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‘Vida-contra’ stars

Cherie Gil

‘VIDA-CONTRA’ – A mark of a good actor is the ability to switch from hero to heel. Yes, “vida-contravida.”

The most regal of all movie queens, Gloria Romero, is one. Early on in her career, Glo was cast in virginal and kooky roles. But some time in the ‘70s, the late Douglas Quijano cast her as a witch, yes “aswang,” in a Vilma Santos starrer “Lipad, Darna, Lipad.” It seemed unthinkable, but Douglas, an expert in casting, said, “Just wait and see.”

True enough the queenly Gloria pulled it off magnificently. From then on she was cast in offbeat roles every now and then.

Some years back, Glo was reunited with Vi in “Kapag Langit ang Humatol.” Glo made life miserable for Vi…only to kneel and ask for forgiveness in the end. Without Glo’s realistic acting, “Kapag Langit” would not have been such a hit…at the box-office and also with critics.

GOMA, TOO – Another fine example is Goma (Richard Gomez) who’s identified with romantic parts. But in “Dahas,” he was pure evil, a ruthless psychotic who terrorized Maricel Soriano.

Actually, he was initially cast as the leading man, but then he didn’t feel like shooting for days on end. Tonton Gutierrez was the villain. He exchanged roles with Tonton.

His role was shorter than Tonton’s, but really “markado.” Goma won an award or two for best actor. But to be fair, Tonton was also good.

CHERIE, AS WELL – Another “vida-contra” star is Cherie Gil, billed “La Primera Contravida.” Think of “Bituing Walang Ningning” and other Sharon Cuneta starrers where Cherie is the villainess.

But then, Cherie is too versatile to be typecast in bad-girl parts. Give her any role – on big and small screen, stage – and Cherie will deliver.

GOOD AT – Other actors good at “vida-contra” characters, starting with Eddie Garcia: Edu Manzano, Eula Valdez, Cesar Montano, Jean Garcia, Boyet de Leon, LJ Reyes, Bembol Roco, Pilar Pilapil, Jake Cuenca, Amy Austria, Paolo Contis, Glydel Mercado.