Multi-awarded actress and one of Philippine cinemas’ iconic actresses Vilma Santos faced her fears so to speak when she took on the lead role in “Ekstra,” an indie film exhibited at the recently concluded 2013 Cinemalaya. The result – a Best Actress award! Vilma shared that before accepting “Ekstra,” she was already warned about doing indie films, that she shouldn’t risk her acting career doing any. She has also heard unfavorable remarks about indie films, like they have limited audience and that they don’t make money. So being her first indie film, she admitted being scared accepting it.
Vilma added that during filming, her producer Atty. Joji Alonso, would forward her positive feedbacks about the film. But she requested her to refrain from doing so.
“Sabi ko kay Atty. Joji na ayaw kong makarinig ng kahit ano. Ang gusto ko na lang sana mapalabas na, sana magustuhan at sana nagampanan ko si Loida Malabanan ng tama. Wala pa akong feedbacks noon so takot na takot ako sa totoo lang. But I guess it’s over at salamat, salamat,” expressed Vilma about “Ekstra’s” success. Her Best Actress trophy and the warm acceptance of her first indie film were proofs and answers to her questions when she green- lighted the “Ekstra” project. She recalled, “Siguro yung unang-una kung fear ay kung magmumukha ba akong ekstra. Secondly, noong nag-meeting kami nila Atty. Joji at direk, at yung starstruck na mga makakasama ko. Kasi kailangang maging kamukha nila ako. Hindi ako pwedeng umangat. Siyempre hindi naman takot but definitely it’s very challenging ang madeglamorize ka. Very challenging na masiguro ko lang na pwede akong magmukhang ekstra na pagtinignan mo ako hindi ako yung Vilma Santos.” Vilma stressed though that when she agreed to do “Ekstra,” winning an award for it wasn’t in her consciousness nor was it a prerequisite in accepting the project. Money or talent fee wasn’t even a consideration,
“I wanted the role. I loved the script,” said Vilma. “Nabanggit ko rin kay Atty. Joji na baka in my own little way na 50 years na sa industriya yung script na ito may konti akong contribution sa mga ekstra sa pelikulang Filipino na gumanap akong ekstra. Kasi ang tingin nila sa akin hindi ako pwedeng madeglamorize, hindi ako gagawa ng pelikulang di ako babayaran but you know hindi eh.” She also reminded that if she has a soft spot for extras it’s because in her more than 50 years in show business, extras have been part of the movies she had made in those five decades!
“So when I did this, it was more of a fulfillment as an artist, yung ano ang pwede kong gawin na naiiba at at the same time may meaning at baka may konting contribution lalong-lalo na sa mga ekstra na kasama ko po since I was nine years old. But never the awards or kailangang isali ito sa international film festival. I was able to do ‘Ekstra’ yun lang maligaya na ako,” exclaimed Vilma. Vilma Santos, who is also known as the country’s Actress for All Season, gets to share why “Ekstra” merited her her first Cinemalaya Best Actress Award as it opens today, Aug. 14, in theaters nationwide.
“Ngayon natatakot na naman ako kasi Star Cinema will handle ang pagpapalabas nito sa mainstream which means pag-uusapan na ito ng buong Pilipinas,” said Vilma with a big smile. (WS Belen, mb)