Ogie: I enjoy being a girl
- Ricky Lo () - December 7, 2008 - 12:00am

When the big boss of one of the companies whose product she’s endorsing visited Ruffa Gutierrez on the set of Desperadas 2, Regal Films’ 2008 Metro Filmfest entry, it took him almost one hour before he realized who the black woman beside Ruffa was.

“We’ve met before,” said the black woman, but the big boss was puzzled. “Where?” he asked politely. “I am Ogie Alcasid, remember?” And the big boss burst into laughter.

You see, Ogie is so convincing and so “realistic” in his role as Luga Luda, the African Princess, that he can easily “fool” people.

Those of us who religiously follow Ogie and company’s (Michael V., etc.) funny antics in the long-running, top-rating GMA gag show Bubble Gang are used to seeing him playing all shades and shapes of gay. But in Desperadas 2, again directed by Joel Lamangan like the first one, Ogie takes a step bolder by, that’s it, playing a woman — “A real woman,” he stressed.

Besides Ruffa (an extroverted single mother), playing Luga Luda’s three other sisters are Rufa Mae Quinto as a sexologist who has mastered the art of sexual relationships, Iza Calzado as an old-fashioned and reserved lawyer, and Marian Rivera as the youngest gregarious desperada sister.

How did you internalize this role? Mukhang feel na feel mo, a!

“Hmmmm. Paano nga ba? I don’t know but once they made me up and they put on my “boobs” and they dressed me up, I really feel like a woman. It’s something new to me. In Bubble Gang kasi, except for Angelina, the little girl, I play gay roles. In Desperadas, I play a dark princess, a very unusual role. My name is Luga Luda, from a fictitious island called Kwelali.”

What was your first reaction when the role was offered to you?

“I was excited — immediately! When Leo (Dominquez), my manager, called me, I said, “Yes, I wanna do it!” In fact, I was asked to play another role, as the husband of Marian (Rivera) in Shake, Rattle & Roll (another Regal 2008 Metro Filmfest entry) but I turned it down. Mas gusto ko maging girl for a change.”

The role reminds me of Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie and Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire. In fact, years before you were born, Armando Goyena also played a Mrs. Doubtfire-type role in the LVN movie Tia Loleng (with Tessie Quintana).

“Well, kinda. But this role is really different. In those movies, Dustin and Robin play men pretending to be women. Same thing siguro with Armando Goyena.”

Is it true that you had a workshop with Regine (Velasquez), your girlfriend, before Desperadas started shooting?

“Hahahahaha! I just told her about the role and she’s supportive naman, except that she was a bit worried how my kissing scene with a guy (Be Bench discovery Carlo Guevarra playing the groom) in the wedding scene would come out.”

Was it the first time you kissed a guy?

“Oo naman!”


“Yes. Cross my heart.”


“No. Smack lang naman. I wasn’t uncomfortable about it because Carlo also wasn’t.”

Naka-ilang takes kayo doon?

“A lot! Because they shot from different angles.”

Did you tell Regine about it?

“Before the scene was shot, I called Regine muna. As I said, she’s supportive. I think she’s more excited than I am. She was amused.”

How do you think your daughters (Leila and Sarah) will react to the movie?

“I went home to Australia last week and they saw my picture as a woman at tawa sila nang tawa. They are just as amused. They didn’t recognize me at first.”

Did you suggest how your make-up should be done?

“Wala naman. I left it to the Regal make-up artists. I wear a different shade of make-up and a different dress in my every scene. Iba-iba ang wigs na isinuot ko and my nails were of different colors. Come to think of it, it’s not an easy role. Maraming sacrifices. One time, nalapnos ang skin ko but we had to go on shooting even if my wound was bleeding.”

How did you feel wearing a two-piece swimsuit in one scene?

“It’s in the dream sequence showing me running after the boy.”

How did you hide “it”?

“Secret! Basta, nahirapan ako!”

If you were a real woman, would you have an illicit affair with a married man?

“Oh, wow! If I am so in love with the man, maybe I would. How can you fight love, how can you go against what your heart dictates? Pero kung one-night stand lang, hindi siguro ako papatol. I would be a highly-principled woman. Hehehehe!”

If you were a real woman, would you get pregnant out of wedlock? Ang daming young actresses ngayon na ganoon.

“I would not. I would be careful. I would have a baby only after I got married. But out of wedlock, nooooo!!!”

If you were a real woman, would you marry a man that you love or a man that you need?

“Of course, the man that I love. I would make sure that I already have the things that I need before I marry him. Naks!”

If you were a real woman and Regine were a man, would you marry him?

“I would, I would!”


“Because Regine is a very beautiful person. She has a beautiful soul. It’s so easy to fall in love with her.”

And what kind of wedding would you want?

“A simple one. Just among friends and loved ones. Very simple. And I’d wear a very simple dress, not like the one I wear in Desperadas.”

Is it true that the real women in Desperadas — Ruffa, Rufa Mae, Iza and Marian — felt insecure with you? Ninakawan mo daw sila ng eksena.

“Hindi naman siguro. They were really, really supportive of me. I have a hard time walking and they taught me how. Sometimes they would hold my hand. Parang they feel that I am their ate. They were so malambing to me. Sabi ko, ‘Sana naman, kapag naging lalaki na ako uli, maging malambing pa rin kayo sa akin’.”

What did they say?

“Sabi ni Marian, ‘Ay, hindi na! Gusto namin babae ka lang!’ Ay naku, it’s hard! You are on the set with beautiful women and they treat you like one of them.”

What pointers did you get from them?

“Di ba Ruffa is a beauty queen (1993 Miss World Second Princess)? Ginaya ko ‘yung pag-lakad niya. Si Peachy (Rufa Mae) told me, ‘Wag ka na nga mag-tape-tape dyan.’ Si Marian is a little boyish, di ba? She taught me how to relax. Si Iza, everytime she saw me in make-up, she would sing to me, ‘Lugaluda, come to me and take my hand...’ to the tune of Be My Lady.

Aren’t you worried you might be typecast as a woman?

“Well, I talked to Regine about it and she said, ‘Sana sa next movie mo, maiba naman ang role mo; maging lalaki ka ulit.’ But I’m thankful to (Regal Matriarch) Mother Lily for giving me the role. It’s my balik-Regal movie because I did my first movie with the company years ago. It was called Feel na Feel, with Janno (Gibbs) and Manilyn (Reynes). Richard and Raymond Gutierrez were in that movie; maliliit pa sila noon.”

But, Ogie, there might be a problem come awards night. In what category would they place you, Best Actor or Best Actress?

“In-between. Hahahahaha!”

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph or at entphil-star@yahoo.com)

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