Sofia Andres, Devon Seron and Cherise Castro get their big break
Three beautiful young ladies are poised to become mainstays of the big screen with early feedback for their performances in Regal Entertainment’s upcoming horror movie, Puwera Usog, turning out to be quite positive.
Star Magic talent Sofia Andres, former Teen Big Brother housemate Devon Seron, and Regal Baby Cherise Castro, earned praises from young writer-director Paul Laxamana [2016’s The Third Party and Love Is Blind; 2014’s The Coffin Maker; and 2013’s Babagwa] who was assigned the cast for his first foray into horror with his original story.
“I’m the kind of director who doesn’t need to choose the actors I work with, so I was open to whoever Regal gave me for this project,” he related at a panel interview.
“Napanood ko na ang ilang auditions na ginawa ni Sofia, and when we finally shot the movie, nandoon ang confidence sa kanyang pag-arte at capable na capable umangat ang kalidad niya bilang artista,” Laxamana said of Puwera Usog’s leading lady.
In the movie, Andres is Jane, a millennial who runs a prank channel online, and whose practical joke on a vagrant turns fatal. Her first movie was a romantic-comedy in Relax, It’s Just Pag-ibig, and became familiar as an antagonist in ABS-CBN’s drama series Forevermore.
“I’m so grateful Mother Lily and Miss Roselle [Monteverde] trusted me with this challenging role,” said the 18-year-old mestiza. “Patience lang talaga ang kailangan sa showbiz, and when your time comes, it’s a great feeling,” Andres happily said.
Meanwhile, former reality TV star Seron had her first experience in the acting department via another ABS-CBN series, Be My Lady. With the soap concluded, she remains a constant on TV but not in acting capacity, however, as one of the members of noontime variety It’s Showtime’s Girltrends.
According to Seron, to say that her role in Puwera Usog is challenging is an understatement as she portrays street dweller Luna, who becomes the victim of Jane’s cruel prank.
“Wala akong background sa acting ni Devon. Taong grasa ang role niya at nakita kong wala siyang arte na dumihan at lagyan ng prosthetics. Natural na natural ang acting niya and wala siyang arte sa katawan. Nandoon ang dedication niya upang pagbutihin ang kanyang craft. Napabilib niya ako sa role niya,” Laxamana said of the 23-year-old.
Finally, Castro, whose only acting credit to date is an episode on legal drama, Ipaglaban Mo, did not fail her Regal discoverers in the role of Jane’s friend and online channel videographer, Val.
According to the Monteverdes, she held her own against the rest of the cast in Puwera Usog, with Laxamana confirming, “Lahat sila, umakma sa kani-kanilang roles, pati na ang baguhang si Cherise Castro.”
With no monsters or zombie to bring on the scares, Laxamana completely counted on his cast to execute the kind of horror his story entails—the effect of a Filipino superstition known as “usog” where illness or distress befalls young children when greeted by strangers.
“Iba siya. Never pa akong gumawa ng horror. Ang challenge pag horror, mas precise dapat ang direction mo, ang shots, ang timing. Kasi dapat proper build up muna bago mo ma-execute ang moment of horror. Paano mo gugulatin ang mga taong marami nang nakitang horror movies at videos sa Internet?” Laxamana conveyed. “So I’m very happy that magagaling na millennials ang gumanap dito sa pelikula ko, which will give urban millennial an insight into this mysterious Filipino superstition.”
The cast of the Puwera Usog includes Joseph Marco, Albie Casino, Kiko Estrada, Aiko Melendez, Rommel Padilla, and Eula Valdez. It opens in cinemas nationwide on March 8.