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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 14, 2023



FRANKI RUSSELL is very fortunate as Viva is giving her one project after another. 

After she was introduced in “Pabuya” with Diego Loyzaga, she was given a much meatier role in “Laruan” with Kiko Estrada. 

And now, the new year has just started but she’s already starring in another project, “Tag-init”, where she gets to work with the acclaimed writer-director Jose Javier Reyes.   

“I was so happy and got excited when I learned he’ll be my next director,” she says.

“I’ve seen his past works and I really enjoyed them. It’s an honor to get to work with one of the country’s top filmmakers.”    

So how is her experience working with Direk Joey? 

“I had a great time kasi it’s a fun set when we shot the film on location in a beach resort in Batangas. 

"It was a very pleasant environment and Direk Joey made me feel so comfortable on the set. 

"He’s really super fun to work with kasi he is so fast. No time is wasted and he makes work feel like play, kasi we’re also shooting by the beach.  Sana I’d be given the chance to work with him again.” 

Is she still having difficulty with her Tagalog? 

“I understand Tagalog naman, so I can take their instructions in both English and Tagalog. 

"But it’s the speaking na mahirap for me and Direk Joey rewrote some of my lines para hindi ako mahirapan. So I always tell everyone to talk to me in Tagalog para mas mahasa ako.” 

Why is the film titled “Tag-init”? 

“Tag-init is the perfect title kasi the story happens one hot summer. Ang ganda ng setting, sa dagat, pang-summer talaga. 

"I play the mistress of a politician, played by Marc Acueza, and I want to get out of our relationship.  I’m feeling so lonely, then I meet a teenage boy on the beach, played by Clifford Pusing, and something happens between us.”  

So she has love scenes with both Marc and Clifford? 

“Yes, I have. Marc has been long in showbiz but this is his first time to a bedscene on camera so nagtulungan kami. 

"Ganun din si Clifford, he’s a newcomer, so first time niya rin. It’s good that Direk Joey guides us and explains all the motivations needed for our scenes together.” 

Since “Tag-init” is her third sexy outing on screen, it’s obvious she has no regrets about baring in front of the camera. 

“I’m enjoying it. May limitations pa rin ako and Direk Joey respects that. As for the viewers, if they’re entertained by my movies, then that means I’m doing my job well so let’s do more movies.”