I would like to take this opportunity to apologize. You did not need to suffer through an interview with someone who is so unprofessional she brought her kid with her to run around and butt into the conversation about your upcoming film.
Of course it was hilarious when the kid actually interrupted that conversation to say that his mom fell asleep while watching the first installment of The Amazing Spiderman the Sunday before your interview.
You were laughing, Andrew, and I knew that it was hilarious for you. But none of it was funny to us, all the way here in the Philippines where this gem of an interviewer comes from. And while we’ve been ashamed about that bit that her son beat you in the box office for first day gross earnings (of the 2013 Spiderman movie), many other things were wrong with that interview, really.
I’d like to tell you about Kris Aquino. Because one hopes you don’t think all of us giddy and superficial, unprofessional and un-intelligent, full of ourselves and self-centered. Filipinos are so much more than that, we go much deeper than that.
The worst interviewer
Aquino is one of a kind, and not in a good way. If there is anything she is famous for, it’s that she was oversharing long before social media became a way of life.
She has made a career out of oversharing, Andrew. And it might seem absurd to you but in Third World Philippines’ television, washing her dirty laundry in public–with the periodic tearful narration of intimate episodes in her personal life–has allowed her a career in TV hosting. She does mostly showbiz talkshows; recently she has had a non-showbiz talkshow that turns politics and current events into superficial showbiz conversations.
This oversharing, this tactlessness, and periodic teary revelations about her lovelife and failed romances is what has put her in a position of power where she endorses every product you can imagine: from appliances to expensive watches, canned goods to food extenders, and every despicable product that the beauty industry comes up with, including but not limited to boob jobs and liposuction, whitening stuff even when we’ve always known her to be born fair skinned.
See, we have had to deal with Aquino since the mid-80s, when democracy was restored, her mother became President, and her dream to become an actress was fulfilled, no matter that she had no talent whatsoever. The hosting career is what has kept her in the limelight, but what keeps her career alive is her willingness to share details of her periodic personal crises on nationwide television.
This has given her a celebrity complex, where as interviewer Aquino actually thinks the conversation’s about her instead of about her subject. That is why she thought it okay to have her son intervening in that conversation; it’s why she kept referring to herself. She could have done that in front of a mirror to make herself feel good. Instead she had to do it in front of you, Andrew.
I’m sorry you had to go through that.
Aquino had a limited time with you, but she was able to bring in the fact that her movie with her son made more money than your movie last year. She also had time to tell you that: “The Philippine audience watches me in the mornings from 7:30 to 9, and before they sleep from 10 to 10:30,” to introduce that “overwhelming (sic) question: with great hair comes great responsibility.” Yup, it was not a question.
I also hope you don’t think that “the” Philippine audience is superficial, wanting nothing but to find out about your hair.
That Aquino went to this question at all was a measure of her and not her purported Philippine audience. That she asked this question after you proved that you have a very critical stance about Spiderman, that was her undoing, too.
In fact, when she said that: “For kids <Spiderman> gives such a positive message, that you can stand up against bullies, that you can be your own voice, and you can be strong. And for someone like <Bimby>, you’re like an inspiration,” Aquino was referring to herself, and how she thinks her fictional and faked up public persona is about her, is about her role in the life of her audience.
Your reply could have put her in her proper place. “You know what, I look up to Spiderman. And I think the kids look up to Spiderman. I have the honor of holding the symbol for the time being, until I pass it on to the next young person who’s going to be playing the character. It’s about the legacy of Spiderman as opposed to about me in any way. ”
If you think that went over Aquino’s head, you would be correct Andrew. Because she knows not to imagine that something isn’t about her. In fact she’s made a career out of thinking that everything is about her, including this interview.
The truth about her movie(s)
Aquino is a woman who cannot act to save her life, Andrew. And while she takes pride in beating the first day gross of The Amazing Spiderman 1 in 2013, she conveniently left out a number of things about her film My Little Bossings.
One, that it was part of an annual holiday filmfest that disallows foreign films from being shown during its run. That means that while the film might have grossed that much, it was not up against much competition. Which brings me to number two: that filmfest is not about quality, as it is about mere box office draw. In particular, that film with her son was critiqued because her son did not have the acting chops for it, and neither did she. In truth, its box office returns was not just about Aquino and her son; it was also about the biggest comedy icon in the Philippines and the tiny spit of a girl with whom he hosts a noontime show: Vic Sotto and Ryzza Mae Dizon.
Which brings me to number three: My Little Bossings beating Spiderman for first day gross proves nothing, other than a local audience that will watch films not based on its quality, but based on who stars in it. That Aquino is part of a film, a film that makes money, does not speak well, in fact, of the state of local films in this country. To have compared it to any of your work at all was nothing but hubris.
Which would be okay if it meant doing this interview well, and for heaven’s sake, ending it well. Alas, Aquino ended it by talking about your hair. Now I knew you were being funny when you responded to her non-question about your hair being a great responsibility, Andrew. You said: “It’s true. It’s hard. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t earned this hair. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been blessed with something I don’t even know what to do with. How do I live with this kind of hair! You need to help me.”
You were being funny, Andrew. But Aquino missed it completely so she ended with the best advice about your hair: “I think, it’s about thanking God for a great blessing.”
I’m embarrassed even as I laugh-out-loud, Andrew. I hope you understand. It was clear in your interview that Aquino knows not what she’s doing.