Deglamorized and unmade-up. That’s the Ai-Ai Delas Alas who faced Showbuzz on the set of the movie Area, an indie film about aging prostitutes in Angeles City, Pampanga. The movie excites Ai-Ai so much that she didn’t have any qualms about disrobing in some scenes. It goes without saying then that the Comedy Queen is very taken by the project, in which she stars with Allen Dizon and her son Sancho.
The location of the shoot during our set visit turned out to be the place where the true-to-life story of this indie unfolds. It’s called “Area” by people who knew what goes on over there. Very popular in the 80’s and 90’s as the go-to place for young boys eager to enter their manhood, even Allen, who hails from Pampanga admitted he knew about Area in his teenage years. He said he and his classmates in high school, and even through college, went there in search of women they could pay for “a short time” experience.
“Dito binibinyagan ang mga nagbibinata,” quipped Area director Louie Ignacio.
According to Ai-Ai, there are so many colorful stories and characters one can find in Area, such as the woman who served as the case study for her role.
“Nag-immersion kami dito and I met a lot of people who have spent almost their entire life in Area. I would come here, stay here and mingle with the people here. I wanted to observe how their day to day life is. I wanted to feel the hardships they go through. I wanted to know how they seem to have been so calloused over sleeping with different men—and sometimes even boys—that this had almost become a way of life for them,” said the actress.
Describing her character in Area as her “dream role,” the Comedy Queen, who is taking a break from the funnies for this indie, explained she had long been wanting to play the role of a prostitute. Naturally, when the offer came from BG Films International for Area, she did not have second thoughts on accepting the project.
Said Ai-Ai, she considers this role her most challenging to date. Here, she takes pride in her restrained acting, a far cry for sure from the Ai-Ai movie and television viewers are used to. There are physical struggles in several scenes but it is the inner struggles of the character that Ai-Ai finds more challenging. They really call for complete focus, and complete submission to the character.
“Wala akong paki-alam dito kung ano itsura ko. I wear no make-up because I want to achieve the look of Hillary, my character here. And this is the only movie where I really took off my clothes a lot of times. Mag-iinarte pa ba ko, eh ang mga kasama ko nga, walang paki-alam kung maghubad. Breast exposure kung breast exposure and there were [members of the cast]who did frontal nudity. So when Direk Louie says, ‘Nakahubad ka rito, hubad agad ako,” she related.
Besides challenging her as an actor, Showbuzz asked if there was any other reason she accepted such a serious and risqué project. Her reply? She wants to be noticed internationally.
As early as now, the producers of Area are planning to enter the movie in a number of international film festivals, which makes Ai-Ai all the more excited. There are also talks that BG Films will submit the movie to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival after the executive committee had announced they will give a lot of weight on an entry’s artistic value.
According to Ai-Ai, she has not told her Hay Bahay sitcom leading man Vic Sotto about Area, but that she plans to invite him to watch the movie.
“Sasabihin nu’n, ano na naman ‘yang ginawa mo? I want to see what his reaction will be,” Ai-Ai said excitedly.
If there’s one person who is so shocked with Ai-Ai’s bravery in shedding off her clothes, it’s her son Sancho. This doesn’t mean however that he is against what his mom is doing. He understands that it’s her mom’s dream role.
Since they’re almost always together on set, Sancho admits he was taken aback when the first time he saw his mom in a sexy scene, but being an actor as well, he understands that she only wants to give her most realistic portrayal.
The role of Sancho in the movie is also challenging. He plays a pimp. “Ibinubugaw ko ‘yung mga babae, kasama na du’n yung character ni Mama na si Hillary. I had to study how a pimp talks, moves, and even the facial expression na parang nag-aalok lang ng pangkaraniwang paninda kung makipag-usap sa mga customer,” he said.
From what he saw of his mom’s scenes so far, Sancho is very proud. “It’s a different Ai-Ai. It’s Ai-Ai, the actress who people will see in this movie. I’m saying this not because she’s my mother but because I’m really so impressed with what she is showing in this film. Parang nanibago nga ako sa kanya and this is the first time that I saw her like this. I also see her dedication to the movie because she would always talk to me about this film and her role, asking my opinion if it’s OK for her to do this or that with her character,” Sancho enthused.
Meanwhile, Sancho and her non-showbiz girlfriend has come to accept in their hearts that they have lost their first baby. “Nakakapanghinayang, hindi ko nga ma-break ‘yung news because I was so sad that’s why I asked my mom to be the one to announce that we lost our first baby. We believe, of course, that it’s God’s will and we know that God will give us a baby in the right time, in His time.”
It seems that the Miss World Charities cannot let go of Miss World 2012 Megan Young. Until now, Megan is still under contract with the London-based organization and she is still very active in so many Miss World events. In fact, Megan is scheduled to fly to the United Kingdom this July for the 2016 Mr. World pageant, which as The Manila Times had reported last week, she may also host.
Megan’s current contract is already on its second extension, and while there have been two Miss Worlds that have finished their respective reigns since she relinquished her crown, the bright and beautiful Filipina remains a favorite in representing the organization at various charity and social events around the globe. Of course, all this can only mean that the Miss World Organization is very happy with Megan’s performance, whom in fact they have described as one of the best they’ve ever had.
When she flies to the UK, however, Megan will have to miss tapings for her Sunday comedy series with Mark Herras, Conan, My Beautician. She is rushing to do some advance episodes for the program, which she told Showbuzz she has fallen in love with, because of her co-stars.
“Ours is a very happy set. No dull moment. You see, our show has a lot of comedians so you can just imagine how everyone is off camera. Sometimes, the behind the scene happenings are funnier than what people see on cam,” she said.
SHORTS… Kapuso young actress Jazz Ocampo is slowly getting noticed. She is now cast in the television version of the ‘90s hit movie Sinungaling Mong Puso, where she portrays the character originally essayed by Aiko Melendez.
The role calls for some love scenes, which is making Jazz so nervous. The 16-year-old actress has not had a boyfriend yet, which is why she becomes uneasy whenever she thinks about having to be intimate on camera with her leading man Kiko Estrada.
…Aljur Abrenica just shrugs off rumors that his house was bought for him by a rich doctor and a businessman because he knows in his heart that there is no truth to any of it. Aljur bought the house with his hard earned money during the time he was doing one project after another. DZMM radio anchor Kaye Dacer can attest to this because it was from her that Aljur bought his current house.
In fact, according to Kaye, the Kapuso hunk still has a balance to settle before he is fully paid. some amount to settle for the house.
…So there’s no truth to the rumor that a beautiful sexy actress and an actor-host are romantically involved. The truth is that the actress is actually in a relationship with an older actor who is still very good looking despite his years. Putting two and two together, the whole thing only means that the supposed affair of the actress and the actor-host is only being floated for a show.