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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 3, 2013

Giselle Tongi & American Husband Happy Living Here in Manila with Their Two Kids

GISELLE TOENGI forays into musical theatre for the first time in Atlantis Productions’ “Piaf” where she plays legendary Hollywood actress Marlene Dietrich. What prompts her to go into theatre? “I want to reinvigorate my artistry,” she says. “Even when I was in the States, I never stopped taking acting, singing and dancing lessons. I studied at the Lee Strasberg School of Acting in New York and also have a degree in communications from UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles). So when Director Bobby Garcia offered this role to me, I was challenged. Also, tamang-tama, katatapos lang ng role ko as Stella in ABS-CBN’s fantaserye, ‘Aryanna’, so I accepted it.”

She’s glad Pinky Amador stars in “Piaf”. “This is my first stage play here and she was also with me in my first movie sa Regal in 1996, ‘Taguan’. But it’s only here that I got to see how good an actress she is. Grabeng galing niya, whether it’s in singing or acting, natutulala ako.”

How did she prepare for the role of Marlene Dietrich? “I researched on her and watched her old movies, like ‘Shanghai Express’ and ‘Blue Angel’. She’s blonde and Bobby told me to wear a blonde wig. But I said no. I didn’t have to but I dyed my hair blonde talaga.”

Didn’t she have second thoughts doing a kissing scene with Pinky? “No. It’s necessary kasi the characters swing both ways.”

G married Tim Walters, now a business consultant to various bars in Manila, in 2005 and they have a daughter, Sakura Anne, 7, and a son, Kenobi Benjamin, 5. “We all love it here in Manila.”
“Piaf” runs from March 8 to 23 at RCBC Carlos Romulo Theatre in Makati. For tickets, call Atlantis Prods at 892-7078, Ticketworld at 891-9999.