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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.

Nov 8, 2017

Paolo Ballesteros Finally Has A Followup Film, 'Barbi, D Wonder Beki', To His Hit Last Year, 'Die Beautiful'

PAOLO BALLESTEROS won several local and international awards for his performance as a transgender in “Die Beautiful”. Now, after a year, he has a follow up movie, “Barbie: The Wonder Beki”, which is an out and out comedy produced by OctoArts Films, MZet and T Rex Productions.

Paolo plays a closet gay, Billy, who comes from the Bayagan family, whose members are all policemen, led by his dad, Joey Marquez, who always compares him to his siblings, all cops. He tried to be a cop also but ends up as a security guard. Since he’s handsome, he is the object of desire of women he meets, but deep inside, he dreams of himself as Wonder B, patterned after his favorite superhero as a child, Wonder Woman.

When he is wrongly accused of killling his own Chinese boss, Joey de Leon becomes his mentor. Since he’s the original Barbi, Joey helps him disguise himself as a woman. He gets to experience how to be free and beautiful, even attracting his long time childhood crush, Ejay Falcon as Larry. Eventually, he redeems himself when he fights a group of terrorists as Wonder B and even defeats them.

How does Paolo feel being the millennial Barbi, compared to Joey de Leon who’s the previous Barbi? “May pressure po, di ako makahinga,” says Paolo who appeared in the presscon in drag. “Kasi po naiipit ang bayag ko.” This makes everyone laugh. “Kinalakihan ko po ang Barbi ni Tito Joey. Dalaginding ako noon at enjoy na enjoy akong pinanonood siya. I never thought na balang araw, gagawin ko rin pala yung Barbi. Pero siempre, magkaiba kami. Sa movie niya, tunay siyang lalaki na nagpapanggap na babae. Ako naman dito, klosetang hindi maka-come out sa family niya.”

Did he really dream of being Barbi when he was still a kid? “No, nangarap akong maging Wonder Woman. Pero bago siya, si Dyesebel muna.”

Paolo says doing “Barbi” is more difficult than “Die Beautiful”. “Dito, lagi akong naka-full make up kaya mas matagal gawin, pati hairdo. At mas marami rin kaming full length musical production numbers as performers sa Sirkus de Ole, a drag show. Si Tito Joey, minahal talaga ng tao as Barbi kasi tatlong Barbi movies ang nagawa niya. So sana, suportahan din ng viewers itong ‘Barbi, D Wonder Beki’ and we promise na masisiyahan sila, sa direction ni Direk Tony Reyes and opening on the day of my birthday mismo, November 29, so birthday gift nyo na ito sa akin.”