Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cherie Gil in "EKSTRA: The Bit Player" - 2013 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival (July 26 to Aug 4, 2013)

Perspective and Attitude - "...t seems these past months have been all about making movies! I’ve really missed that. After all, I began my career as a film actress during the turn of the second golden era of films. That was around the early '80’s to early '90’s. Then we hit a slump after the Marcos regime, but now it seems to have bounced back - baby steps, yes, but watch out for the indie generation. It has grown so fast and given fresh takes on story concepts and execution, and we’ve gotten global recognition. It’s just as exciting even if some purists say that we don’t make films like we used to. Well, that’s partly true. But why stick to what we used to do? Isn’t growth all about innovation especially in this fast evolving digital age?...I was all of 19 when I was tapped by Peque Gallaga to do the film. Then working on the comedy TV show "Champoy" together, he purposely mentioned that he wrote the role for me. Worried then that I was too in love (with a cute doctor) that I might not take the project seriously, I promised I would give it my all if he would just trust me. (I think he wanted to make sure so he cast the mother of my boyfriend! I won’t say who, ok?) Never having lived nor experienced much less to imagine being in the midst of war, I had no sort of personal contribution to the role and to the film itself in its entirety. Needless to say, my life’s journey in the film was in Peque’s hands. Watching it again made me realize that it was no small feat for the acclaimed director. Every scene involved teamwork and ensemble choreography captured by complicated camera shots, more often done in just one take, capturing only sheer truth and believability. I marvel now at how he was able to achieve all that unfailingly...I spent two months straight in the deepest jungles of Negros, and my perspective of and attitude towards my work was never the same after. "Oro, Plata, Mata" set high standards and great expectations which were hard to meet in other projects..." - Cherie Gil, Rappler, 08 March 2013 (READ MORE)

Favorite Roles - "...Kung sino man, sana ako na habang puwede pa! That's one of my favorite roles, e. Kaiba-iba. I don't mind playing it again. I played Kano. I was a drug addict, pusher/lesbian...Ang ganda-ganda! I think it's still being credited in many film festivals internationally. If I speak to people from Israel Film Festival or people in that circle, if I mention Oro Plata Mata and Manila By Night, they remember. They remember Manila By Night as City After Dark. So they know these movies. Kahit nga daw si Quentin Tarantino, alam niya ‘yong City After Dark," she says with gusto...Kasi nabitin ako doon, e. I have a lot of angst about that role because it was a very strong chance for me to get into the Urian league, and I was first nominated with that movie. Kabataan ko pa, [I was just] 17. Everybody clamors for this award-giving body, especially as respectable as Urian. ‘Yon [Urian] ang isang award na hindi ko pa nalalagay sa aking mantel. At that time, I was doing movies. Uso noon ang lagare. Konti lang kaming mga artista noon. We were doing four, five, six films at the same time. Ang daming pelikula rin noon, 100 films a year. I was doing lagare, so to the point na hindi pa ako nakapag-dubbing. Si Louella [Albornos, fomer charactress actress], she dubbed for me. To give her credit, she really did a great job kasi nga tomboy, e, so bumagay ‘yong boses niya na mababa. Pero ano na 'yon, parang point against me na 'yon na hindi ko nabuo ang trabaho..." - Candace Lim, PEP, 13 September 2007 (READ MORE)

Process of the work and Self-discovery - "...It was a perfect time two years ago because it was when I was going through a certain crisis, which I wasn't secretive about. Two years after that, so many things, so many changes happened. I have done four soap operas, but I've never known where I have probably gotten the energy to do all that...I guess once you're out there, you're out there; there's no way that you can correct [a mistake] and do it all over again. It's the process of the work. And, 'ika nga, theater is really a medium for actors...Dad is doing okay, he's in the States with my mom, who is still very active in the church...we all do need inspiration, we all do need motivation, don't we? But sometimes, you just don't find it externally; we all just have to continuously dig down deep inside of us. Kasi minsan, may mga ginagawa tayo na nakakawalang-gana rin... I've been in the industry for 37 years, way too long. And this is a good transition time in my life because for the first time, for two years, I've been on my own. There's a lot of self-discovery for me..." - Leo Laparan, PEP, 08 July 2010 (READ MORE)

