Ryza (with Manananggal co-star Martin del Rosario): I am not getting any younger so I want to try other roles as much as possible

A role cut out for Ryza Cenon
Honey Orio-Escullar (The Philippine Star) - July 30, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - After its limited run at the 2016 QCinema International Filmfest which merited positive feedback, Prime Cruz’s Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B is set for a nationwide release as part of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) happening on Aug. 16 to 22.

That’s why lead star Ryza Cenon is excited that the movie is going to reach a wider audience this time and she expressed hope that those who are yet to watch the movie will also like it.

“This movie is not just your typical manananggal story so they should watch it kasi hindi siya nakakatakot kundi nakakakilig,” Ryza said during a media gathering for the movie.

Sobrang proud po ako na nakapasok itong movie sa PPP. Sabi ko, ganito pala ang feeling kapag meron kang (movie) na nakapasok or napili.”

Those who were able to catch Manananggal in last year’s QCinema fest can expect “newly shot scenes for this (PPP) release because it also has a slightly different audience,” according to movie producer Perci Intalan.

Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B is a tale about the mythical creature as told from a different angle. A dark romance, it tells of a mysterious and lonesome woman named Jewel, who is living in the city with a dark secret. She would later on meet the broken-hearted Nico. Jewel is torn between wanting to love him and wanting to save him from herself.

According to reviews, Ryza was a revelation in the film. It’s been said that her performance was notable at the same time, controversial due to some daring scenes she did in the film.

She mused, “Eh nag-reveal naman po talaga ako (laughs)! But seriously, masaya po ako kasi sobrang pinaghirapan po namin lahat ito. Kasi konti lang po yung araw namin to shoot eh tapos magpapasa na po kami. I’m happy that all the hard work and sleepless nights bore fruit.”

The movie, on the other hand, has also earned praises. The “controlled” way of humanizing a manananggal is what sets the film apart from past manananggal films. According to reviews, direk Prime was subtle in letting the emotions of this creature connect with the audience.

 “The story of the film is from the point of view of the manananggal, which is the bida so the role is very demanding sa artistang gaganap,” explained screenwriter Jen Chuaunsu. “That’s why we needed an actress who has charm but can be dangerous; has strength but can be vulnerable. And when we met Ryza and having worked with her, we realized that we couldn’t have had a better actress for the role. And whatever positive feedback she’s been receiving, she really does deserve it.”

Speaking of being daring, Ryza clarified that she doesn’t want to be “typecast with these kinds of roles and can do other things aside from going sexy. I am not also getting any younger so I want to try other roles as much as possible,” said Ryza.

Nevertheless, she added that it really depends on the story. If the script is good, she won’t mind if it requires her to be daring.

“That’s what I also told (Viva’s) Boss Vic (del Rosario),” shared Ryza while hinting that she has two upcoming movies. One is a rom-com but she is not at liberty to give further details. Ryza signed up with Viva Artist Agency last month.

“As of now, hindi pa makasingit yung Viva sa schedules kasi nakatali pa ako sa Ika-6 na Utos (her GMA 7 soap). But I’m looking forward to doing the movie because it’s different from anything that I’ve done before. It’s my first time to do rom-com. It’s light and I want to do films like that. Iba-ibang emotions para mapakita ko na kaya ko kahit ano.”

The main antagonist in Ika-6 na Utos is no longer a contract star of GMA Artist Center (GMAAC). She, however, assured that she still remains a Kapuso.

(Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B — also starring Martin del Rosario, Vangie Labalan and Cholo Barretto — is produced by The Ideafirst Company, Inc., led by filmmakers/producers Jun Lana and Perci Intalan.)

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