Robin Padilla returns to action in ‘10,000 Hours’
The star returns to familiar genre, which is a departure for rom-com hitmaker Joyce Bernal

ACTOR WITH SPUNK. Robin before a mosque in Holland. Photo from his Facebook 

MANILA, Philippines – Robin Padilla is back on the big screen with an official entry to the 2013 Metro Manila Film Festival titled “10,000 Hours.”

Philippine cinema’s “Bad Boy” – steeped in Ace Vergel’s grand acting tradition (in turn, rooted from the late great Cesar Ramirez) – has turned mellower and wiser with age. Yet the 43-year-old Binoe, as Robin is also called, still has that spunk in his acting, as well as in his outspoken activism in various advocacies.

Binoe plays the role of Sen. Gabriel Alcaraz, a character loosely based on Panfilo Lacson – as distinguished from the more overt film bio by the late Rudy Fernandez. In the story, Senator Alcaraz becomes a fugitive caught in a slew of political controversies.

“10,000 Hours” is directed by Joyce Bernal, in what may be deemed a departure from her comedies and rom-coms.

Robin said he did some adjusting in his performance to suit his role.

“Dignified ang role natin dito, eh [It’s a dignified role]. My first time to play a politician. Nasanay tayo sa mga action roles kasi kaya kailangan mag-adjust [We’ve been used to action roles, so the need to adjust].

“Medyo nahirapan tayo noong una kasi paulit-ulit ang takes [There was some difficulty at first because we had to do take after take]. Gusto ni Direk Joyce na hindi niya nakikita si Robin Padilla kundi ang character na ginagampanan ko [Direk Joyce wanted to see, not Robin Padilla, but his character].

“Pagkatapos ng maraming takes ay nakuha rin natin ang gusto niya [After all these takes, we got what she wanted].”

The late French film director Robert Bresson would draw exceptional performances from his actors when they were already exhausted after so many takes.

Action scenes

The film might be a political drama but there will still be plenty of action.

“Kailangan may tatak Robin Padilla pa rin kahit papa’no,” he laughed. (This should still have the stamp of a Robin Padilla film somehow.)

Yet Robin had done a number of films that were almost lacking in action scenes – notably Jon Red’s evocative and elegant indie crime-drama from 2004, “Astig(matism),” where the actor played a poor-sighted hitman confronted by moral issues and heartbreak.

Going back to “10,000 Hours”: “Nag-shooting kami ng mga action scenes sa Amsterdam,” Robin said. “Nag-shoot kami sakay ng boat at naghabulan sa canals ng Amsterdam.” (We did the action scenes in Amsterdam. There’s a boat-chase scene along the city’s canals.)

“May kinunan din kami sa Red Light District at ang kaeksena ko roon ay si Michael de Mesa who plays an agent na gusto akong arestuhin at pabalikin sa Pilipinas.” (We also filmed in the Red Light District and I’m with Michael de Mesa in this scene. He’s an agent going after me, wants me arrested and extradited.)

The film is set amid the background of corruption in government, and Robin’s character is one of the crusaders here.

“Inspired lang ang movie na ito sa story ni Senator Lacson na noong araw pa ay nilalabanan ang corruption sa gobyerno,” the actor said. (This movie is inspired by the story of Senator Lacson who has been fighting corruption from way back.) 

“Very timely ito kasi ang issue ngayon sa bansa natin ay ang pag-abolish ng pork barrel na siyang nagdala ng matinding kahirapan sa marami nating kababayan ngayon.” (This film is very timely because the issue today is the need to abolish the pork barrel which has aggravated the poverty among our people.)

READ: Padilla to Drilon: Resign!

This is Robin’s biggest film to date. His last movie was the Indian-inspired love story “Tum: My Pledge of Love” (2011), also starring his wife, Mariel Rodriguez.

Despite his many years as an actor, this is Robin’s first time to take part in Philippine cinema’s most pop-oriented event, the Metro Manila Film Festival. He is grateful for the support of Amsterdam’s Filipino community in the production.

The cast also includes Alden Richards, Sunshine Dizon, Bela Padilla, Bobby Andrews, Joem Bascon, Joross Gamboa, Winwyn Marquez, Malou de Guzman, and Pen Medina. –

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