Written and photographed
By Jude Thaddeus Bautista
Bombshell lead star Mercedes Cabral plays a psychotic killer for the first time in BAD ROMANCE. She shares her insights on her film character, “Medyo niloko siya ng lalake yon yung reason bakit nag snap yung character. Dream role ko talaga gumawa ng psychotic na tao. Challenging siya para sakin kaya ko tinanggap yung role.”
BAD ROMANCE is directed by Ian Del Carmen who gained fame by directing Pinoy Big Brother. Cast members include: Mr. Philippines 2011 Francis Lopez as Sam Lloyd Pascual. Miss Resort’s World Ms Photogenic 2012, Karen Gallman also makes her film debut.
Aiza Seguerra has a cameo role as a tough lesbian while Rey PJ Abellana is the hotel owner Mr. Villapando. Archie Alimania, Flor Salanga and Raul Morit all play interesting characters in the film. Janelle Manahan, returns to showbiz in her first feature film. Manahan was shot in the face together with Ramgen Revilla last October of 2011.
Cabral is known to most audiences for her role in BAYAN KO starring Rocco Nacino and Angeli Bayani in GMA Network. After her successful lead role in LIGO NA U LAPIT NA ME at the Cinemalaya film fest, she talks about expectations for her current project, “ Of course there’s pressure, in any character I portray it’s a role entrusted by the director and writer. They expect me to give life to that character in the right way. Nandun lagi yung pressure na gawin mo ng maayos yung character ko at gagawin mo ng tama lahat.”
Before BAYAN KO she had a couple of projects with ABS CBN: HIYAS with Zanjoe Marudo and Megan Young, THE BUD BROTHERS with Jake Cuenca and Rafael Rosell. According to her there’s no problem with doing series’ with either network, “Mas marami kasi yung offer sakin from channel 7. Marami na rin ako na kikilalang mga staff, artista so kumportable akong ka trabaho ang GMA. Masaya ako sa ka nila. Pwede naman akong gumawa ng pelikila with ABS CBN dahil wala naman akong exclusive contract with kahit anung network so open pa rin naman ako tumanggap ng project sa ibang network.”
Cabral shares that being an actress is an ongoing learning process. She does research for all her roles and learns from a lot of different people. Cabral is also happy in her personal life and is grateful for his support in spite of her sexy roles, “Non showbiz siya and sobrang masaya ako sa tao na yon. Na intindihan niya na trabaho yon e. Masaya ako na naka hanap ako ng partner na nakaka intindi.”
Early in her career she was cast with Coco Martin by Cannes winning director Dante Mendoza. Even with the current state of her love life questions between her and Coco still hound her, “Sobrang tagal nang tanung yan at ilang beses ko na sinagot yan for the past 5 years. Uulit ulitin ko wala kaming relasyon ni Coco Martin. Wala kaming naging relasyon ni Coco Martin. Pero isa siya sa mga naging malapit na kaibigan ko at una kong nagging kaibigan sa showbiz industry.”
The two starred in KINATAY and SERVICE by Dante Mednoza which won several awards abroad, “Siguro nag start ako naka partner siya. And naging maganda yung chemistry namin. Di mo naman siguro ma iiwasan na may mag iintriga sa amin na sobrang ganda ng chemistry nila baka sila.”
Director Ian Del Carmen was also proud of his cinematographer Daniel Anaya who has worked in blockbuster films in Hollywood, “Daniel Anaya, is a Mexican American who worked with Robert Rodriguez on FROM DUSK TIL DAWN he also worked on TITANIC. Mentor ko siya sa film making. Isa siya sa mga mentors ko. Na sabi ko sa knaya, I’d rather have you D.O.P. this film. Masaya naman ako na pumayag siya. Working with a guy from Hollywood is something.”
Ian Del Carmen started out as an actor in PETA (Phil Educational Theater Association) in teen theater. Acted in TV projects then studied screenwriting under Ricky Lee, then worked for ABS CBN. He eventually became a TV director with projects like Pinoy Big Brother.
Even at a young age he was influenced by the late Mario O’Hara as an actor, “Pinaka na tatandaan kong play niya sa PETA ay FAUST. Ang galing nya doon as an actor. Meron akong one act play, title DIRECTOR’S CUT. Siya yung peg ko for that role at di na matutuloy. This is a sexy one act play tungkol sa porn director.nung sinusulat ko siya yung na iisip ko. Alam mo yung character niya on stage? Sayang. Siguro may ibang pwedeng gumanap.”
Mario O’Hara is now nominated for the National Artist award as a multimedia artist whose career spans as actor, writer and director in radio, TV, theater and film. Del Carmen is one of many who believe he deserves award, “Ang dami diyan na dapat naging National Artist na e kahit na bubuhay pa sila e. I don’t know mahirap magsalita pero meron din na giging National Artist na dapat may na una pang mas deserving. Para sakin kung ano yung na giging National Artist kung ano yung na kikita ng tao bilang National Artist and not the award per se, not the title. Kung ano yung influence nila yon yon e hindi yung title.”