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  • vilma-santosMulti-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)

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