John Lloyd Cruz, Jessy Mendiola in new movie
MANILA, Philippines – John Lloyd Cruz and Jessy Mendiola are set to star in Chito Roño's latest film offering, but both actors warn that their new roles show a different side to them.
In the still unnamed film, Cruz is set to play a “developmentally delayed” character, which he told ABS-CBN may just be one of his most challenging roles to date. He explained that characters such as his were in the past called “mentally retarded,” but a more politically correct term would be “developmentally delayed."
He likened the role to Gerald Anderson’s portrayal in 2011 of Budoy in the television show of the same name, about a man with Angelman syndrome, a genetic disorder with characteristics similar to those associated with autism and cerebral palsy.
But Cruz says his new role is different from that of Anderson’s. Additionally, what’s difficult, he said, is the subtlety needed to portray the character.
"Hindi siya 'yung talagang kitang-kita mo," he told ABS-CBN. "Ang mahirap dito hindi malalaman na meron siyang case ng [developmental delay] hangga't mag-engage kayo sa isang conversation. So mukha siyang normal." (It's not very visible. What's hard is not being able to realize he has a case of developmental delay until you engage in a conversation. So, he looks normal.)
In the same way, Cruz's co-star Jessy Mendiola told ABS-CBN in December that the film, which she described as a “tragic family story,” made her feel both nervous and excited.
“It’s a mature role,” she said. "Mature in a sense that mature din 'yung topic, issues and storyline namin. It’s very sensitive and very out of the box. 'Yun ang dapat nila abangan.”
For this film, Mendiola said the director wished to see her in a look different from her usual curly locks and red lipstick on teleserye Maria Mercedes, which is also directed by Roño.
According to The Philippine Star, the film, which is part of Star Cinema's 20th anniversary, will also star Richard Gomez and Gretchen Barretto.
Director and producer Chito Roño is best known for films such as Dekada '70, Bata, Bata... Pa'no ka Ginawa, and most recently, 2013 MMFF entry Boy Golden. – Rappler.com