SHAINA Magdayao plays her most daring role to date as Tanya in the April Metro Filmfest entry, “Tagpuan”, written by Ricky Lee and directed by MacArthur Alejandre.
“I’m grateful to be part of a Ricky Lee project,” she says. “My first time din to work with Direk Mac and with Alfred Vargas as leading man and I had a great time with everyone while shooting the movie on location in Hong Kong at the time of their protest rallies and in Brooklyn and Queens, New York.”
Direk Mac says Shaina had no qualms in doing graphic love scenes with Alfred in “Tagpuan”. “When we first met with her, inilatag ko ang lahat,” says Direk Mac. “Sabi ko, okay ba sa’yo? Kasi kundi ka comfortable, we can change it. When she said, gusto nyo bang magpakita ako ng puwet? I said, ah okay ito. I knew wala kaming magiging problema sa kanya at all.”
What attracted her to her character? “Tanya is someone I’ve never portrayed before in my whole career. She’s quirky, she’s a free spirit. She’s half Filipino-half Chinese living in Hong Kong and doing all sorts of work, from cleaning toilets to being a streetwalker. Big challenge for me to transform myself into Tanya kasi ang bilis-bilis niya magsalita at ang hahaba ng lines. You’d think masaya siya but there’s a void and a certain sadness inside of her. I first met Alfred sa Hong Kong Ferry and I asked him agad, gusto mo ng sex? At first, hindi mo alam kung totoo ba ang sinasabi niya o hindi? I had a one-on-one meeting with Direk Mac and he helped me to get into my character para gawin siyang totoong tao at hindi basta caricature.”
Alfred has nothing but good words for Shaina. “Her performance is mesmerizing. Sa bed scene namin, may linya pa siyang ‘Baka gusto mong itali ako, baka mas mag-enjoy ka. Huwag kang mag-alala kasi sanay ako sa ganito.’ Talagang ibang-ibang Shaina ang mapapanood nyo rito and I’m thankful she accepted this daring role.”
“I’m lucky kasi very focused siya, so committed to the role,” adds Direk Mac. “Her performance is magical kasi walang kakiyeme-kiyeme. Lahat sila, pati si Iza Calzado who also has a bedscene with Alfred.”
“I did the daring scenes at walang issue sa akin ang sex scenes or bed scenes because it’s not really me naman who’s doing it but my character, si Tanya,” says Shaina. “I want to thank Alfred Vargas also kasi I won’t be able to do my character well if I’m not comfortable sa katrabaho ko. Alfred is very supportive all throughout and we became good friends, pati yung cinematographer namin, Carlo Mendoza, na hindi lang magaganda ang shots kundi sinuportahan din kami in shooting the love scenes well. But after the take, hindi na ako si Tanya, I’m back to my old true self.
Although maraming love scenes sa movie, I hope it will not be defined by the sex in it kasi the movie is more than that. Although this is shot in Hongkong and New York, it’s not the usual travelogue kasi we show a different side of those cities. In HongKong, I’m shown living in their cage houses where the very poor lives. Nasa 7th floor kami, tapos, walang elevator and our walls, chicken wire lang, with both Chinese and Filipinos living in them. In other films shot abroad, the interior scenes are shot in Manila pero ito, walang daya, lahat kinunan nang buong-buo in the cities where we shot them.”
“Tagpuan” is one of the eight films that will be shown in the April Metro Filmfest, to be released nationwide from April 11 to 21. Let’s support “Tagpuan” and all the other entries.