Cristine waited for ‘Untrue’

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    CRISTINE REYES
    CRISTINE REYES

    CRISTINE Reyes is flattered that those who’ve seen “Untrue” in its premiere night last Monday say she has a good chance of being nominated as best actress. They like her performance as Mara, an OFW working in Tbilisi, Georgia, who meets another OFW, Xian as Joachim. They wed after a whirlwind romance and their marriage later leads to violence.

    But is it true her role was first offered to Claudine Barretto, who just backed out?

    “I know, pero okay lang naman,” she says. “I accepted the project kasi maganda. This is the kind of project na matagal ko nang hinihintay, matagal ko nang gustong gawin, and so I really thank God na sa akin napunta ang ‘Untrue’ kahit hindi ako ang first choice.”

    The film, as directed by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, is not your usual love story about a man and a woman who find love and romance abroad and lived happily ever after. It’s described as a dark psychological thriller with a surprising twist in the end.

    “Before we left for Georgia, we had a ten-day workshop muna here in Manila, na puro rehearsals under Direk Sigrid ng mga eksena namin sa movie. It was very intense and si Direk is very energetic, a real perfectionist. So pagdating namin sa Georgia, we already know what to do.”

    In real life, has she ever been “Untrue” to herself or anyone?

    “No, all my life, I’ve always been true, most especially to myself.”

    But she has yet to officially admit she’s been estranged from her husband, Ali Kathibi, and that she’s now a single parent?

    “I don’t think there’s a need to announce it pa, kasi you can see naman sa social media accounts ko. We travel to a lot of places na kami lang ng anak kong si Amarah.”

    So she’s now ready to accept new suitors?

    “I think it’s just better to wait for the right person rather than announce na ‘I’m open to accept new suitors,’ ‘di ba? Kusang darating ‘yun, but right now, hindi ako naghahanap. I’m just happy to focus on my daughter and my career. Kaysa makipag-date ako sa Valentine, mananahimik na lang ako sa bahay, lalo na ngayon, nakakatakot kasi may threat ng corona virus.”

    ***

    RK Bagatsing says stardom was not given to him on a silver platter. He now gets to do lead roles on TV and in movies, but getting started in showbiz was definitely not a picnic for him.

    “Gusto ko talaga mag-artista noon pa man, so pumila ako sa talent search shows and auditioned sa ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ sa ABS and also sa ‘Starstruck’ sa GMA, pero hindi ako nakuha,” he says. “Mas madali ang naging pagpasok ng kuya ko sa showbiz (Raymond Bagatsing) kasi he did TV commercials tapos nakuha na siyang artista, tuloy-tuloy na.

    There were times na I get so depressed kasi wala akong work. I tried working sa call center, pero nasa dugo ko talaga ang showbiz at pag-arte talaga ang dream ko, so bumalik din ako. Nakuha ako sa indie films. Then ABS-CBN got me to do soaps, sunod-sunod. Pinakahuli ko nga ang ‘Nang Ngumiti ang Langit’.”

    He and Jane Oineza now star in Regal’s latest offering, “Us Again,” where they play ex-lovers who broke off then meet again after five years, hoping to rekindle their romance and try to find out if their love for each other has remained. He was once linked to Jane when they did the soap “Araw Gabi.” Were they ever really on?

    “No, kasi never naman niya akong niligawan!” he laughs. “We really had good rapport while doing ‘Araw Gabi.’ First time namin doon to work together at nagkasundo agad kami kasi sobrang gaan niyang katrabaho. Sa set, tawa lang kami nang tawa. After work, we also hang out kasi masaya siyang kasama but never umabot sa isang serious relationship. We lost touch after that kaya nga happy kami when Regal got us to work together once more here in ‘Us Again.’ This is my second movie with Regal after ‘Cuddle Weather’ that paired me naman with Sue Ramirez.”

    So why doesn’t he woo her seriously?

    “Naku, I just broke up with my non-showbiz girlfriend. It’s a mutual decision at walang third party concerned so friends pa rin kami. Pero ayoko namang masabing on the rebound lang ako. At saka, gusto ko munang papagpahingahin ang puso ko. But definitely, Jane is girlfriend material. Marami ngang may crush diyan.”

