Acclaimed director helms ‘Once A Princess’
It has been six years since respected movie and television director Laurice Guillen took on a mainstream film, much less a piece that is essentially a love story.
For this reason, the indie film mover was both excited and challenged by the offer of Skylight Films and Regal Films to helm the movie adaptation of the best selling Precious Hearts Romances novel Once a Princess written by Angel Bautista.
“When I was asked to do this movie, I accepted because I wanted to see if I can still communicate to younger audience, and tackle a love story,” she said at the film’s grand press conference on Wednesday at ABS-CBN’s Dolphy Theater.
Flanked by Once a Princess’ lead stars Erich Gonzalez, Enchong Dee and JC De Vera, she continued, “When we finally started filming, the challenge wasn’t so much as working with young stars because I always work with new talents all the time. The challenge was to make these young actors’ portrayals more real—to show them with less of the glamor but more as real people in the story.
The book, which won the Novel of the Year in 2012, and Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards Novels in Filipino Category (2013) follows the story of Erin (Erich) a campus sweetheart who is adored by many because of her beauty and charm. Raised wealthy—with a life like a princess—an awkward boy named Leonard (Enchong) falls in love with her, only to have his heart broken.
A mistake Erin makes changes her entire life as she meets Damian (JC), and marries him.
Indeed, in the presence of Guillien, the young stars came across as mature actors who eagerly talked about the experience of working with the respected director.
“It was a very awesome experience and I feel very blessed na maka-trabaho si Direk dahil nalabas niya yung qualities ko as an actor that I’ve never brought out before.”
As for Erich, she confessed, “Honestly kinabahan ako when I learned I would be working with the Laurice Guillen. But as you can see, she is very cool and patient. She guided me in this movie to be the best I can be but also gave us the freedom in acting out our roles. Hindi lahat nabibigyan ng pagkakataon to work with her and for that, I’m really very grateful.”
Finally, a “privilege” is what Enchong considers his experience under Guillen to be. “She was able to turn me into an adult actor just with this one movie.”
Once A Princess opens in theaters nationwide on August 6.