Carla Humphries not really idle

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Actress and commercial model Carla Humphries — best known for her roles on ABS-CBN’s youth-oriented show Abt Ur Luv and the TV remake of Bituing Walang Ningning in 2006 — has been keeping a low profile as of late.

According to her Wikipedia page, she hasn’t been in a movie or TV show since 2015. The last movie she was in was the biopic Felix Manalo (about the life and times of the late Iglesia ni Cristo founder), and her most recent TV guesting came by way of the Kapamilya teleserye FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, in which she had a supporting role.

But that doesn’t mean Carla has been idle. She has spent the last several months quietly working on some projects that she’s really excited about, one of which is an indie film. She’s also preparing to launch her own jewelry line and a YouTube channel. At the launch of the lifestyle sneaker brand Gola last June 21 where Carla modeled pieces from its new collection, she was visibly thrilled as she told reporters about the indie film.

?“I’m doing a movie with Raya Martin, who is a fantastic director. I’m so proud to be associated with him,” she says.

?Raya is a 31-year-old filmmaker whose credits include a documentary called The Island at the End of the World (featuring the customs and everyday life of the native people in Batanes) and a few short films that have been screened in various international film festivals.

?The movie Raya is doing with Carla is titled Smaller and Smaller Circles, and it’s based on the crime novel of the same name by Filipino novelist F.H. Batacan, whom Carla says is based in Singapore. Originally published by the University of the Philippines Press in novella form in 2002, it was eventually released as a novel by the New York publishing house Soho Crime in August 2015.

?When Smaller and Smaller Circles was first published, it won the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature, the Philippine National Book Award and the Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award. It was also received very well in the US, and Carla hopes that the film adaptation will find similar success.

“We have an amazing, strong cast. Nonie Buencamino, Sid Lucero, Bembol Roco and marami pang iba. I’m the only girl,” she shares. “I play news producer and reporter Joanna Bonifacio. Plot-wise, it’s similar to movies like Silence of the Lambs and Spotlight, so it’s the first of its kind, I think, for the Philippines. But since maganda yung pagtanggap ng mga tao sa book, I hope panoorin din nila yung movie when it comes out.”

According to Carla, she was handpicked to play Joanna after Raya and his team saw some of her past work. “I don’t know if it sounds bad na it’s coming from me, but yeah, they called me. I was kind of surprised that they had seen some of the things I’ve been in. They mentioned having watched me in Bekikang, which was directed by the late Wenn Deramas, and 10,000 Hours, in which I got to work with Bb. Joyce Bernal.”

Carla confesses that growing up, she never really felt like a legit actress even though she didn’t exactly want for projects. She says she didn’t get the kind of roles she was hoping to get, the ones that would have let her show off the full range of her acting ability. So when the call to join the cast of Smaller and Smaller Circles came, Carla was pleasantly surprised.

“To be honest, even if I’ve been in showbiz for a long time now, I always feel like I’m just beginning,” she admits. “I wasn’t blessed with a lot of meaty roles growing up. I had no idea that a big blessing like this would come, where someone like Raya who’s well-respected at his age would ask for a meeting with me or even think of me for a role. It really felt like validation for me, sobra.”

?So happy was Carla to have been cast that she looks forward to reporting for work every day. She says she’s determined to do her best in every scene so as not to let Raya or anyone else on their team down. Carla’s not even thinking of what the project will mean for her career. Right now, she’s focused on doing her part to ensure the movie will turn out well.

“I hope makapasok kami sa mga festivals and manalo din ng awards yung movie. Sana it will open doors for me also, but at this point, I’m not expecting anything. Honestly, I think just being part of it is enough na. Parang acting award na din siya for me.”

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