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When second choice is the best choice

By Ronald Constantino

‘CLASSIC’ EXAMPLES – There are actors, especially the young ones, who are sort of “offended” when they aren’t the first choice for movie or TV role. They shouldn’t be. What really matters is they gave their best even if only second choice, or even third or fourth.

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Here are “classic” examples of when second choice turned out to be the best choice.

GINA ALAJAR was not the first choice for Laurice Guillen’s “Salome.” Alma Moreno and Dina Bonnevie were earlier considered. Well, no one but no one could have topped Gina as “Salome,” which gave her an Urian.

JOEL TORRE was also not the first choice for Peque Gallaga’s “Oro Plata Mata.” The role was earlier offered to Albert Martinez, but his manager, Joey Gosiengfiao, said no. Albert was too busy to fly to Bacolod for the shoot. Peque gambled on his La Salle student, Joel, of course, and look where he’s now.

VILMA SANTOS, believe it or not, was not meant to star in Celso Ad. Castillo’s “Burlesk Queen.” It was first offered to Lorna Tolentino, but talent fee turned out to be the obstacle. Vilma gave (and danced) the performance of her life in “Burlesk Queen,” a landmark in the brilliant career of the Star for All Seasons.

BEMBOL ROCO was last-minute replacement to Jay Ilagan in Lino Brocka’s “Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag.” Early rushes of the film showed that Jay was simply too healthy for the role, an impoverished “probinsyano.” Brocka gambled on Bembol, a newcomer, which paid off. Bembol won a FAMAS.

“Maynila” is hailed here and abroad as Brocka’s greatest film.

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