'Sin Island' isn't your typical Valentine's Day rom-com
MANILA, Philippines – Star Cinema veers away from your typical Valentine’s Day romantic comedy in Gino Santos’ Sin Island. Set on an imaginary island in Batangas, called Sinilaban Island, the film explores themes of seduction and infidelity, ultimately asking the age-old question, “How far will you go to fight for love?”
“This is the sexiest movie I’ve been in,” Coleen Garcia said during the press conference for Sin Island on Monday, February 12.
“But this is not the sexiest role I’ve done kasi asawa na ako dito (I'm a spouse here). But right now, it’s the hardest, it’s the bravest, iba eh (it's different). Iba ‘yung pagka-daring niya. Kumbaga, ‘di lang siya sexy. Ibang klaseng daring (It's daring in a different way. In other words, it's not just sexy. It's really a different type of daring). It’s a very edgy movie.”
Sin Island is a sexy romance film that “seeks to find out if a marriage can truly survive two infidelities.” It tells the story of David (Xian Lim) and Kanika (Coleen), whose seemingly picture-perfect marriage falls apart because of Kanika’s infidelity. Hurt by the betrayal, David flies to Sinilaban Island where he meets Tasha (Nathalie Hart). Despite their mistakes, David and Kanika decide to try again, but Tasha refuses to let go.
This is the first risqué movie Star Cinema has produced since Ang Mga Lalaki Sa Buhay ni Selya, starring Rosanna Roces, in 2007. According to the director, the movie got even darker and edgier than intended, which initially worried the management, especially since Star Cinema has always been associated with family-friendly content.
“When it was passed to [them], management was [saying], ‘It’s too risqué. Are we gonna push with it?’ Nag-stop siya along the way (It stopped along the way),” Gino recalled.
“But once they saw the rushes [or footage], sige full force go na (it became a full force go). They were confident along the way we were shooting. Pagdating ng last month dun na sila nagkaroon ng confidence and super happy sila (When we got to the last month, that's when they gained confidence [in the movie] and they were super happy).”
The movie is described as “unapologetic, bold, daring and scandalous," but screenwriter Jancy Nicolas explained that at its core, it's a story about fighting for love.
“It really talks about redeeming love, redeeming a marriage, and fighting for it. More than ‘yung edge niya (its edge), more than ‘yung darkness niya (its darkness), it’s really fundamentally a story of a marriage.”
Sin Island has been given an R-16 rating by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) with no scenes deleted.
Xian on his first ‘mature’ role
Up until recently, Xian did mostly romantic comedy movies opposite his rumored girlfriend Kim Chiu. Fans of their love team, however, were very supportive when it was announced that he would be paired with Coleen and Nathalie. Appearing to shed his good-boy image for the role was also never an issue.
“They’re very understanding, at nakikita naman nila kung ano ‘yung gusto ko talagang gawin sa mga characters ko. In terms of how people see me, kunwari ‘yung image na good boy, it’s always gonna change kasi iba-ibang characters naman ‘yung ipe-play ko, and in the future hopefully. Wala namang misunderstanding dun they’re very supportive.”
(They're very understanding, and my fans can see what I really want to do with my characters. In terms of how people see me, for example, my good boy image, it's always going to change because I'm going to play different characters, and in the future, hopefully. There's no misunderstanding there, they're very supportive.)
When asked what Kim thought of the role, Xian said that as a fellow actor, she understood the importance of showing his versatility by playing different characters.
“Napagusapan namin pero again usually sa mga ginagawa naming projects ‘di naman kami ‘yung type na nakikialam sa ginagawa ng isa’t isa. Para sa amin masaya kami when we get to express ourselves and every time na may trabaho kami, I think dun talaga nagbu-burn up ‘yung passion namin na, ‘Wow we’re doing something different.’ How else pa ba namin ire-reinvent ‘yung sarili namin? Ganun po kami.”
(We talked about it, but again, usually, when we do projects, we're not the types to interfere with what the other is doing. For us, we're happy when we get to express ourselves, and every time we have work, I think that's where we're able to burn our passion, like, 'Wow, we're doing something different.' How else can we reinvent ourselves? That's how we are.)
As he’s used to a different genre, Xian shared that he had a lot of questions on set. He said that there were times where he felt “uneasy” and “awkward” doing intimate scenes with Coleen and Nathalie, especially since both actresses already had experience when it comes to films of similar a genre.
Xian, however, was eager to prove that there’s a different side of him that no one has seen yet.
He added that he wants to play as many roles as he can and push his limits. He's challenged, he said, by people who think he can't do a certain role: "Surprising them with the genre, malayo talaga ‘yung talon, but I just want people to know na I want to play as many characters, as plenty roles as I can,” he said.
(Surprising them with the genre, it's a bit of a far jump, but I just want people to know that I want to play as many characters, as plenty roles as I can.)
Coleen on accepting sexy roles after wedding
Coleen has had her fair share of sexy movies. So much so, that her soon-to-be husband Billy Crawford is not only unperturbed, but excited to see her latest project.
“He’s just been so excited this whole time. Parang wala naman akong nagawa dito na hindi na siya sanay… I think ‘yung pinaka nahirapan siya ‘yung first film, ‘yung with Derek [Ramsay], ‘yung Ex With Benefits kasi nga it was the first time,” she said.
(He's just been so excited this whole time. I don't think I did anything here that he's not used to... I think he had the hardest time with the first film, the one with Derek [Ramsay], Ex With Benefits, because it was the first time.)
“Pero ngayon, especially since it’s my 4th time working with Gino, parang kabisado na rin niya kung paano kami magtrabaho. He’s very kampante naman kung pano kami magtrabaho.” (But now, since it's my 4th time working with Gino, he's quite used to how we work. He's very unconcerned about how we work.)
According to Coleen, Billy has always been very supportive of her career choices. She added that even after they get married this April, he wouldn’t be against her accepting similar roles in the future.
Sin Island opens February 14. – Rappler.com