    ***

    Laurice Guillen rules GMA’s afternoon slot as a director. Her shows “Hanggang Makita Kang Muli,” “Ika-5 Utos,” and “Ika-6 na Utos” all rated well. Now, she’s back with another surefire winner in the ratings game, “Bilangin ang Bituin sa Langit,” a TV adaptation of a 1989 hit movie starring Nora Aunor.

    Ate Guy is the only member of the film’s cast that is now also in the TV soap and Laurice is glad to work with her again after directing her before in the movie “Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo.”

    “I use Nora as an example for all the other members of the cast as it’s a great pleasure to be working with a great survivor in our industry,” she says. “Nora is such a professional.

    She is so focused on her work as an actress at kahit may sablay sa eksena, hindi siya basta nagka-cut at naise-save pa rin niya ito. She’s a great performer. Kahit sinusumpong siya ng asthma at kahit ikamatay niya, ginagawa pa rin niya. Hahanga ka talaga.”

    Ate Guy quickly thanked Laurice for her good words. “Maraming salamat, Laurice,” she says. “Karangalan kong makatrabaho si Laurice na isa sa pinakabatikang director ngayon sa ating industriya. At masaya akong nagkaroon ng remake ang pelikula namin noon at puro magagaling ang mga artistang kasama ko rito kaya ginaganahan ako laging magtrabaho.”

    We notice they made a lot of changes from the original film in the TV adaptation. Nora then played two characters, Magnolia and her daughter Maggie de la Cruz. Now, Magnolia is played by Mylene Dizon and Maggie is played by Kyline Alcantara, while Ate Guy plays the mom of Mylene, Mercedes, who becomes a fugitive after she accidentally killed Dante Rivero. The showbiz element in the movie was also removed in the TV version. What prompted them to make these drastic changes?

    “It’s GMA’s Creative Team who can best answer that,” says Laurice. “Ako naman, binibigay lang nila sa’kin ang script na ginawa nila and idinidirek ko. But I think changes really have to made kasi iba ang medium ng TV sa pelikula. Sa TV, this is a serial na araw-araw mapapanood, so dapat lang na mas pahabain at mas pakapalin ang story.”

    “Bilangin ang Bituin sa Langit” will start airing February 24, to be telecast right after the drama, “Prima Donnas,” which is a big hit so no doubt it would be a great pre-program for “Bilangin.”

    ***

    Jennylyn Mercado and Dennis Trillo look so in love with each other at their “Co-Love” concert at New Frontier last Saturday night. They kissed twice in the course of the show, with Dennis professing his love for Jen in public. No doubt it’s a big success as it’s really a sold-out concert, with not a single seat vacant. And the whole crowd was evidently so pleased with the entire show and its line-up of familiar love songs perfect for the Valentine season.

    The show is divided into three chapters, chronicling the important episodes in the couple’s love life: Chapter 1 narrates how their relationship started on GMA-7 and Chapter 2 is about the heartaches they went through when they broke up. “Baka nagkakilala lang kami noon sa maling panahon,” Jen tries to explain.

    Chapter 3 is all about second chances and how they were able to move on and accept each other again. “Everyone deserves a second chance,” Dennis declares. “Mahal na mahal ko talaga ang taong ito,” he adds referring to Jen, “lalo na noong nagkabalikan kami.”

    To which Jen replies: “May forever, kung gugustuhin lang natin.” Of course, the people were thrilled with their pronouncements of love for each other.

    The show featured several guest performers, including Alex Gonzaga (who brought the house down with her hilarious antics), real-life sweethearts Jerald Napoles and Kim Molina (who did songs from their hit stage musical, “Rak of Aegis”), JK Labajo (who did his monster hit song, “Buwan”) and his band, Jay Durias, Nico Antonio, Nyoy Volante, Carlo Aquino and the last one was Alden Richards, who sent the fans screaming and shrieking.

    One guest didn’t make it, Janno Gibbs, and he’s replaced by Jen’s friend Nar Cabico in doing the “Moments of Love” number which is part of the repertoire.