Vhong Navarro, Lovi Poe and Cora Waddell experienced separate firsts in doing the movie “Woke Up Like This,” about two people who swapped bodies.
While comedy is Vhong’s cup of tea, it is his first time to play a female character onscreen.
“Binabantayan kami nila direk kasi siyempre ang hirap kapag mag-Sabrina ka na character, ’yung kay Lovi. Tapos sa comedy, kailangan minsan exaggerated para mas lalong nakakatawa,” Vhong said at a press conference.
“Kapag hindi mo kasi in-exaggerate, parang magiging monotonous lang ’yung characterization mo. Pero parang ayaw mo naman ilabas sa boundary mo na parang hindi ka na babae, so kailangan ibalik mo pa din.”
Vhong acknowledged the film’s director and Lovi herself for giving him ample support.
“Nakakatuwa doon kasi kapag magkaka-eksena kami, si Lovi tuturuan niya ako kung ano ’yung gagawin. Kapag ako sa set, binabantayan ko siya kung ano ’yung pwede niyang gawin. Kasama din si direk sa pag-alalay sa amin,” he said.
Lovi got out of her comfort zone doing comedy for the first time in “Woke Up Like This.”
“Masaya na wala munang love scene,” she said in jest.
Lovi noted that comedy takes a lot of hard work as it requires timing, knack for delivering punch lines and excellent chemistry with co-stars.
“It’s a lot harder than I thought but with the help of everyone here, talagang nadala nila ako,” she said.
It helped that she and Vhong have already worked together before in “Shake, Rattle And Roll.”
“Sa ganitong klaseng pelikula, kailangang teamwork talaga. Sa ganito, you cannot just memorize the script and act it out – kailangan ’yung chemistry niyo andoon. So, noong naguumpisa pa lang kami, nag-bonding na. There really was chemistry (when we started shooting),” she said.
Because of the movie, Vhong has a new understanding of and appreciation for women.
“Ang hirap palang maging babae. Kasi (sa lalaki) ’pag gising namin, alis na kami. Mga babae, ang dami pa nila dapat gawin, hindi lang para sa sarili nila, pati na din sa loob ng bahay. Parang mas naintindihan ko na ginawa ng Diyos na mas importante ang mga babae, kaya sila tinawag na ilaw ng tahanan,” he said.
Lovi had a hard time acting a male character. She narrated that she had to eat a lot in some scenes as she plays Vhong’s character.
“Mahirap po talaga. Kaya talagang silang lahat they were guiding me, pati sa mga simpleng bagay gaya ng pagkain, talagang pinakain nila ako dito ng sobra-sobra,” she said.
“I cannot say na mas naiintindihan ko ang maging lalaki because they will always be a mystery to me. I think that’s the beauty of it,” she said.
Lovi learned from Vhong to just “relax and have fun” while doing the movie, while Vhong learned how to be “more professional” from Lovi. They also noted how closer they’ve become compared to when they first worked together.
“The moment na inaarte mo lang siya or ini-exaggerate mo lang siya but you’re not having fun, makikita iyon sa mga mata mo na you’re not honest sa acting. It’s pretty much the same as drama when it comes to sincerity,” she said.
“Woke Up Like This” is newbie actress and international model Cora’s debut film following her stint on the reality show “Pinoy Big Brother.” Aside from modeling and doing YouTube videos, Cora did bit in “Diary Ng Panget,” and “Talk Back And You’re Dead.”
“First movie ko po ito with Regal Entertainment. Regal baby na po ako. I play a makeup artist in this movie. Nagbago ’yung leader namin, si Sabrina, and we have to deal with it. Medyo hopeless romantic ’yung character ko so I can relate,” she said.
Movie director Joel Ferrer related his excitement working with a diverse cast. The movie also stars Dionne Monsanto, Raikko Mateo and Yanna Asistio.
“Lovi is an actress but she doesn’t do comedy as much. Excited ako makita kasi sa first script, parang ‘Hala, ano gagawin natin kay Lovi Poe?’ Kaya kinikilig ako directing Lovi,” he said.
Joel and the cast promise to give the audiences a good, hearty laugh with “Woke Up Like This.”
“It’s a type of comedy na you don’t take too seriously. It’s a film na ang target audience is mga Pinoys talaga. Kapag nakakabasa ka ng news, parang mga downer talaga lahat eh. And everyone involved gusto talaga naming gumawa ng comedy na everyone could relate to and enjoyable. So, every scene that we showed, talagang something funny would happen. Very collaborative ’yung process namin,” he said.