With local theatre sort of reaching another Golden Age, many try their luck there, including April Gustilo, John Fernandez Raspado, and Vivo Ouano all starring in “Solo Para Adultos.”
April, a former dancer on noontime TV show “Wowowee,” said it takes an open mind to appreciate the original Filipino three-act sex-comedy play.
“Una, ’yung nabasa ko ’yung script, ’yung first page pa lang nagtataka ako ba’t ganito,” she told Bulletin Entertainment. “Pero nu’ng nag-script reading na nga kami, very inspiring (naman pala) ’yung story kaya ko tinangap.”
She prepared for the role by attending workshops, and going on a crash diet as “kailangan kong mag pa-sexy, kailangan fresh ka lagi – eh malapit na ’yung showing.”
Exercising was out of the question as she is also busy managing her bakeshop and real estate businesses in Laguna.
In “Solo Para Adultos,” April plays international porn star Veronica Fox who returns to the Philippines to do yet another such movie.
“Nu’ng una talaga natatakot ako (gawin ’yung role) pero kasi if love mo ’yung ginagawa mo, dapat love mo rin ’yung character mo, lalo pa’t first time ko magkakaroon ng role na ako talaga ’yung bida.”
Did she feel awkward doing intimate scenes with her co-actors?
“Wala ng ilangan since close na rin kami, magkakaibigan na, so dedma na lang,” she said.
John, who happens to be the current title holder of Mr. Gay World, revealed it took him almost two weeks to decide on the project.
“Siyempre first time ko kaya natakot ako. Pinag-isipan kong mabuti kasi ’yun nga may mga hubad-hubad,” he said.
But because he likes the story and the assurance he got, John accepted the project.
The character he plays resonates with him. In the play, he is JV San Miguel, a discreet homosexual actor.
It’s in line with his title as being Mr. Gay World 2017 means promoting the bridging of the gap between all members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI) community.
Asked on how he handled kissing and bed scene with co-actor Vivo, John just shrugged his shoulders.
“Parang kapatid ko na,” he enthused. “I respect his boundaries siyempre pamilyado siya, ako naman may jowa ako.”
“StarStruck: The Nationwide Invasion” alumnus Vivo said his wife did not approve of the project at first.
“(Pero) ine-explain ko paunti-unti, hindi ko binibigla hanggang sa naintindihan na niya na trabaho lang (ito), walang personalan.”
Like April, he got “shocked” the first time he read the script “pero sabi ko kahit bastos, maganda siya.” he added.
So, now he is matinee idol turned sexy star?
“Sa panahon ngayon parang hindi na uso, parang lahat na lang nagpapa-sexy,” he pointed out. “Pansinin mo sa Instagram ang pinaka madaming may like ’yung nakahubad. So sa panahon ngayon normal na (’yan).”
Stripping for the cameras isn’t new to Vivo. In 2006 on “Bakekang,” he went topless in a scene with Dennis Trillo.
“Once pa lang ako nakapag-topless sa TV, ang tagal na nu’n, bata pa ako. So ngayon naiilang pa rin ako kasi hindi pa rin ako sanay kasi hindi naman ako sanay ng naghuhubad sa public. Pero siguro eventually ma-o-overcome ko din ’yung hiya ko sa ganu’n,” he said.
In “Solo Para Adultos,” Vivo is Alfred, lover of a gay character.
“So far nakakaya ko naman pero siyempre sobra ’yung adjustment ko. Kasi hindi kagaya sa TV na may take two, may take three, dito kasi take one so dapat ilagay mo agad ’yung emotion mo,” he shared.
The 27-year-old actor is currently seen on TV via “Wildflower.”
Others in the cast are Tori Garcia as Georgina and film-TV actor Andres Vasquez as Nicolas.
Presented by Red Lantern Production, “Solo Para Adultos” is on Oct. 20, 8 p.m. at the Music Museum.