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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.

Sep 4, 2022



JANELLE TEE is in the Vivamax movie “The Escort Wife” that starts streaming on September 16 and in the series “An/Na” that starts streaming on September 25.  

In both the movie and the TV series, she plays a high class prostitute. 

Isn’t she afraid of being overexposed playing the same kind of role?

“Nagkataon lang na magkasunod ang release nila,” she says. 

“Pero kahit prostitute ang role ko in both projects, magkaiba pa rin sila. ‘Escort Wife’ is a full length film while ‘An/Na’ is a four-part TV series. 

"In ‘The Escort Wife’, I’m a bored wife na napunta sa pagiging escort girl dahil she found out na her husband, Raymond Bagatsing, is cheating on her. It’s more of drama.”

“An/Na”, in turn, is a crime story. 

“Sa ‘An/Na’ naman, it’s a mystery/whodunit, kasi someone murders me in the series. 

"I play a simple girl who works as a call center agent, si Anna Clemente. 

"But being the breadwinner in their family, she’s always being pressured by her family to give them more money. 

"So ayun, napilitan siyang mag-sideline to earn more money, using another identity named Mei Ling.”

She gets to bed a lot of guys in both “Escort Wife” and “An/Na” and someone quipped “lahat sila, natikman mo”. 

“Yes, at lahat sila, natikman din ako,” she quips. 

“Iba-iba sila, at iba-iba rin ang level ng bedscenes namin. Merong mabilis, quickie, merong passionate, at meron din namang nagkaroon ako ng attachment. 

"I’m just glad that lahat silang naka-eksena ko, puro gentleman. Mababait sa akin, no one took advantage.”

In “Escort Wife”, she had bedscenes with Raymond Bagatsing. 

“He’s just quiet, but very professional. Alam mong as an actor, malawak na ang experience niya and he knows what he is doing.”

In “An/Na”, one of her most intimate scenes is with MIgz Almendras. 

“He plays my recruiter. In other words, bugaw, na ang tawag na raw ngayon is talent scout. But may nangyari rin sa amin.  

"Si Migz, mabait sa screen, pero abangan nyo kasi may twist doon sa character niya.”

Can she relate with the characters she plays? 

“Sa ‘Escort Wife’, not really, kasi I’m not naman really a wife yet. But in ‘An/Na’, yes. Breadwinner siya and breadwinner din ako for my family. 

"Dito, kawawa yung character ko kasi she’s pushed to the edge. Siempre, nape-pressure ka everytime your family calls you at humihingi ng pera, e ni wala ka ngang pambayad sa rent mo. 

"I met some real escort girls as part of our research and I don’t wanna judge them. 

"They have their own valid reasons as to why they got into this kind of work kaya hindi sila dapat basta hinuhusgahan.”

Playing her long-distance boyriend in “An/Na” is Greg Hawkins, Guji Lorenzana as her client who falls for her even if he’s already married, Fabio Ide as Greg’s boss who becomes her client, Rob Guinto as her best friend, and Rolando Inocencio and Axel Torres as the police investigators handling her case. 

We remember that during its story con, the title of “An/Na” was “Katawang Lupa”. Why did they change it? It’s director Joey Reyes who answers. 

“It’s the decision of Viva. They want a shorter and more catchy title. 

"Okay naman yung ‘An/Na’ kasi it’s an anagram, meaning, you can spell it forward and backward and it’s still the same. 

"At bagay ang ‘An/Na’ kasi dalawa nga ang katauhan ni Janelle sa story.”

He says he hopes viewers will pity Anna’s character. 

“Kasi ang kuwento ni Anna is malungkot, it’s actually tragic. Yung ina niya, laging ipinapamukha sa kanyang bilang anak, obligasyon niyang tulungan ang pamilya niya. 

"So she leads a double life, a double identity as Anna and Mei Ling. It’s hard to have such a life kasi marami kang sekreto, lagi kang may kaba kasi marami kang itinatago. 

"You cannot come out in the open and you have to hide your true self kasi you’re afraid that society will judge you. 

"So I hope that ang viewers, mapapaisip tungkol sa trabaho ng ibang tao. Kasi madaling manghusga dahil hindi natin naiiintinidihan kung ano ang mga pinagdaraanan nila.”