Respect and Humane - "...From my perspective, I’m not sure if I can now consider this film the parody it's meant to be, or more of an "exposé" into our real world of soap operas. It reflects many truths of what these extras, or talents, face. I myself, despite my ranting, have softened up to their plight. On one taping day, lo and behold, the first sight that greeted me were some 20 talents sitting on cardboard on the ground, in the heat of the sun, right in front of the main actors’ air conditioned tent. Talk about rubbing the point in. All this for P1,000 a day or P1,500 if you had speaking lines, or if you played a nurse, police or doctor, you get P2,000 because you have to bring your own uniform. A day may mean 28 to 36 hours straight for many of them. I’m fortunate that after decades in the business, I’ve earned a cut-off time of 2 am (which in effect actually helps talents go home earlier, if they’re in my scenes). I realize minimum wage stands at under P500, but these seemingly good talent fees don’t go straight into their pockets. They too have agents or talent suppliers who whittle away their earnings. (Just like we do.) I could be putting myself on a limb here, but I’m going to say it anyway: isn’t it high time we make the working environment in the soap opera world better for all to enjoy the work and find dignity in our choice of profession? Isn’t it time to raise the standards and expectations for the betterment of our teleseryes; from better story material, evolving from formulaic recipes. From more comfortable stand-by areas, to better and more respectful organization of everyone’s time, to humane working hours, and even maybe to plates and utensils (instead of styrofoam and plastics) for everyone?..." - Cherie Gil, Rappler, 30 March 2013 (READ MORE)

