Even before the start of Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) on December 25, those who have seen Die Beautiful in advance were already praising not only Paolo Ballesteros as Trisha but also Christian Bables as Barbs.
When the festival started, there was an unofficial movement pushing Ballesteros as shoo-in for Best Actor and Bables as Best Supporting Actor. No one got disappointed because the judges clearly had the same taste as moviegoers – Bables was named Best Supporting Actor and Ballesteros was declared Best Actor in the 42nd MMFF Awards on Decemebr 29 at the Kia Theater in Cubao, Quezon City.
How Bables was cast as the BFF (best friend forever) of Trisha was explained by producer Perci Intalan on social media.
“Meet Christian Bables aka Barbs, ang trending na BFF ni Trisha sa #DieBeautiful. People are saying he is the surprise discovery of the MMFF, ” Intalan opened.
“This is how he came to be Barbs: We were looking for a best friend for Kiray in Regal Films’ I Love You To Death. Ruby Ruby recommended this guy who just finished a soap in ABS-CBN. He auditioned but we weren’t so convinced, so he left. But for some reason Direk Miko Livelo, Direk Manny Valera, Direk Jun Lana, Roselle Monteverde and I had a change of heart and we quickly called him back,” he wrote.
“Pasakay na siya ng taxi. Second time’s a charm and he got the role. And when we saw the finished film, we were so impressed that Jun and I decided he should be cast in another film somehow,” he continued.
“In Die Beautiful, he was not supposed to be Barbs at first. But one thing led to another and we wound up without a definite Barbs until we were doing our line readings. That is when Direk Jun saw how good Christian was in the role. He was the perfect foil to Paolo Ballesteros because he was so natural and instinctive. He knew when to throw his lines and how to ride along with Paolo’s ad lib. Even his body language complimented Paolo. You felt the friendship was real. And now, people see the magic onscreen and love him so much that he is even trending on Twitter,” Intalan lengthily explained.
“We are so happy for Christian. It has been quite a journey and he has worked so hard for this. This is his big break! Excited to see what the future holds for him!” the writer-director-producer exclaimed, much more meaningful now that their discovery is already a Best Supporting Actor awardee.