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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 10, 2022




                                  FRANKI RUSSELL WITH DIEGO LOYZAGA

FRANKI RUSSELL is a PBB Housemate in Season 8. She’s a model from New Zealand when she joined the reality show. 

She has a Pinay mother and a Kiwi-European dad. 

She grew up in Dunedin, NZ but moved to Sydney, Australia when she was 18. 

After PBB, she tried acting and played a female cop who’s part of Cardo’s Angels in “Ang Probinsyano”.  

She has her own vlog and is also active on Tiktok.  She was once romantically linked to hunky car racer Marlon Stockinger and to actor Diego Loyzaga. 

She has now finished a new movie with Diego, “Pabuya”, directed by Italian-American director Phil Giordano, who previously directed “Pusoy” with Janelle Tee and Angeli Khang. 

Franki plays Bella, whom Diego as Pepe runs to for help after he killed an undercover cop during a gang war.  

Bella is sweet and loving, and because of their history, Pepe puts his trust in her.  But this trust is shaken when the police issued a reward for his capture.

This movie is a first for Franki. Last October, this Filipino-New Zealander beauty also achieved another “first” as she was the first to represent the Philippines in the first-ever Miss Universe pageant in United Arab Emirates.  

Her team-up with Diego Loyzaga is quite interesting since, just like their characters, the two of them seemed to have a romantic involvement in the not so distant past.   

So how is it working with Diego to whom he was linked romantically before? 

“I’m lucky to be working with Diego for my first movie and my first lead role,” she says. 

“He is a very experienced actor so i learned a lot from him on the set. It’s great and a lot of fun working with him. And I feel so blessed as I already have a follow up movie.” 

How did she initially feel when the movie was offered knowing she’d be paired with Diego? 

“We haven’t seen each other for a while and when we agreed to do the project, it wasn’t awkward at all when we met on the set. Okay lang naman kami and it just flowed naturally. I’m really proud of that.”  

She did sexy love scenes with Diego. How was it and how daring is she? 

“I trusted our director and Diego, and I feel okay naman ang ginawa namin. I watched a lot of Vivamax films to see what they’re doing. 

"But I don’t really know how daring I was. It was the first time for me to do intimate scenes. I think it’s better to ask Diego.”  

“She went all out,” says Diego. “No, I’m kidding. She’s okay. I think 7.5 or 8 and rate niya.”  

“Basta doing this movie, I felt it’s a milestone for me,” says Franki. “I enjoyed working with everyone on the set and we had a lot of fun bonding together. 

"Even off camera, the bonding is good. Everyone was nice to me.”

Directed by Philip Giordano (Pusoy), “Pabuya” includes a supporting cast led by Jela Cuenca (Taya, 5in1, Boy Bastos, Palitan, Isalnd of Desire, Silip sa Apoy) as Maricar, the seductive but selfish ex-girlfriend of Pepe. 

Felix Roco (‘Wag Mong Agawin ang Akin, Kaliwaan) plays Jojo, the leader of the rival gang. Jiad Arroyo (Doblado, Adan, High on Sex, Kitty K-7) plays Victor dela Cruz, the lead detective who has a shady side to him. 

“Pabuya” starts streaming on Vivamax on October 7, 2022.