CRISTINE Reyes has done drama, comedy and horror films. Now, she forays into the action genre in “Maria”, a hardhitting thriller directed by Pedring Lopez. “I had to undergo a lot of preparation for my role as Lily, an assassin for a drug cartel called Black Rose,” she says. “Very physical ang role ko, so for one month, puro training lang ako sa martial arts, including arnis, and how to use guns and daggers. Kapag napanood nyo ang action scenes dito, you won’t think gawa-gawa lang. You’d think everything is real.”
Direk Pedring is all praises for Cristine. “First shooting day niya, action scene agad with four men, at buong araw, 'yun lang ang kinunan namin,” he says. “Nagsimulang tumatakbo siya sa palengke while the camera follows her. Ang bilis niya tumakbo so the cameraman, naiiwanan niya. Kahit hirap at pagod na siya, she doesn’t complain. In one stunt, she broke her finger and in another one, nasipa niya 'yung camera so she had bruises sa legs niya, pero tuloy pa rin ang shoot.”
“It’s really because I’m enjoying what I’m doing,” says Cristine. “I can really feel the adrenaline rush. Na-realize ko nga, sa lahat ng movies na nagawa ko, ito ang favorite ko. Maganda rin ang story. I deliberately betray the cartel and for this, I’m executed and left for dead. What the cartel doesn’t know is I faked my own death to begin a new life as Maria, with a family of my own. But the cartel finds out that I’m alive and messes up with my family so I have to take revenge on them.”
We later saw the film, an unabashed revenge saga, at its press preview at the UP Film Center and Cristine really impressed us with her fierce and totally engrossing portrayal of the ass kicking heroine. Other female stars who just did action are Anne Curtis in “Buy Bust” and Erich Gonzales in “We Will Not Die Tonight”. Cristine would not want to be compared with them. “Panoorin na lang ng mga tao ang ‘Maria’ and let them be the judge,” she says. But we’re telling you, she’s much better and gives more grit and gumption to her portrayal than Anne and Erich. The climax of her showdown in the mud and rain with Ivan Padilla as her erstwhile lover turned mortal enemy is very excitingly choreographed.
One thing you can say about Cristine is that she has maintained her curvaceous figure you wouldn’t even suspect that she is now a doting mom to her daughter, Amarah. About her personal life, she continues to avoid questions about her estranged husband, Ali Kathibi. “Now that I’m a mother, I value my work so much at ready ako ibigay kung ano ang hinihingi ng director at ng script,” she adds. “About my personal life, mabuti naman ito. I’m contented with my work right now, with my life, with everything.”
Right after the Q&A at the presscon, Cristine left right away saying she had other pressing appointments but writers conclude that it’s her way to avoid one-on-one interviews where they’ll pressure her to talk about her personal life.
Joining her in “Maria” as assassins who later become her arch enemies are Jennifer Lee and Cindy Miranda, both former FHM cover girls like her. Supporting them are Ivan Padilla, Andrea del Rosario, Ronnie Lazaro, Johnny Revilla, KC Montero, singers L.A. Santos and Ronnie Liang, Freddie Webb and Guji Lorenzana as Maria’s ill-fated husband. “Maria” opens in theaters on March 27.