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James Blanco is ‘lalaking Nora Aunor’

James Blanco

SUPREME COMPLIMENT – Johnny Nadela, director of “Pilapil” (an entry to the ongoing ToFarm Film Festival (July 13 to 19 at selected SM Cinemas), has only good words for his lead actor, James Blanco, calling him “sensitive and intelligent.”

Direk Johnny cites James’ “expressive eyes.”

“Madali mo kasi ma-motivate yan. Madali mong mabigyan ng instruction. Parang lalaking Nora Aunor yan.”

Supreme compliment, indeed, from direk Johnny, who feels that James is a strong contender for best actor.

Direk Johnny recalls that on the set of “Pilapil,” he asked James, “Puede ba bigyan mo ako ng luha dito? At ibinigay niya.”

BACKDROP – James Blanco shares stellar billing with child star David Remo, with a rice field (“pilapil” in Filipino) as backdrop.

James is Victor, who dreams but fails to find gold in the city, forcing him to work for a criminal gang. In the course of his misadventures, James meets a blind boy named Boknoy (David Remo).

They forge a bond as they try to flee from the nightmare of a life man and boy are trapped. Without escape?

The action-drama premieres July 17, 6:30 p.m., at SM Megamall.

GAY ROLE – At the mini-presscon of “Pilapil,” colleague Allan Diones asked James if he’s open to gay roles.

“Why not,” James smiled, “especially if the director is a good as Johnny Nadela. “I want a serious gay role, one who’s happy outside but lonely inside.”

Is he willing to do a nude scene?

Answer is, “Yes, even frontal if really called for,” noting our biggest actors do it. And in Hollywood, nudity – even frontal nudity – is no big deal.

Allan looks forward to that.