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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.

Dec 11, 2013

Richard Gutierrez Leaves With Sarah Lahbati To Spend Christmas In The U.S.

RICHARD GUTIERREZ and Sarah Lahbati left for the U.S. last Tuesday to celebrate Christmas there. The day before their departure, they had a cover pictorial for ABS-CBN’s Star Studio Magazine and Sarah also had another pictorial with GMA Artist Center talents, which means she’s still with GMA despite the suits she filed against GMA exec Annette Gozon Abrogar.

We got to talk to Richard before their pictorial and he is excited with the movie he’s now shooting for GMA Films, “Overtime”, written and directed by Wincy Aquino Ong, a 31 year old graduate of a film school in Canada and has previously directed the 2011 indie film “San Lazaro” starring Ramon Bautista (also cast in “Overtime”).

“We’re more than halfway sa shooting,” he says. “He pitched the project sa GMA at nagustuhan naman nila. Inalok sa’kin and I also liked it. ‘Overtime’ is an action-thriller about corporate espionage and I play a dark character, may pagka-villainous but has very good intentions. I want to do challenging roles and this is one role I can play around with. Okay naman si Direk, kaya lang two times nang na-packed up ang shooting namin kasi he’s not feeling well daw. Di nga namin alam, he was rushed na pala to the hospital at nahihirapan daw huminga. We’ll resume the shooting in January na after the holiday season pagbalik ko from the U.S. and hopefully, his health is much better by then kasi the movie has a March playdate na.”

He’s paired for the first time with Lauren Young in “Overtime”. “There was an audition and she was the one chosen na bagay sa role at okay naman daw ang chemistry namin. She’s very cooperative, walang kaartehan. In our last scene together, naka-bra lang siya, okay lang sa kanya. Kasama rin namin sa movie sina Roi Vinzon and Tessie Tomas.”

He’ll be in the U.S. with Sarah for one month. “We’ll stay mostly sa L.A. where I intend to watch a Lakers vs. Heat game on Christmas Day, then sa Las Vegas where we’ll watch a UFC game. First time ko to watch UFC so I’m excited. When we get back, I’ll finish shooting my movie, then our whole family will be going on an Asian cruise to tape our reality show, ‘It Takes Gutz to be a Gutierrez’, that is slated to be shown in an international channel, also in March.”

What about his TV career? “I’m still studying kung magpapatali uli with just one network. Imagine, 11 years ago sa GMA. No regrets kasi I enjoyed doing all the shows I did with them like ‘Mulawin’, ‘Lupin’, ‘Sugo’, ‘Captain Barbell’, and all the rest. But ayoko na nang another long-term contract. I want to focus on my own production company where I can have control of my own time and do only projects that I like to do. I’m also seriously considering taking up a filmmaking course at Red Studios in Hollywood para makapagdirek din ako.”

He admits being scared of doing their family’s reality show. “Kasi I’m really a very private person, so I’m so uncomfortable na may kamerang susunod-sunod sa akin, although parang na-experience ko na rin yung ganyan when I was doing the documentary shows I hosted for GMA. I’m really proud nga pala of those docus, kasi yung nangyari sa Tacloban because of Typhoon Yolanda, we already made all the proper warning in my docus ‘Signos’, ‘Oras Na’ and ‘Planet Philippines, na dahil sa climate change, mas titindi at lalakas ang mga bagyong darating sa atin. Yun na nga mismo ang nangyari sa atin.”

What was his reaction about his ex-girlfriend Anne Curtis figuring in a scandalous event in a bar? “I was so surprised. I’m sure she was just provoked kaya siya nanampal. It’s not in her nature to do that, e.”