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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.

Jan 30, 2020


CRISTINE REYES is noticeably more friendly at the presscon of her new movie, “Untrue”, with Xian Lim, unlike before when she’d escape or even walk out from presscons to avoid writers who want to interview her.

Those who’ve seen “Untrue”, when it premiered at QCinema Filmfest some months ago, say she has a good chance of being nominated as best actress for her fine performance as Mara, an OFW working in Tbilisi, Georgia, who meets another OFW, Xian as Joachim, leading into a whirlwind affair and marriage that later leads to violence.

But is it true her role was first offered to Claudine Barretto, who just backed out?

“I know, pero okay lang naman,” she says. “I accepted the project kasi maganda. This is the kind of project na matagal ko nang hinihintay, matagal ko nang gustong gawin, and so I really thank God na sa akin napunta ang ‘Untrue’ kahit hindi ako ang first choice.”

The film, as directed by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, is not your usual love story about a man and a woman who find love and romance abroad and lived happily ever after. It’s described as a dark psychological thriller with a surprising twist in the end.

“Mahirap siyang gawin kasi, unang-una, we shot the film on location in Georgia, na sobrang layo at sobrang lamig pa at mahirap umarte kapag giniginaw ka. Before we left for Georgia, we had a ten-day workshop muna here in Manila, na puro rehearsals under Direk Sigrid ng mga eksena namin sa movie.

"It was very intense and si Direk is very energetic, a real perfectionist. So pagdating namin sa Georgia, we already know what to do.”

They stayed in Georgia and shot the movie with the help of local people there for three weeks.

“Tapos, physically and emotionally challenging ang roles namin ni Xian kasi our hasty romance quickly turns into fights and physical abuse. Grabe mga bugbugan namin dito. This is a kind of he said-she said film, kasi hindi mo malaman kung sino sa amin ni Xian ang nagsasabi ng totoo. Pareho kaming baliw. Baliw sa pag-ibig. Kasi, kundi ka baliw, then that means hindi ka umibig.”

In real life, has she ever been “Untrue” to herself or anyone? “No, all my life, I’ve always been true, most specially to myself.”

But she has yet to officially admit that she’s been estranged from her husband, Ali Kathibi, and that she’s now a single parent? “I don’t think there’s a need to announce it pa, kasi you can see naman sa social media accounts ko.  We travel to a lot of places na kami lang ng anak kong si Amarah.”

So she’s now ready to accept new suitors in time for her birthday on February and Valentine’s Day?

“I think it’s just better to wait for the right person rather than announce na ‘I’m open to accept new suitors’, di ba? Kusang darating yun, but right now, hindi ako naghahanap.

"I’m just happy to focus on my daughter and my career. Kaysa makipag-date ako sa Valentine, mananahimik na lang ako sa bahay, lalo na ngayon, nakakatakot kasi may threat ng corona virus.”

After “Untrue”, Viva has already officially announced at their VIva Vision 2020 presscon at Novotel that Cristine’s next project is a sequel of her hardhitting action movie where she played a female assassin, “Maria”, which is now being shown on Netflix. “Untrue” will open in cinemas nationwide on February 19.