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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 25, 2022




FRANKI RUSSELL debuted in Vivamax’ “Pabuya” with Diego Loyzaga. 

She is now paired with Jay Manalo and Kiko Estrada in Yam Laranas’ intriguing sex-drama full of infidelity and double-dealing, “Laruan”. 

This is a new original Vivamax movie, and not a remake of the 1983 movie by Maning Borlaza with Carmi Martin and Angela Perez.

Franki plays a very challenging role as Camille, the two-timing wife of Jay Manalo as Rene, an accomplished painter. 

Without Jay’s knowing it, she is having a secret affair with her friend Kiko as Geoff. 

She always invites Kiko over dinner at their house and tells him to bring a date who could talk to Jay. 

While Jay and Kiko’s friend are talking, Franki and Kiko always find time to have a sizzling quickie somewhere. 

Franki feels triumphant as she is enjoying all the deceitful things that she is doing. 

She feels she can do anything she wants and get away with it, enjoying both Jay and Kiko all to herself, having her cake and eating it, too. 

But things get complicated when Kiko brings in a lovely new date, Ava Mendez as Thea, a liberated art major who is so happy to meet a respected artist like Jay. 

Since they speak the same language, they bond really well and are soon falling for each other, which pisses Franki no end.   

She resents the presence of Ava as a scene-stealer in their home, as she is just not used to Jay giving his attention to another woman. 

She feels threatened by Ava and her feelings of hatred for Ava grow more intense when she sees that Ava is also getting very close to Kiko, like she wants to take both guys away from her.  

Her jealousy makes Franki think treacherously. 

She wants to get rid of Ava as she doesn’t want to share her two men with anyone else. 

She will not stop until she has ruined Ava’s life even if that also means dragging down both Jay and Kiko in her evil plans. 

But will Ava take things sitting down or will she fight back?  

“My character is a bida-kontrabida and playing her is really no picnic as she’s a very complex character,” says Franki.  

“I’d really like to thank our director, Yam Laranas, as he’s very helpful and encouraging. 

"I was able to do things in the movie as Camille which I didn’t even know I was capable of doing. 

"I would also like to thank Jay and Kiko as they gave a lot of inputs to help me interpret our scenes together. 

"I’m so grateful that all of them are so cooperative with me while we’re shooting ‘Laruan’.”  

We ask Direk Yam how he finds Franki’s performance in the movie.  

“From the start, I made it clear that I want the whole cast to give good, solid performances in the film,” he says. 

“I’ve worked with Jay Manalo even before sa Viva, like in ‘Balahibong Pusa’, and I know he’s very capable. 

"Si Ava naman, nakatrabaho ko na sa ‘The Escort Wife’ and I know she’s good. 

"It’s my first time to work with both Kiko and Franki. Kiko surprised me as he acted like a real pro.”

How about Franki? 

“As for Franki, I know she’s very new but she’s a revelation here as Camille. She is taking her job seriously and I admire her willingness to learn. 

"Don’t miss ‘Laruan’ when it starts streaming on December 16 dahil gugulatin kayo ni Frankie to show how frighteningly effective she can be in her anti-heroine role.”