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Tuesday, January 16, 2018 25° Rain

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Judy Ann Santos is trading tears for tickles in a movie yet again about gays

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When was the last time you saw Judy Ann Santos doing comedy? In choosing her new movie, that was her point too, exactly.

Judy Ann Santos (mb.com.ph)

Judy Ann Santos

A drastic change from her dramatic portrayals in the past, “Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes” sees the actress delivering punchlines instead of making “paawa.” Here, she plays a woman married to a closeted gay character played by Joross Gamboa.

“Alam na ng mga tao ang ginagawa ko talaga. Chinallenge ko ang sarili ko. 2018 should be something different. Bago ako mag-40 kailangang gumawa ako ng pelikulang hindi ko maiisip na gagawin ko. ’Yung magdadalawang-isip akong tanggapin pero dahil masyadong maganda ang material ay kailangan ko siyang oo-han. Ito ’yon,” Judy Ann said.

“Napaisip ako. Ginawa ko talaga ito ng may anak na ako, may asawa na ako. ’Yung lahat ng dapat ginawa ko nu’ng dalaga pa ako, ngayon ko siya ginawa. Ganoon kahusay ’yung movie.”

Though she knows the material is not new – especially lately when flicks with gay characters (“Deadma Walking,” “Die Beautiful”) are all the rage – the twist in “Mrs. Reyes” has not been tackled in local movies before.

“Masaya siya and at the same time ay hindi mo iisipin na ‘Ay, pwede pala ang ganoon.’ But the story alone, hindi siya bago. Hindi pa lang siya nakikita ng tao pero nangyayari siya,” she said.

Did she feel like fish out of water in this genre? Needed a little help, a nudge?

It’s not like Judy Ann would deny these things.

“After the third shooting day, I had to talk to direk Jun (Lana) and the rest of the production staff to ask if okay ba ’yung trabaho ko. May kulang ba? Ano pa ba’ng dapat kong gawin? Gan’un ako hindi ka-confident sa trabaho ko. I had to… I needed that assurance na itawid ’yung ginawa kong punchlines.”

She recalled thinking how “strange” everything was not having done a movie before this for quite a time.

“Ang tahimik sa set eh, tapos ’yung ilaw hindi mainit, so hindi ako sanay,” she said.

“Ang dami na talagang nagbago. Hindi maingay ’yung crew, hindi maingay ’yung staff, ’yung parang ako lang ’yung nand’un. Hindi na talaga ako sanay, ‘Pelikula ba to?’ ‘Panaginip ata ito.’ It took some time bago ako kumalma.

“Gan’un ako kawalang confidence sa trabaho ko at all, sa sarili ko, sa trabaho ko as an actress. Parang, feeling mo you just lost it and ikaw ’yung bagong luma sa grupo kasi lahat andun eh. Tapos ikaw biglang pinasok sa kumukulong tubig na hitik na hitik sa experience.”

But she enjoyed the whole process “because ang motivation ko is to learn and to challenge myself, and I guess I’m about to reach my finish line.”

Judy Ann felt the movie is an answered prayer.

“Kasi in the past films lahat mabigat. Gusto ko ng something refreshing and 2017 for me was such a roller-coaster ride. Gusto ko muna ng change. Ang daming nawala, ang daming kailangan kong harapin. I needed something refreshing and ito ’yon.

“I prayed hard, talagang humingi ako ng sign. Ayun, agad-agad, ibinigay naman (ni Lord). Before this, may project kaming dapat gagawin ni direk Jun. Tapos, biglang ito ang dumating so hindi na namin muna ginawa ’yon. It’s a big sign kasi biglang tatlong production ang nagsama-sama at ’yung mga production na ’yun ay may pinagkakautangan ako. Ay, go agad-agad nang matapos na ang utang na ito. Eh,’di ito na, bayad na ako.”

With the movie about gay husbands, Judy Ann was asked how she will react if she discovers her husband Ryan Agoncillo is homosexual.

“Siguro kung ano ang ginawa ni Mrs. Reyes, matitigalgal muna ako ng mga three days bago ako magsimulang maghalungkat ng ebidensiya,” she said. “Kasi ang reyalidad, tatanungin mo, ‘Totoo ba ito o nasa teleserye ako. Panaginip lang yata ito.’ Nangyayari talaga siya. Kung sa toong buhay siya mangyayari ay pa-punchline-in mo talaga ang sarili mo kasi there’s really no way out doon sa sitwasyon eh. Bago ka makawala ay masasaktan ka muna.”

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