Bela knows her way around guns


    THE tandem of Kyle Echarri and Francine Diaz is a hit in “Kadenang Ginto.” “Kathniel,” “Jadine” and “Lizquen” will eventually grow old and play more mature roles and it’s wise of ABS-CBN to prepare the teen love teams who will replace them. Now, the “KyCine” tandem (Kyle-Francine), stars in their own movie, “Silly Red Shoes” directed by James Mayo, streaming on November 23 and 27 as a special first anniversary presentation of iWant.

    Francine plays Ashley and Kyle plays Chuck. “Silly Red Shoes” tells the story of Kyle, a young shoemaker who wants Francine to be the model for a pair of shoes. The problem is that Francine’s feet seem to change sizes everyday, until they discover a mysterious pair of red shoes that seem to be too perfect for her. Done with a touch of fairy tale fantasy, the movie also stars former QC Mayor Herbert Bautista as Francine’s dad, along with Anna Luna and Karen Reyes.

    “We have good memories of shooting it on location Liliw, Laguna,” said Kyle. “It’s our first movie and we enjoyed doing it. It helped us explore our acting skills kasi iba ito sa ginagawa namin in ‘Kadenang Ginto.’ Ang role ko roon as Kristof, rich boy. Dito, poor boy ako na pabibo as Chuck at natuwa akong kaya ko naman pala.”

    “Same with me,” Francine volunteered. “My role as Cassie in ‘Kadena’ is so different kasi she can say what she feels. Dito sa movie, as Ashley, akala mo, masayahin siya pero sa loob pala niya, durog na durog na siya.”

    What did they discover about each other while shooting “SIlly Red Shoes”?

    “I discovered that she is a really deep person,” said Kyle of Francine. “But she’s also cheerful. She will always put on a smile kahit anong mangyari.”

    “He’s easy to get along with and we really got to know each other while shooting our film at mas lumalim ang friendship namin,” shared Francine. “We both like the message of our movie, which is don’t give up and always believe in yourself.”

    Ejay Falcon feels honored to be part of the historical musical, “Damaso.” Loosely based on Jose Rizal’s immortal novel, “Noli Me Tangere,” Ejay plays the iconic role of Elias, the good friend of Crisostomo Ibarra played by newcomer Jin Macapagal.

    “Sana, maraming kabataan ang manood ng ‘Damaso’ kasi maganda ang mensahe nito, lalo na para sa millennials,” he said. “I admit na sa panahon natin ngayon, mas gusto ng young generation of viewers ang mga romantic comedies pero sana, bigyan naman nila ng chance ang ganitong movie na nagpapakita sa ating history.”

    He is also happy to be given the chance to sing in the movie since “Damaso” is a musical with 16 original songs.

    “Dito ko pala maipapakitang may kakayahan ako sa pagkanta. In fairness sa songs composed by our writer-director, si Joven Tan, ang gaganda ng songs sa ‘Damaso’ and may important messages na bagay sa bawat character na kumakanta nito.”

    With regard to his personal life, Ejay is very open about his relationship with “Starstruck” discovery Jana Roxas. They just came from a vacation in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan.

    “Traveling abroad is very important for us kasi mas diyan namin nakikilala ang isa’t isa,” he said. “Ang sarap mamasyal with your loved one.”

    So do we hear wedding bells ringing for them soon?

    “We’ve talked about it but as of now, hindi muna. Sobrang busy sa dami ng ginagawa ko and we don’t want to be pressured dahil lang maraming friends namin ang nag-aasawa. It will come at the right time kapag pareho na kaming ready.”

    Bela Padilla tackles her most challenging role to date as Edilberta, a female soldier who embarks on a personal journey of revenge in “Mañanita,” written by Lav Diaz and directed by Paul Soriano, opening in theaters on December 4. It was the Philippines’ representative in the main competition of the recently concluded Tokyo International Film Festival.

    “I had to undergo training with real soldiers on how to assemble guns and shoot with rifles properly, pati kung paano maasinta ang target mo,” she revealed. “Marami akong pinagdaanang proseso, not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. Now, I can even also claim na magaling na ako with guns, kasi lahat ng pinatatarget nila sa akin, natatamaan ko, bullseye!”

    “Mañanita” is a term used to refer to a song for those who celebrate their birthdays and also those who attend retreats before. Director Paul Soriano uses the “Mañanita” title as he wants to serenade the audience. The movie, which got a Grade A from the Cinema Evaluation Board, has many original songs.

    We asked Bela about the reception the film got in the Tokyo International Film Festival.

    “I felt humbled kasi they liked it so much. Lahat ng screenings namin, sold out and they watched it in rapt attention. After the screening, many Japanese viewers came up to me to say that the film’s quietness resonated with them. Isolated kasi si Edilberta and she seeks either vengeance or forgiveness. This is a character-driven film and I was able to relate to Edilberta kasi I’m at a point in my life where I’m always alone when I’m not working. I detached myself from being Bela to be Edilberta at ang laging kaeksena ko rito, hindi tao kundi baril,” Bela said.

    “’Mañanita’ is a dream project for any actor and I’m thankful to Direk Paul as he allowed me to express myself in the character the way I want to. He’s very easy to work with kasi he and his team are very organized and he knows exactly what he wants for each scene. He is his own audience at naka-storyboard na sa utak niya ang every scene.”

    After this, Bela will be seen with Aga Muhlach in Viva’s Metro Manila Film Festival entry, “Miracle in Cell No. 7.” Since she now writes her own script, next on her agenda is to be able to direct her own movie.