Christina flies high in Pan Am


Pan Am has a special spot in my heart. My first trip to the US and Rome in the late ’70s was courtesy of Pan Am, arranged by the airlines’ then PR executive Charlie Angeles who died a few years ago, not long after the airline which he served so dearly stopped flying.

That’s why I look forward to watching Pan Am, the drama series which premieres tonight at 9:30 on AXN, set in the 1960s when Pan American World Airways led the energy and excitement 30,000 feet up in the sky. That was the Jet Age. The series chronicles the lives of pilots and stewardesses as they try to balance the turbulence up there and the trials of life down here.

Playing one of the stewardesses is Christina Ricci whom Funfare Update had a chance to interview by phone a few weeks ago.


How did you prepare for your role?

“Our executive producer, Nancy Hult Ganis, was a real-life Pan Am stewardess in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and she provided me and the other actresses a lot of information about the rules and etiquettes. I learned that Pan Am stewardesses stayed in the best hotels, received the best per diem and enjoyed nearly free travel at anytime anywhere, with tons of time off. I thought, ‘Omigosh, I really want this job!’”

Were there any surprises?

“I was surprised to learn about the weight requirement from the pamphlets that were given to us, along with personal-hygiene requirements.”

Are you old enough to have flown Pan Am? If so, how was the experience?

“No. But I remember my mother always telling me that she often flew Pan Am and, guess what, she even answered a Pan Am advertisement for a trip to the moon. Yes, she still has her ticket in her wallet! How much did she pay for it? I have no idea.”

Do you have fear of flying and how do you deal with it?

“I have no fear of flying. Actually, I love flying!”

What attracted you to the role?

“It’s a different kind of role. It gives me a vicarious experience of how it is to be on a Pan Am flight. And I love the creative people involved in the project. After doing the series, I have more empathy now for flight attendants. It’s not at all an easy job, contrary to what I thought.”

How are you like and not like Maggie, your character in the series?

“Maggie has a quick temper and she’s a bit less able to control it than I can. Over the years, I’ve learned to mature and not always to speak without first thinking.”

After doing the series, which do you think is more exciting, being an actress or being a stewardess?

“Being an actress. I love being one and I wouldn’t trade it for any other job.”

If you were a stewardess, or even now that you are not, what places would you like to visit?

“There are so many places. I’ve just started my life as a traveler.”

What’s up?

Love Rocks at the Gallery is set for Feb. 14, 8 to 10:30 p.m. (for only P988 net) at the Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, The come-on says: Single? In a relationship? Or it’s just complicated? Whatever your status is, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day with friends and loved ones over a tasty spread of bar chow items with a glass of Bellagio wine, while dancing to the tunes of the Big Bash Band. Make the night romantic. Or make it wild…(Call 570-7777 for reservation.)

• From election lawyer Romy Macalintal, this “pick-up lines” rejoinder: 1). Sana si Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile ka. Bakit? Kasi gusto ko happy ka!” and 2). Ampalaya ka ba? Bakit? Kasi kahit gaano kapait ang lasa mo, ikaw pa rin ang nagbibigay ng sustansya sa puso ko.”

• Incidentally, Sen. Johnny Ponce-Enrile is a Valentine Baby (born on Feb. 14). Others are Kris Aquino, John Prats, Heart Evangelista and Rico J. Puno.

• Young Mama Berns is making quite a stir on the Internet by being a very supportive mom to her teenaged son Derek. Her blog is simply a mirror of a doting mom’s love: http://bit.ly/mamaberns which is so cute. Derek made a video of the song that he wrote, Anna Banana, and posted it on Valentine YouTube www.youtube.com/annabananaDSL. Mama Berns is pleading for friends to view it because Derek wants to hit one million views.

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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