Direk Laurice describes Gabby as ‘older but wiser,’ Jodi as ‘mysterious’

April 26, 2019
Jodi Sta. Maria and Gabby Concepcion
Jodi Sta. Maria and Gabby Concepcion

DIRECTOR Laurice Guillen wants to make it clear that her new movie, “Man and Wife” from Cineko Films, is not a remake of the classic radio show, “Gulong ng Palad”, which has been turned into a movie twice and also into a TV soap twice. “We’re still using the name of the lead characters, Carding and Luisa, but we have given it a modern touch to update the material,” she says. “Hindi na masyadong stressed 'yung conflict ng rich and poor kasi mayaman sina Carding at mahirap sina Luisa, now played by Gabby Concepcion and Jodi Sta. Maria. The story now starts nang bumalik sila from the States but Carding’s mom, Menang as played by Liza Lorena, continues to hate Luisa. But we now have a realistic way of dealing with the in-law problems. We changed the title to ‘Man and Wife’ because 'yun naman talaga ang sinasabi when you get married, you become man and wife. So we try to show here what does it mean to become man and wife.”

How is it working with Gabby and Jodi? “This is the first time they work together and they’re both fine. I’ve worked with Gabby in movies like ‘Una Kang Naging Akin’ and ‘Tayong Dalawa’, both with Sharon Cuneta, then ‘Rosenda’ and ‘I Love You Goodbye’, so this is our fifth movie together. On TV, we worked together for more than a year in GMA's 'Ika-Limang Utos'. And through the years, he hasn’t changed at all. He’s very professional, well-mannered, very charming. Kung male-late 'yan sa shoot, magte-text pa 'yan to tell you where he is, kahit hindi mo tinatanong. He’s older but definitely wiser. He plays here an ordinary husband na may darkness nang konti. Friends kami, so we’re now comfortable with each other that I can ask him to deliver things sa eksena na alam ko namang kaya niya.”

How about Jodi? “The first time I met her was when we were casting ‘Santa-Santita’. Pinadala siya ni Mr. M (Johnny Manahan of Star Magic) along with other young actresses to audition for the role. She was just about 16 or 17 then. But I found her na kulang sa kamalditahan which is needed for the role, so we got Angelica Panganiban. Now, she has become a real lady, refined, with good manners, but you cannot just reach her that easily. May mystery. But both she and gave played their roles well and really delivered as ‘Man and Wife’.”

Also in the cast of "Man and Wife" are Amy Austria as Jodi's mother, Edgar Allan Guzman as Jodi's brother, Klea Pineda as Edgar's girlfriend, Dexter Doria as Liza Lorena's friend, Francis Magundayao as Peping, Ina Feleo as Nene, Denise Laurel as Mimi and Teroy Guzman as Liza's associate.  This is a Mother’s Day presentation that opens in theaters on May 8.

We congratulated Direk Laurice as she will be given a lifetime achievement award by the FAMAS on Sunday, April 28, for her contributions in the local film industry. “Ricky Lee called me up to notify me about it and I was really dumbfounded,” she says. “Kasi lifetime achievement award 'yan, e. Salamat naman that they recognize pala ang mga pinaghirapan ko for so many years. I’m really honored and grateful, and I’m happy to be alongside with Charo Santos and Marilou Abaya, women who have done so much for the industry.”

As a director, Laurice is best known for such films as “Salome”, “Tanging Yaman”, “Kapag Langit ang Humatol”, “Dolzura Cortez Story”, “Kung Mahawi Man ang Ulap”, among others. As an actress, she is memorable for her performance in “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang”, “Ina, Kapatid, Anak”, “Sister Stella L”, “A Dangerous Life”, “Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi” and as Blanche Dubois in the Tagalog stage version of “Streetcar Named Desire” where she was even better than Vivien Leigh.