Nadine minus James: Three leading men

February 24, 2019
Nadine Lustre

NADINE Lustre does a movie without her usual ka-love team, James Reid. This time, she’s paired with Carlo Aquino in the romance-drama with a touch of magic realism, “Ulan”. So how is it doing a movie without James?

“Siyempre po, nakakapanibago kasi nasanay akong nandiyan siya, siya lagi ang kasama ko,” she says. “But we have to grow individually as artists. Meron din naman siyang ginagawang movie on his own and I think that’s healthy for both of us. And I enjoyed naman working with Carlo as my leading man, and also with Marco Gumabao and AJ Muhlach who played my first two boyfriends in the story. But they both turn out to be unfaithful and they break my heart. Masaya sila lahat kasama sa shoot at happy set kami lagi.”

Her last movie, “Never Not Love You” with James, was a big hit. Isn’t she scared that viewers might avoid “Ulan” since James is not with her? “Nakaka-pressure but I’m confident that viewers will like our movie kasi kakaiba siya, e. When I first read the script written by Direk Irene Villamor, I fell in love with it agad kasi may element ng fantasy.

I play Maya, a girl who believe in tikbalangs kasi as a child, nakita kong may mga kinakasal na tikbalang and since then, I associate the rain with the sad moments in my life, with my failures and unhappy situation. Like when my parents died while it’s raining, so it’s my lola, Perla Bautista, who raised me. Parang bad omen siya for me. But I continue to wait, hoping the rain will also one day bring  my one true love. And while waiting for a ride sa isang waiting shed habang umuulan, doon ko naman nakilala si Carlo as Peter.”

And where did Direk Irene, whose recent hits are “Sid and Aya” and “Meet Me in St. Gallen”, get the concept for the movie? “I grew up in the province na maraming mga pamahiin,” says the young writer-director. “Sabi ng matatanda, kapag umuulan daw then sabay na umaaraw, may mga ikinakasal na tikbalang. Ayaw ng langit sa pag-iibigan nila kaya umuulan, dahil ang mga tikbalang, walang karapatang umibig. Tikbalangs are from our local folklore, creatures na half man and half horse, at part ito ng childhood memories ko.”

Is “Ulan” a horror movie? “No, no, this is not a horror movie. Hindi siya scary. I first wrote it as a short story at nang mabasa ito ni Direk Joyce Bernal, who’s our creative consultant for ‘Ulan’, sabi niya, bakit hindi mo gawing script for a movie. So I did, and when I presented it to Viva, nagustuhan naman nila. This is actually more a coming of age story, the personal journey of a young woman who got broken-hearted and realized that, more than anything else, she has to love herself first.

Then nakilala niya si Carlo Aquino as Peter, a volunteer sa isang non-government organization who proves to be her Mr. Right. Malaking Hollywood movie ang kasabay namin to open on March 13, kaya sana tulungan nyo naman kami para more people will be aware of ‘Ulan’.”