SUNSHINE Cruz started as a wholesome teenage Regal Baby introduced in “First Time” in 1992, then went sexy in Viva’s “Ekis” in 1999. But her career as a sexy star was very short-lived as she married Cesar Montano the following year. As we all know, they have since called it quits and now, as Sunshine turns 42 today, July 18 (happy birthday!), she returns to being sexy in the Cinemalaya entry, “Malamaya (The Color of Ash)”.
“But I want to emphasize that ‘Malamaya’ is more than just a sexy movie,” she stresses. “Nagugulat nga ako sa headlines ng writeups about us, which is about me having sex with a younger actor, si Enzo Pineda. But we didn’t just do a sex movie and viewers should expect more than just love scenes and bed scenes, although meron ngang ganoong mga eksena. Our movie is definitely more than that.”
She says she accepted the project because it’s a Cinemalaya entry and the material is different from anything she has done before. “The story is really beautiful and I found my role very challenging. Also, both the directors are women, so I know they will take good care of me, so I didn’t have any hesitation to accept their offer. That it’s a part of Cinemalaya is also a blessing! I’ve always dreamt of being able to participate in the annual Cinemalaya Filmfest and I am grateful for this chance to have an entry now.”
“Malamaya” is directed by first time directors Leilani Chavez and Danica Sta. Lucia. Chavez co-wrote the script herself, with Liberty Trinidad. In the story, Sunshine plays Nora, a middle-aged visual artist who has lost her zest for life and is just coasting along. She then meets a new photographer who re-ignites her passion, Migs (Enzo Pineda).
In fairness to Sunshine, she looks younger than her age, making her a real hot mama with a curvaceous figure. What’s her secret? “I live a clean and simple lifestyle. I don’t smoke. I drink wine, but only occasionally. At hindi ako nagpupuyat kasi di naman ako mahilig gumimik. Then I exercise to sweat it out. Sa gabi, konti na lang ako kumain, lalo na carbs, I avoid that.”
She has three teenage daughter. Do they know she’s going sexy in “Malamaya”? “Yes, I informed them. They understand it’s part of my job as an actress. They’re very smart and open minded and we’ll all watch it together on gala night at the CCP.”
How about her ex-husband, Cesar Montano? “Ay, huwag na nating isali 'yun sa usapan. Past is past. Annulled na kami so let’s just move on.”
“Malamaya” will be shown as an entry in the Cinemalaya from August 2 to 11 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and in selected cinemas. Then it will have a commercial run nationwide starting August 14.