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Marife wants to do more

MANILA, Philippines - Her name may not ring as much bells but those who are familiar with Marife Necesito won’t have a hard time enumerating the titles of the acting projects she had starred in here and abroad. She portrayed various characters in theatrical plays in the past and successfully broke into the international scene with her impressive acting skills.

It’s been almost three years, Marife says, since her last theatrical appearance on the local front. The Hollywood film Mammoth, where she snatched one of the key roles and starred with Oscar nominee Michelle Williams and Mexican heartthrob Gael Garcia Bernal, was her most recent film outing abroad. It was one of the official selections at the 59th Berlin filmfest while her role as a Filipino overseas contract worker earned her a Best Actress nomination from the 11th Cinemanila filmfest.

She had also done cameo roles in such teleseryes as Tanging Yaman, Maalaala Mo Kaya, Betty La Fea (Filipino version), Bituing Walang Ningning, Krystala, Lastikman, Mahika and Obra. She, too, appeared on TV commercials for Nescafé, Western Union, Tide and Cream Silk.   

Still, Marife wishes to do more, apparently, to quench her thirst for acting. Thus, with enough savings and a little help from friends, Marife swings back to the local acting scene not just as an actress but also as a producer via the stage adaptation of the 2005 indie Sarong Banggi that will be shown on April 26, 9 p.m. at Music Box Comedy Bar, Timog Ave., Quezon City.

Marife will play the aging prostitute Jaclyn opposite Star Magic talent Rob Joseph as the teenaged Nyoy. Her role was portrayed by Jaclyn Jose in the big screen.

“I have portrayed a similar character in the past but playing prostitute (again) challenges me to show a different approach,” shares Marife. “I want my performance to be as effective as possible, ‘yung tipong realistic ang dating. An actor should inspire her audience by giving justice to the role. Like me, I am responsible to clearly deliver what my character is going through, ano ba ang dahilan bakit s’ya ganun.”

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As Jaclyn in Archie del Mundo’s stage production of Sarong Banggi which is based on the story and screenplay of Emmanuel dela Cruz, Marife is ready to let the audience feel the aches and pains of an aging prostitute who is forced to continue with her flesh trade “job” in order to live not knowing that one of her “clients” turns out to be her long-lost son.

Asked if she’s willing to do more daring scenes on stage, Marife replies, “It depends on the story and as long as there’s no penetration. Butt exposure? I can do it only if the story calls for it. ”  

Her acting stints abroad have helped her improve her craft. “There was one scene in Mammoth that I have to do 20 times. Here, if you do a scene in just one take, it means you’re excellent. But there it’s different, you have to attack the same role in 20 or 30 different approaches to show which style is best for the scene. So the outcome is perfect na perfect.”

Being a writer first before trying her hand in acting has led her to discover what she wants to do for the rest of her life, telling in jest that she is “ready to go hungry in this field.”

“As a writer, I feel I can’t totally let out what’s inside me parang paloob lagi, e ako gusto ko mga tragedy mala-Edgardo Reyes kaya parang gusto ko naman lumabas. Sa acting ‘pag nai-arte at nai-iyak mo na ‘yung emosyon mas magaan.”

Although she delves more into acting these days, Marife still writes once in a while just like what she did in Mammoth –- she translated the whole film in Tagalog.

“Acting has become a passion. I can’t stay put in one corner anymore. Whenever my friends tell me there’s an audition for this and that, go talaga ako,” shares Marife. “I’ve known what it’s like to be rejected (during auditions) but that’s life — we have to take chances. Thank God, my (Italian) husband is always there to support me.”

According to Marife, the problem in coming up with stage production points mainly to financial aspect. “Producers really need to have enough budget to come up with a show. Me? There are still so many roles that I want to portray so with enough funds I try to produce to satisfy the actress in me. ‘Di ba kung may pondo gawin natin.”

Does she also see herself directing a movie someday?

“Why not? Probably after five years because there is still so much I want to do as an actress.”

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