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Award-winning Filipino film director Brillante Mendoza has said that he considers the personality of an actor, not the image, beforecasting him in his films.
“Yung una, ang tinitignan ko, sino ang babagay dito (sa role), regardless kung ano ang naririnig ko sa kanya, regardless kung ano ang nagyayari sa kanila,” said Mendoza, director of the critically-acclaimed movie “Ma’ Rosa,” during an interview on “Tonight With Boy Abunda” on ABS-CBN.
Mendoza, 55, cited actor Baron Geisler as an example of an actor whom he picked to join “Ma’ Rosa” which will be shown in local cinemas starting July 6.
“Si Baron matagal na kaming magkakilala n’yan way back. Kasama ‘yan dapat sa ‘Kinatay,’ kasama rin sana sa ‘Captive’ pero hindi natuloy. Bakit? Hindi natin alam. I cast kung ano ang bagay sa kanya. Yun ang una kong tinitignan, regardless kung ano ang naririnig ko sa kanya, regardless kung ano ang nangyayari. I believe in his talent at wala naman kaming diperensya,” said Mendoza.
Geisler praised the method and technique of Mendoza when shooting a movie.
“Direk Brillante gives you space and time to breathe. He will give you the moment to shine as an actor and he does not say you do this or you do that. He will give you freedom as an artist,” the actor said.
“That freedom makes you elated. Actually natuwa ako sa freedom na binigay ni Direk,” Geisler said.
Abunda revealed that there are times when Mendoza would shoot for 12 intense days. “Minsan hindi sinasabi sa set kung ano ang mangyayari kasi walang lines. He has a script guide.”
Mendoza said that he would be delighted to see “Ma’ Rosa” compete in the Best Foreign Film category of the Oscars in 2007.
“Of course, I’ll be very happy kung mapili ’yung movie natin like in the past. But the thing is hindi tayo ang namimili. Meron tayong body na namimili para ipadala sa Oscars. Sa Oscars kasi, may mga institution ang bawa’t bansa na ina-acknowledge nila kung saan pwedeng magpadala. Sa atin ang namimili ay Film Academy of the Philippines,” he said.
So far, no Filipino film has been been nominated for an Academy Award, the world’s most prestigious award-giving body on films.
Mendoza encouraged the Filipinos to watch “Ma’ Rosa” because it is the story “of our country, our people.”
“I was told si Brillante Mendoza, ang laging ginagawang pelikula ay tungkol sa kahirapan. Dinala n’ya ang kwento sa abroad pero ang kwento lagi ay tungkol sa kahirapan, tungkol sa prostitution, tungkol sa corruption. No. This is the story of our country of our people,” the director said. “”Remember we are acknowledged abroad as an artist. Hindi lang tayo acknowledged na bansang may magandang beaches or nagpapadalang mga OFW. We are a country of talented people like Jaclyn Jose and Baron Geisler.”
Brillante has directed 16 films since 2005. In 2009, “Kinatay” won Best Director at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival.
On the same year, his movie “Lola” won the award for Best Film at the 6th Dubai International Film Festival.