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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.

Jun 27, 2017

Sarah Lahbati Worshipped And Praised To High Heavens By Director Katski Flores For Her Acting In 'Pagsanib Kay Leah De La Cruz' But Co-Star Shy Carlos Is Ignored

THE HORROR FLICK “Ang Pagsanib kay Leah de la Cruz” directed by Katski Flores opens in theaters today. Katski is one of our few competent female directors. We really enjoyed her debut flick, “Still Life”, a finalist that involves time travel in the CineMalaya Filmfest which starred Glaiza de Castro in a sterling performance. Katski’s new movie stars newcomer Shy Carlos in the title role. But in her social media account, she praises to high heavens not Shy but Sarah Lahbati who plays a policewoman in the movie.

Here’s what she said about Sarah and her performance: “I knew very little about Sarah Lahbati when she was cast as Ruth Liwanag in ‘Ang Pagsanib kay Leah Dela Cruz’. But I knew many other things: 1) that casting this role was something I didn't get to decide alone, because it is the lead; 2) it was crucial to get it exactly right, because for the movie to work well practically rests on her shoulders; 3) Ruth is one of the most complex characters I've had to direct, with many layers, and I need an actor who will help me peel that onion.

I knew I needed a Ruth who could communicate volumes without the aid of lines, who can make you see her dark and light and keep you guessing on which side she's leaning. I knew these things. And I knew that I did not know Sarah Lahbati. She was a celebrity, a fashion model, half-pinoy (do you speak Tagalog fluently?). And all I had were assumptions and preconceived notions.
That, she blew out of the water as soon as she started reading for the part. And she just kept on surprising me all the way up to the finish line.

I believe some roles are meant to be. Ruth was meant to be Sarah's. And I am beyond thrilled to have been a part of her journey as an actress. Ang sarap katrabaho, isa sa pinaka-professional, matalino at masisipag na artistang nakasama ko mapa-film o tv man. Walang ego, walang attitude, walang make-up (sinubukan ko, guys, pero nanununtok pa rin siya sa ganda, pasensiya na). Thank you sa generosity at kahusayan. So proud of you Sar! Congratulations! Gawa tayo ulit!”

Sarah must be flattered to no end, what with her director raving so unabashedly about her beauty and her performance. And wonder how Shy Carlos feels about this?