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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.

Aug 31, 2018

Ritz Azul Plays The Role Of A Sexy, Liberated Woman Of The World Who Seduces Innocent Male Virgin Pepe Herrera In 'The Hopeful Romantic'

RITZ AZUL gets to play her first lead role in a mainstream movie in Regal’s new sex-comedy, “The Hopeful Romantic”, directed by Topel Lee. “I play Veronica, a liberated woman of the world na susyal, mahilig sa rich boys, pero maraming sekreto,” she says. “Mahirap kasi she is so not me in real life. Kabaligtaran ko talaga.”

Off cam, she is NBSB (no boyfriend since birth). It’s only now at 24 that she’s entertaining a suitor. “Non showbiz siya. He’s four years older. Nag-start kami as barkada, going out with friends, then he courted me. I’ve met his parents and he has met mine. Pero hindi ko pa sinasagot kasi ayokong magmadali.”

Her leading man in “The Hopeful Romantic” is comedian Pepe Herrera, who gets his biggest break here as Jess, a valet attendant in a five-star hotel who gets smitten with Ritz, who turns out to be the mistress of a wealthy man. “We have a bedscene,” says Ritz. “When we were shooting it, si Pepe ang nerbiyos na nerbiyos nanginginig ang mga kamay niya so I told him to relax kasi Direk Topel will help us. Ako kasi, I’ve done romantic scenes na with Derek Ramsay, Paulo Avelino and Ejay Falcon on TV. It helps na nagkatrabaho na kami before ni Pepe in ‘Ang Probinsyano’ so we know each other and nag-warm up kami agad sa isa’t isa. He’s very serious with his work. Sa set, si Jess ang kaharap ko, yung character niya, not Pepe.”

She won the best supporting actress award in the recent Cine Filipino Filmfest for her portrayal of Edgar Allan Guzman’s suffering wife in the war drama, “Mata Tapang”. How come she was not present at the awards night to get her award? “Kasi when they told me about the awards night, all set na ang birthday party para sa mommy ko that night, May 12. Hindi ko rin naman ine-expect that I would win. Pero nanghinayang din ako, kasi first award pa naman and I was not even there. Sayang.”

“The Hopeful Romantic” opens in theaters on September 12 and Ritz is confident viewers will enjoy it. “Marami talagang nakakatawang eksena and aside from that, maganda ang message nito which is Be Yourself, Huwag Kang Magpanggap. Magpakatotoo ka na lang lagi.”
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