Cherie Gil and Vilma Santos - Mother and Daughter, Rosemarie and Cherie Gil both won a best supporting actress awards in a Vilma Santos films. Rosemarie was recognized in her heartfelt performance in Celso Ad Castillo's "Burlesk Queen," a best picture winner in 1977 Metro Manila Film Festival. Meanwhile, Cherie, won her best supporting actress via Eddie Garcia's 1989 Metro Manila Film Festival best picture winner, "Imortal." Both Imortal and Burlesk also won best actress awards for Vilma Santos. Vilma and Cherie did three films together before reuniting again in this year indie film, "Ekstra: The Bit Player." Some highlights, both Cherie and Vi are regular staple in National Artist Ishmael Bernal's filmography. Cherie's most memorable Bernal film was "City After Dark" where she portrayed a lesbian drug pusher who's in love with blind masseuse, Rio Locsin. Vi's most recognizable Bernal film was "The Affair" or locally titled "Relasyon" where she played a sympathetic mistress of a chauvinistic teacher, Christopher de Leon. While Vi started her career as a child star, her relaunch into a mature actress was via Celso Ad Castillo's "Burlesk Queen," a period movie filled with sexual innuendo while Cherie Gil's launching movie was Elwood Perez's "Problem Child," a modern movie filled with blatant sexual scenarios. Cherie's other notable films were: Oro Plata Mata; Taga sa Panahon; Ito Ba Ang Ating Mga Anak; and Rosenda. Although Gil is no longer commands leading role status in films she ventured successfully into television and in recent years in stage acting, more notably in "The Graduate" and "Master Class." Like Vi's most memorable movie line: "Para kang karinderyang bukas sa lahat Kumain! ("You're like a 24 hour take out restaurant, open whoever wants to eat!"), Cherie has her share of most memorable movie lines. Confronting the uprising singer in the movie "Bituing Walang Ningning," Cherie uttered the lines to an equally combative Sharon Cuneta: "You're nothing but a second rate, trying hard, copy cat!" Cherie is indeed someone to be cherish.
  • Palimos ng pag-ibig (1986) - "...The year was 1986. Palimos Ng Pag-ibig directed by Eddie Garcia was a smashed hit. Vilma co-starred with her soon to be ex husband Edu Manzano and Dina Bonnevie. Despite the mixed reviews from the critics, the film gave us, arguably, one of the most memorable lines in Philippine movie history. The scene was, Vilma, playing Fina was about to leave the house when Ditas, (Edu’s mistress and baby maker) knocked on the door, with her was her husband’s child. She forced herself in. Confronting Ditas, Fina: “Ilang gabi kang binili ni Rodel?” Ditas (Dina): “Isang Gabi lang, malakas ang kanyang punla at nangangailangan lang ng matabang lupa!” Fina: “Okey! So you’re fertile and I’m barren…pero sa mga pangyayari, para kang karinderyang bukas sa lahat ng gustong kumain! Paano mong mapapatunayang ang asawa ko nga ang ama ng batang iyan at wala siyang kasosyong iba?..." - RV (READ MORE)
  • Saan nagtatago ang pag-ibig? (1987) - "...For sure, the film has been well-acted. Vilma, once again awes us with her astringent putdowns in her familiar facial expressions and pertinent body language. That long monologue in front of the dying Tonton is an eloquent testimony to her acting talent. Tonton is worthy of notice as the retardate but we have to be assured that he is capable of doing the things he does in the film. Can he really remember the past with such clarity despite his brain damage? Nevertheless, he has captured the mannerisms and speech of the character he portrays. Alicia Vergel comes on too strong as the aristocratic Nyora Pacing who wears an eyepatch and walks with a cane. Ricky Davao vies for attection in his anti-hero role. Cherie Gil as Ricky’s flighty sister is less fierry but more believable. Gloria Romero delivers a sensitive portrayal of the weak mother with a dark past while Alicia Alonzo plays her sister who is privy to the family’s secrets. Eddie Garcia should be commended for toning down his confrontation scenes. His familiarity with this film genre shows in the way he manipulates the characters and builds up the scene. Still, one cannot help but questions the logic behind that sham marriage..." - Luciano E. Soriano, Manila Standard - Sep 5, 1987 (READ MORE)
  • Imortal (1989) - "...There are other laughable scenes. Vilma says, “My husband is (music rises ominously) — my husband is (music again) Impotent (music rises to a climax)!” You’d think the husband just contracted the AIDS virus or got castrated by Sparrow units! Shucks, I know several husbands who just can’t do it anymore, and I hear no heavy music when their wives complain. As a matter of fact, wives prefer their husbands to be impotent, rather than be sexually active with other women. Another terrible scene. The car ridden by Christopher and wife Cherie Gil falls off a cliff. Cherie who is pregnant is mortally wounded and dies. And Christopher looks at his dead wife, and holds aloft a new born baby complete with umbilical cord. This is absurd without a caesarian operation by a doctor. The worst scene is when Christopher digs up the corpse of Vilma at the cemetery, amidst thunder, lightning, wind and rain, and embraces her passionately, while she exhibits no rigor mortis, and apparently no smell of formalin. You don’t find this kind of idiocy in a television commercial. Most of my grandchildren, including Angeli who is only four months of age, enjoy commercials more than dramas..." - Hilarion& M. Henares Jr., January 14, 1990, Philippine Daily Inquirer (READ MORE)
  • Ekstra, The Bit Player (2013) - "...We screened the edited materials of the film yesterday (without the ending) and the performance of the entire cast is something we are so proud of. Nobody was trying to upstage anyone. It was team work – pure and simple. A brilliant cast!!! I ended up with tears on my eyes – because I could not stop laughing and laughing with how the story was unfolding, with so many hilarious real life incidents that an ekstra has to go through. Then again, without knowing it, I found myself in tears, and this time for a different reason — because of the atrocities that TV production people have to face due to the economics of the industry, the people at the bottom of the line like the extras often end up having to bear the brunt. Time for a wake up call maybe?..." - Mario Bautista, Showbiz Portal, 18 Mar 2013 (READ MORE)

Evangeline Rose De Mesa Eigenmann (born May 12, 1965) is a Filipino actress of Swiss German American, Spanish, and Filipino descent. Cherie Gil is the daughter of Filipino actors Eddie Mesa and Rosemarie Gil and sister to actors Mark Gil and Michael de Mesa. She was formerly married to Rony Rogoff, an internationally-renowned violinist. Together they have two children, Bianca and Raphael, in addition to her first child Jay...Cherie Gil is the daughter of Filipino actors Eddie Mesa and Rosemarie Gil and sister to actors Mark Gil and Michael de Mesa. She was formerly married to Rony Rogoff, an internationally-renowned violinist. Together they have two children, Bianca and Raphael, in addition to her first child Jay. - Wikipedia (READ MORE)


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