell you, it’s not easy! It’s good I got a lot of help from my co-stars and our director, Joel Ferrer. Nire-remind nila ako lagi na I have to act like Vhong para maging consistent ang acting ko sa harap ng kamera.”

“Woke Up Like This” is her first comedy so it’s a totally new experience for her. “Mas sanay talaga ako sa drama. I can cry on cue. First comedy ko ito kaya kakaiba. Hindi ko kailangang maghubad or do a love scene. But Vhong told me na, dapat, sa comedy, gawin kong medyo exaggerated ang movements ko and it’s important to show that you’re having fun kasi, without that element, hindi matatawa sa’yo ang mga tao. Sa mga mata mo pa lang daw, makikita na kung nag-e-enjoy ka sa pagpapatawa mo. It’s a lot harder than I thought kasi pag nagko-comedy kami, ako’ng unang natatawa. But as the shoot went along, I enjoyed it kasi naging maganda ang bonding naming lahat sa set.”

If she would have a girl crush, who would it be? 

“Ay, sinabi ko na ito sa kanya noon pa, si Iza Calzado.”

And if she would really turn into a man, who would be her choice? 

“Yung boyfriend ni Ate Iza, si Ben Wintle.”

***

Jennylyn Mercado’s “My Love from the Star” is ending tomorrow so she can now focus on shooting her entry to the December Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), “Almost Is Not Enough.” Her leading man in the movie is originally supposed to be Jericho Rosales, her partner in “Walang Forever,” for which they both won the 2015 MMFF acting trophies.

But Jericho has since backed out from the project. The official reason given is that he’s doing a movie with director Paul Soriano and he’ll start another one that is meant to be entered in the Sundance Film Festival in the US come January. So Atty. Joji Alonso of Quantum Films, the producer of “Almost Is Not Enough,” has to go find another leading man for Jennylyn.

And the lucky guy is Derek Ramsay, with whom Jennylyn was first paired in “English Only, Please,” for which they both won the 2014 MMFF best actress and best actor awards, directed by Dan Villegas, who’s also directing “Almost Is Not Enough,” so it will be a happy reunion for all of them. Both Jen and Derek have officially started shooting for the movie.

Meantime, Jen wants to thank all those who watched “My Love from the Star” during its two-month run. 

“Huwag kayong bibitaw on its last night kasi andaming exciting things na mangyayar,” she says. “Salamat sa suporta and promise, hindi kayo mabibigo dahil super kilig ang ending nito.”

***

No doubt Coco Martin is now the only top actor who helps boost the career of actresses who gain full stardom after appearing as his leading ladies. No doubt that after being paired with him and being rumored to be his girlfriend, the stock of Julia Montes zoomed up and she starred in her own hit soap, “Doble Kara.” The same for Maja Salvador, after whose appearance in “Ang Probinsyano” was given the afternoon soap “Wildflower,” now a certified hit in the ratings.

Ditto for Bela Padilla after her stint in “Ang Probinsyano,” she starred in “My Dear Heart” then became a producer-writer-actress in the hit flick, “Camp Sawi,” even if her solo rom-com “Luck at First Sight” wasn’t that successful at the tills. Now comes Yassi Pressman, whose appearance in “Ang Probinsyano” as Coco’s wife definitely boosted her stock. She now has many endorsements and is now even starring in her solo movie, “Ang Pambansang Third Wheel.” 

For his Metro Manila Film Festival entry, Coco has chosen an entirely new leading lady, reigning Binibining Pilipinas International Mariel de Leon. Mariel seems an inch or so taller than him but, never mind, since she is a bonafide showbiz royalty being the daughter of respected stars Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong. We have no doubt that Coco will definitely be a big help in jumpstarting Mariel’s career.

***

We have seen the local staging of “Spamalot” at RCBC Theater directed by Joel Trinidad (son of Noel), featuring amazing performances from Lorenz Martinez (son of Leo) as King Arthur and Rachel Alejandro (daughter of Hajji) as the Lady of the Lake. 

Rachel excels in all her numbers: “The Song that Goes Like This,” “Find Your Grail” and “What Happened to My Part.” She also gets to wear some fabulous gowns designed by Francis Libiran.

Ripped off from the British movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” the musical comedy irreverently spoofs Camelot, the Knights of the Round Table and the search for the Holy Grail. It’s a hit in both West End in London and in Broadway. Other rollicking musical numbers are “I Am Not Dead Yet,” King Arthur’s “I’m All Alone” and the inspiring and catchy “Always Look at the Bright Side of Life” which you will be humming when you go out of the theater. 

Joel Trinidad’s clever mounting and direction has its own take on the material, making it appear like it’s set in a mental asylum with lead actor Lorenz Martinez first appearing on stage in a straight jacket guarded by mental hospital attendants. They also changed some lyrics, like in the song “You Won’t Succeed in Broadway,” with Broadway becoming RCBC and the word Jews replaced by stars. Pop cultural references abound, including Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Lea Salonga. They even include the hit song “Despacito.” If you want a riotously funny show, don’t miss “Spamalot” on its last two days this weekend, August 11 and 12.
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