Two years after she was last seen on big screen, comedy actress Ai Ai delas Alas returns via musical comedy-drama “Sons Of Nanay Sabel (SONS).”
In an interview, the 54-year-old admitted she missed doing these family films, remembering the blockbuster hit franchise she did a long time ago, “Ang Tanging Ina.”
Unlike her character there where she was portrayed as “perfect” mother who’d do everything for her kids, the new movie has a mother who has had so many ups and downs and with mistakes that needed rectifications.
The story of “Sons of Abel” sees Ai Ai’s character embark on a journey to find her estranged sons in a bid to redeem herself and reunite her family.
Sabel is a former bartender who was supposed to be married to a Prince. Unfortunately, the Prince found out about Sabel leaving her six children at an orphanage, and decides to call off the wedding. After the wedding was called off, Sabel decided to look for her sons and reunite her family once again.
Her sons were left to the care of Sister Mary (SHEREE), who kept all the details of Sabel’s kids’ foster families and handed it to her when she finally came back as she promised.
Sabel and her sons will experience the riot of living together for the first time, and will form the family bond that Sabel has always dreamed of. But it will soon be tested when the beautiful and flirty Helen (Kylie Versoza) makes the brothers fall in love with her and fight for her. Can the bond that the brothers built at a short time overcome this challenge? Will Sabel be able to hold the family that she worked hard to bring together again?
Playing her sons are the frontmen of hip hop group Ex Battalion — Bosx1ne, Skusta Clee, Flow-G, Brando, Emcee Rhenn, and King Badger — six out of 13 members.
Asked how the boys are as actors, whose career she also manages, Ai Ai has nothing but good words.
“They’re really good actors,” she said. “Whatever their bashers, their haters say, we can’t deny that these kids are really talented not only in doing rap but in composing songs. Now, surprisingly, they’re good actors too.”
Do her talents also give her headaches occasionally, we asked.
Ai Ai noted just like any family, there are times shebhas arguments with his “sons,” which she believes is normal in any parent-child relationship.
“Ganu’n talaga (That’s how it goes),” she pointed out. “The only thing you could do is understand and give unconditional love. I mean yes, you’ll be angry for a while but despite that, your love for the kids remain.”
If there are specific issues she has been resolving with Ex Battalion, it involves transitioning.
“It’s a totally different world because from online fame they had to deal with mainstream. I had to explain to them how the entertainment industry works. My approach in teaching them is that of a mother to her kids,” she said.
Ai Ai admitted it’s not easy and there were times she thought of giving up. But then she always ends up thinking that there are no perfect kids that’s why the role of guiding them falls on mothers.
“But in fairness to these kids, they admit to faults and immediately say sorry,” she related.
With the recent controversy involving Ex Battalion singer King Badger and her wife, Jelai Andres, what advice did Ai Ai give?
Simply fix the problem, Ai Ai said.
King Badger broke his silence on the subject saying “nobody is perfect.”
“I’m not perfect. I made a mistake but I’ll try to save our marriage,” he declared.
Patience is a virtue
“SONS” director Dado Lumibao also has good words for Ex Battalion despite the group being rookies in the field of acting.
Actually, he didn’t expect Ex Battalion to have comedic flair.
He also likes it that each member is “professional” like they really listen to instructions and arrive on set on time.
“And when they have concerns, they tell me so we could fix them,” he added.
Dado remembered that on their first shooting day, they had to take a single scene from 10 to 20 times. But the next day, Ex Battallion reported to work ready.
He also likes it that the artists express their ideas.
“It shows they’re really concerned with the story, and about the characters they play,” he explained.
“When we were doing this, I really found new family in the cast and crew. The shoot was very chill that’s why I had separation anxiety when we finished.”
Musical + comedy + drama
It’s director Dado’s first time working with the seasoned actress. He revealed feeling nervous at first but that soon disappeared seeing the chemistry between Ai Ai and Ex Battalion.
Dado noted” SONS”*is different from Ai Ai’s old films.
“Here, Ai Ai’s character has so many flaws. And in terms of director’s treatment, this has a musical vibe with 40 to 50% raps. And it’s not only comedy but drama.”
In the movie, Ex Battalion debuts their new tracks “Sama-Sama”, “Huwag Siya” and “Bagong Umaga” featuring Ai-Ai.
Viva Films’ Mother’s Day offering “Sons Of Nanay Sabel” opens in cinemas on May 1.