MMFF 2015: 5 things to know about ‘Nilalang’

Alexa Villano
Cesar Montano and Japanese actress Maria Ozawa star in the suspense thriller directed by Pedring Lopez

'NILALANG' Cesar Montano and Japanese actress Maria Ozawa star in the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival movie. Screengrab from YouTube/My movie World

MANILA, Philippines – Cesar Montano and Japanese actress Maria Ozawa teamed up for the first time in the movie Nilalang, a suspense-thriller directed by Pedring Lopez.

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In the movie, Cesar is Tony, an NBI cop tracking down a serial killer responsible for a series of murders. He encounters Miyuki (Maria Ozawa) a daughter of a Yakuza member who helps him out, and they soon find themselves face-to-face with an enemy that transcends time.

The movie also stars Meg Imperial, Yam Concecpcion, and Cholo Barretto. It’s an official entry in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival.

Here are 5 things to know about Nilalang:

1. Robin Padilla was supposed to be the leading man.

Before Cesar Montano came on board, the film originally had Robin and Maria as partners for the movie. But after finding out that his wife, Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla was pregnant, Robin pulled out of the movie to take care of his wife. Mariel suffered a miscarriage days after Robin’s announcement.

Robin’s backing out of the film initially did not please Maria, who accused him of being unprofessional, but she later apologized 

During the press preview of the trailer last October, Cesar said, he was flattered to take on the role Robin left. (READ: What Robin Padilla said about Cesar Montano replacing him in MMFF 2015 film ‘Nilalang’)

“Actually nakakatuwa, matagal ko nang kapatid iyan si Robin. He knows my soul as he knows mine,” Cesar said. (Actually, I’m so happy because Robin has long been a brother of mine.)

2. Nilalang is Maria Ozawa’s first Filipino film. 

Maria is known for her adult films, and after she left the adult film industry, she tried to get into movies. She has done movies in Taiwan, Thailand, and in Indonesia. On doing Nilalang, Maria said she found surreal the way the people behind the camera worked.

Photo courtesy of Welovepost

“The working hours were really crazy. Really crazy, like more than 15 hours a day but still because it was that long, I got to know the cast more. The more I stay, the more I fall in love with the Philippines,” she said.

Maria also said that she has no plans of going back to the adult entertainment industry that made her famous. (READ: Maria Ozawa on adult films: ‘I quit the industry 100%’)

“I haven’t done those [films] in 5 or 6 years, and yeah I quit the industry 100%. That’s why I’ve been doing movies in Thailand and Taiwan, and traveling to China every month for a club event,” she said.

3. Maria was offered the role in Nilalang after expressing her interest to do a movie in the Philippines. 

According to a press release, Maria was in the country last April 2015 for a series of radio guestings. During a radio visit to Boys Night Out on Magic 89.9, Maria said that given a chance, she would love to do a movie in the Philippines.

“And I just said it randomly, that I would love to be in a movie, and the offer came. I’m so lucky.” she said.

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4. Cesar and Maria have a 4-minute intimate scene in the film. 

During the press conference, Maria and Cesar were grilled about the kissing scene he and Maria did, which was reported to be 4 minutes long.

Oo nga parang take 4 lang nagawa doon, (Yes, I think we only had 4 takes on that [kissing scene]),” Cesar said in jest about the kissing scene. Maria meanwhile estimated that the kissing scene was between 4 to 5 minutes.

File photo by Robert Reyes/ Rappler

“First kissing scene sa kanya iyon eh di ba? And 4 minutes…maikli pa nga iyon. But hindi iyon yung demand ng script,” Cesar said.  (That was the first kissing scene with her right? And 4 minutes…that’s short. But seriously, that’s what the script demanded.)

5. Maria did a number of fighting scenes for the movie.

Maria said that it was her first time to do fight scenes.

“First, I was like, I haven’t done any of the fight scenes before, so I was really worried, but it turned out well,” she said.

Photo courtesy of WeLovePost

Maria also said that she took lessons in Japan in preparation for the movie, and one of the martial arts she trained for was kendo. Maria also said she had fun carrying a gun, with which she said she was able to shoot a bottle.

Will you be watching Nilalang this Christmas season? Let us know in the comments section. –

Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.