FORMER Miss Earth Janelle Tee gets to play her most challenging title role to date in “The Escort Wife”, written and produced by Yam Laranas, directed Paul Basinillo and streaming on Vivamax starting September 22.
“I play Patricia, wife ni Raymond Bagatsing as Roy,” she says. “My husband is very rich but I’m bored being cooped up inside our home all the time. Wala akong ginawa kundi panoorin ‘yung mga taong nagdaraan by our window. Then one day, I saw the woman living across having passionate sex with her partner. She’s Ava Mendez as Chrissy, an escort girl. I start stalking her and I discover my husband is one of her clients.”
To spite her cheating husband, Janelle becomes a secret escort girl herself with the help of Ava, with whom she even has a girl-to-girl love scene.
“Bale second time ko ito to have a lesbian bedscene after ‘Putahe’,” says Janelle. “Hindi talaga ako comfortable at naiilang talaga ako. Sa bagay, no love scene naman is easy, kahit sa lalaki man.
But lalo na ‘yung babae sa babae. But Ava is so kalog and perky that she made it so light kaya nagawa naman namin. Kaabang-abang ‘yung eksena namin.”
She says “The Escort Wife” is her first heavy drama. “As the wife, mapagmahal ako rito, may pagka-martyr pa nga. But after discovering her husband’s infidelity, Patricia will do a lot of things you won’t expect her to do. Ang daming iyakan scenes ko rito, may breakdown pa.”
She initially had doubts if she’s capable enough to do the role of “The Escort Wife”. “When I first read the script, sabi ko, kaya ko ba ito? Parang ang hirap, e. First time ko to play a wife. Kasi before, lagi akong kabit. But this one is a real acting piece as I’m made to go through a roller coaster ride of emotions, so very demanding talaga.”
How is it working with Raymond Bagatsing who has won so many acting awards? “I know he’s really good, but he can be so intimidating kasi he’s so quiet. Kahit anong scene, super kalmado lang. I was wondering: makakaya ko kayang sabayan ito sa mga eksena namin.”
She’s grateful when Raymond turned out to be very helpful with her. “He really guided me in our scenes together and it’s really an honor to have worked with him. I’m just grateful to be given the chance to work not only with him, but also with Direk Yam as our writer-producer, Direk Paul, and also Ava. Lahat kami nag-swak sa work namin and they all helped me in my role para itawid all of my scenes as ‘The Escort Wife’.”
Will she ever try the job of an escort girl in real life? “I don’t think makakaya ko siyang gawin. Yung you will have different customers every night and you have sex with all of them. Even if I am put on the edge, I don’t think makakaya ‘yun ng powers and I don’t think I will survive that kind of a job. But we really cannot judge escort girls kasi we’ve interviewed some of them to prepare for this movie and they have their own reasons. May binubuhay silang pamilya, may magulang silang may sakit, so for them, it’s just like any other job. I’m the kind of person who’d really want to understand them than to just quickly judge them.”