“It was freeing,” is how Megastar Sharon Cuneta describes her first acting experience for an independent movie via Mes de Guzman’s “Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha.” The top grosser of August’s Cinemalaya Festival 2017, the well-received dramedy will hold its commercial run beginning today.
“At this stage in my life matagal na din akong nangangarap na magka-independent film,” said the 51-year-old actress a press conference on Monday, organized by the movie’s distributor Star Cinema. But while she had received numerous offers to do an indie over the years, it wasn’t until she read de Guzman’s script that she knew she had the right material in her hands.
“Nagpadala ng sulat si Direk Mes kasama ang story line ng Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha with a list of his works ["Ang Kuwento Ni Mabuti, "Sitio”] and nagustuhan ko talaga, so I told my manager Sandra [Cha[Chavez]t’s meet with them.”
It took another three years, however, before de Guzman—who had written the movie’s lead character specifically for Cuneta—got the acting doyen on the set.
“Doble pa kasi ang laki ko n’un,” the ever candid Megstar confessed laughing. “Hindi ko matanggap to face the camera that way, but finally, I lost some weight and we did it!”
Cuneta plays the role of Cora, a wife and mother, whose husband left her for another woman, and whose children had already moved out of home. Desperate to get them back, she chooses to believe a legend in their hometown to let the “Family that does not weep” into her home to unite her family again. Her search leads to wild chases and dead-ends with only her quirky but loyal household helper by her side.
“In other words, nag-focus si Cora sa alamat kesa humingi ng tulong sa Diyos,” Cuneta rounded up.
She then described her character as a woman who has reached rocked bottom. A drunk, she looks permanently disheveled and extremely depressed, practically at the verge of breaking down.
“Wala akong inhibitions sa pag-arte ko dito, kasi sa independent movie, you can do anything you want. Lasenggera ako, iisa lang damit ko sa buong pelikula, kaya pag ibang kulay ang suot ko, flashback kasi yon,” Cuneta elaborated.
“It was freeing and I appreciated that freedom where you didn’t have to worry about you looked. The more losyang, the better! Sabi ni Direk, bawal ang foundation, bawal ang blower. It was an amazing experience.”
Shooting only for nine straight days as independent movies usually go, Cuneta is proud to call Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha her comeback movie after eight long years. And with surprising new experiences the indie movie gave her in her almost four-decade old career, she hopes her fans will enjoy seeing the movie in mainstream cinemas for the duration of its run.
“I did this indie because its story really touched me, and I hope that our little movie that comes at the heels of another surprise hit indie, Kita Kita, which I fell in love with, will make them laugh and cry, and truly entertained,” she ended.