Agot Isidro was introduced in the movies in the 1993 action flick, “Masahol Pa sa Hayop,” starring Phillip Salvador where she played the role of a lady lawyer. She won the best new actress award for that at the age of 27. She was a late bloomer as an actress, since she started as a singer with hits like “Sa Isip Ko” and “Beginning Today.” She later on excelled in character and contravida roles in teleseryes, but she now gets to play another lead role in the movie “Changing Partners,” for which she won the Cinema One Film Festival best actress award.
The film, which opens in theaters on January 31, is based on a play with songs by Vince de Jesus originally staged at a reading in the Virgin Labfest and later as a play by PETA. It then received funding from Cinema One and became a full-length film, winning best picture, best director for Dan Villegas, best actor for Jojit Lorenzo and best actress for Agot.
An intimate look into various kinds of relationships, the film has a non-linear structure and there are two sets of actors playing major characters Alex and Cris who all break into song to express their inner feelings in crooned monologues.
The first set of lovers is Agot Isidro and Sandino Martin in a May-December love in affair. The second one involves Jojit Lorenzo and Anna Luna. The third set of lovers has Agot in a lesbian relationship with Anna. Then there’s Jojit and Sandino. Kung bobo ka, baka ma-confuse ka.
But remember, the title is “Changing Partners,” so it offers different stories about love and gender and sexuality.
At the press con hosted by Star Cinema at ABS-CBN, Agot and her co-stars were all excited by the movie’s coming theatrical release under Star Cinema. “We’re all happy that it will be shown to a wider audience. Hopefully, it would increase the public’s appreciation of stage plays, too.”
Agot herself comes from a failed marriage (to Manu Sandejas) and her perspective on romantic love has changed through the years. “Before, it was about flowers, going out on dates, all about the kilig. Now, I give more importance to respect, honest, and fostering real communication in a consistently loving relationship.”
So what has she realized about love?
“We start with high expectations and when reality sets in, we feel helpless. Our movie shows that a heartbreak – no matter what your gender is or age or social class – is a heartbreak, a universal feeling where your world crumbles and gets shattered, making some of us act irrationally.”
What scene in the film is the most memorable for her?
“It’s also the best scene for me in the stage play. When Sandino as Cris makes sumbat to Alex: ‘Binigay ko ang anim na taon ko sa’yo!’ And Alex says: ‘At ako, walang ibinigay?’ It makes you realize that love is really a lot of sacrifice and it’s so sad when both parties don’t see it that way.”
M. Bautista, Malaya