JC Santos made “hugot” films with Bela Padilla that are all acclaimed and did well at the box office: “I00 Tula Para Kay Stella”, “The Day After Valentine’s” and “Of Vodka, Beers and Regrets”.
They’re now together again in “366”, with Bela also the film’s director. So how is it?
“It’s always exciting to work with Bela as we bring out the best in each other,” he says. “But as the director now, the challenge is for her how to make this different from all the other movies we’ve done together. Maganda ‘yung working relationship namin at hindi na siguro ako makakahanap ng ganyang ka-tandem na kahit anong scene or movie ang gawin namin, it always works. Lalo na ngayong director ko na siya, she brings me out of my comfort zone and it’s so much fun. I have this much love and respect for her. Sabi ko nga sa kanya, kahit dumating kami in our 40s or 50s or 60s, I hope we’ll still do movies together.”
What does he think of Bela going into directing? “She has surely levelled up from acting and she’s now also writing and directing her own movie. I’ve seen ‘366’ and it really works as a touching drama about grief and moving on. I’m so glad to be part of her first movie as a director as she’s really doing great. Ang maganda kasi, tantiyado na niya ang mga puede kong gawin bilang aktor at kaya niya rin akong i-push to get more from me. I really want to help her kasi nga first directorial job niya, so I felt na kailangan ko talagang galingan as my contribution to her movie.”
Does he also have plans of going into directing like Bela?
“Yes, may ambition din ako to direct, pero nakaka-pressure and achievement ni Bela kasi sobrang bata pa lang niya at 30, pero nagdidirek niya. But we both have this love for storytelling. It just so happened mas maaga siyang nagsimula sa pagdidirek. But she really inspires me. Actually, I have already written a few scripts at kailangan ko na lang i-pitch. Sana magustuhan din ng Viva.”
“366” will be shown on Vivamax which is now known as the home of erotic flicks. How does he think their film, which is a romantic drama, would fare with all the other sexy offerings of Vivamax?
“Sa ngayon, I think puro lalaki audience ng Vivamax, so with ‘366’ balik naman tayo sa love stories for the female viewers,” he says. “Hindi naman mawawala ‘yang market na ‘yan. Siempre, if you see nothing but the same kind of movie, mauumay ka rin and you’d look for other viewing fare.”
JC is obviously very happy in his life right now. He was giggling all throughout the zoom presscon and he punctuates all his answers with a big laugh.
“Yes, I’m really happy right now. Ako, I’ve always separated my personal, my family life from my work, but right now, both of them are doing good. I was able to survive the pandemic with the help of my wife and our baby. Sa career naman, I’m just happy na hindi ako nababakante. I’m very proud of ‘366’ that I did with Bela and which we shot partly on location in Turkey. I’m so happy seeing Bela calling all the shots, running the whole show. She gave it all her heart and soul so sana, panoorin nyo kasi matapang ang approach niya in doing a love story like ‘366’ that starts streaming exclusively on Vivamax starting on April 22.”