THERESE Malvar is best remembered as the chid actress who beat Nora Aunor as best actress in the 2013 CineFilipino Filmfest for her portrayal of a girl who gets infatuated with Angel Aquino in “Huling Chacha ni Anita”. She was then 11 years old.
After that she did the 2015 movie “Hamog” and won as best actress for her role as a young juvenile delinquent in the Cinema One Originals filmfest and in two international film festivals: Shanghai and Moscow. In 2018, she won best supporting actress for her role as an evil spirit in the horror flick, “Ilawod”.
And in 2019, she won best supporting actress awards in the Cinemalaya Filmfest for the films “Distance” where she played the alienated daughter of Iza Calzado and “School Service” where she played a promiscuous street child. Therese is now 22 years old and plays her most mature role to date as the young wife of Jeric Gonzales in “Broken Blooms” that will be shown in theaters on December 14.
“First time ko to play a wife who later gets pregnant and becomes a young mother,” she says. “The movie shows what happens to very young people when they get married so young. My character is not really prepared to be a wife and mother kaya hirap na hirap siya adjusting, specially to her exacting mother-in-law, played by Tita Jaclyn Jose.”
For her performance in this film, she won the Critics Choice Award for best actress in an indie film in Mokkho International Filmfest in India, while Jeric Gonzales won the Critics Choice Award for best actor. Didn’t she have any hesitation to do the movie that will require her to do intimate scenes with Jeric when she has yet to have a boyfriend in real life?
“I trusted Direk Louie Ignacio, kasi he’s also my director in ‘School Service’ so I know aalalayan niya ako,” she says. “I was so nervous when we were shooting the kissing scene na nakahiga kami in bed. Gusto ko, maging natural lang ang kissing namin kasi mag-asawa naman kami sa story.”
She wants it to look real and not awkward. “Ang pangit namin kung fake ang dating. But thanks to Jeric, siya ang nagdala ng eksena and he’s very gentle and understanding. Salamat din kay Direk Louie na ginabayan ako, naitawid naman namin ‘yung scene. Nang mapanood ko nga sa big screen in the premiere night, natuwa ako kasi very loving lang ang dating at hindi mukhang pilit.”
How did her mom react to her doing her very first kissing scene? “My mom is part of the movie. She also plays my mother na nung makipaghiwalay na ako kay Jeric sa dami ng aming problema, siya ang humarap kay Jeric para pakiusapan siyang hayaan na ako at ang anak namin. Alam naman namin before the shoot started na may kissing scene and she’s supportive.”
Didn’t she feel uncomfortable doing the kissing scene? “At first, akala ko, daya lang, e. But Direk Louie said kailangan, totoong kissing scene, so I just trusted him and I know he’d shoot it with my dignity intact. So when we were doing it ni Jeric, I just told myself, eto na, relax ka lang, eto na, trabaho lang ito. I felt kinda weird kasi first time kong mahalikan sa lips ninuman, but okay naman.
I think convincing naman.”
Is she ready to do more kissing scenes with other leading men?
“Naku, hindi. Kung maaari nga, wala na lang. But I just completed another movie, ‘Pamilya sa Dilim’, with Direk Jay Altarejos. May kissing din with Sir Allen Dizon pero hindi siya loving ang dating like in ‘Broken Blooms’, kasi pulis dito si Sir Allen at biktima ako ng kanyang sexual harrassment. Very dark ‘yung movie at isasali rin sa international film festivals, just like ‘Broken Blooms’.”
On TV, Therese was last seen in “Unica Hija” as the villain who caused the death of Kate Valdez.