Rhen embraces another sexy role in The Other Wife

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
Rhen embraces another sexy role in The Other Wife
Rhen Escaño on sensual roles: Kung kinakailangan ng mga sexy scenes para mabigyan ng justice yung character, willing po ako mag-take ng risk kung sa ikagaganda naman po ng pelikula. Ganun din po kase yung pag-unawa ko sa sining.
STAR / File

Rhen Escaño takes on another daring role in Viva’s sexy-thriller The Other Wife, with Lovi Poe and Joem Bascon as co-actors. She had declared earlier that she would take a break from doing steamy scenes after Adan and Untrue and would like to try her hand at other film genres.

The young actress clarified in an exclusive e-mail interview with The STAR, that she never said she would totally close her doors on sexy roles in movies. “Siguro mas focus lang po talaga ako ngayon dun sa...though na sana mas makakagawa ako ng iba’t ibang genre. Main goal po kasi palagi is yung kailangan makita ng mga tao yung growth and character development ko bilang isang aktor. At handa po ako tumanggap ng mga pelikulang matatapang as long as the material is substantial and good. Yun naman po ang importante.”

No wonder she said yes to The Other Wife, which will be exclusively streamed via Vivamax starting today. “At yun din po ang naging dahilan kung bakit ko tinanggap ang The Other Wife. Maganda ang material at alam kong may mapapakita akong bago. Kung kinakailangan ng mga sexy scenes para mabigyan ng justice yung character, willing po ako mag-take ng risk kung sa ikagaganda naman po ng pelikula. Ganun din po kase yung pag-unawa ko sa sining,” shared Rhen.

The movie is about Janis (Lovi) and Ronnie (Joem), a couple trying to fix their marriage. For this to work, they spend time together in their beach house, where Ronnie’s childhood friend Luisa (Rhen) joins them. Weird things start to happen afterwards. Janis sees a woman but can’t identify who she is. She also notices something strange — the hairbrush, the bath soap and her other stuff look like someone has used them. But her husband insists that there is no one living in the house, except them.

Love scenes are seen as integral in this genre. Rhen found them most challenging to do but thanked her director Prime Cruz and co-actor Joem, who were there to assist and guide her. “They’re really not easy to do. Ito din po kase yung unang pagkakataon na gumawa ako ng love scenes with a guy. I’m lucky enough that it was Joem. Inalalayan niya po talaga ako at hindi pinabayaan sa eksena namin. He’s a true gentleman.”

“Thankful din po ako na mahusay ang aming director at laging naka-alalay sa lahat ng mabibigat naming eksena,” continued she. “Direk Prime made sure that everything would be worth it. At nakita naman po namin yun kasi ang ganda talaga ng pagkakagawa. At sana ma-appreciate ng mga viewers yung pinaghirapan ng lahat.”

When it comes to lessons gained from working with her co-stars and in previous works, Rhen cited how they would constantly remind her to give value to her craft. “Importante po kase talaga na dapat mahal natin yung ginagawa natin para mag-work ang lahat ng bagay na pinaghihirapan natin. Grateful po ako na mga professional po silang lahat ka-trabaho kaya palagi po akong may natutunan.”

On what the film may say about women, she said, “Women should realize that it’s never okay dragging another woman to get what you want in life.”

“We should be lifting each other up, not the other way around. If you see them experiencing unfair treatment, do something about it. Say something. Women must work together to empower one another,” Rhen added.

Among the flicks she starred in, the 24-year-old artist noted the psychological thriller Untrue as the toughest for her, where she appeared as a daring schoolgirl named Ana. “I could say na pinaka-challenging para sakin ang character ko sa Untrue kahit yun po ang pinaka-maikli (na part) sa lahat. Pakiramdam ko po talaga doon ako pinaka-napagod pero, at the same time, pinaka-maraming natutunan bilang isang aktor. Minahal ko po talaga doon si direk Sigrid (Andrea Bernardo).”

Rhen also played the role of a lesbian, opposite Cindy Miranda in Adan, as Clarice Padua in FPJ’s Ang Probinsiyano and Merla in the Arabic soap opera Saq El Bamboo.

The Viva talent said she will always be grateful for being part of ABS-CBN’s longest-running teleserye Ang Probinsyano and that it played a huge part in her career.

“Bukod din po sa mga katrabaho ko na marami pong na-i-share sa’kin na mga bagay kung saan marami po akong natutunan para mas ma-appreciate ko po yung craft ko, lalo na po si direk Coco (Martin) na wala pong sawang magbigay ng advice, natutunan ko po talaga na mas mahalin ang trabaho ko.”

Rhen said that she should always have a thirst for learning “at palaging gawin ang 101-percent best ko sa pag abot ng mga pangarap ko para balang araw mapatunayan ang sarili ko.”

As for the team behind Saq El Bamboo, her first international project, she said, “Blessed po ako na hindi nila ako tinuring na ibang tao nun. Pinaramdan nila sa’kin kung gaano nila na-appreciate ang talento ng Pinoy. Nakaka-proud! That’s why I’m excited to do another international project. Sisikapin kong mapatunayan sa ibang bansa na kayang makipagsabayan ng mga Pilipino.”

Rhen was also a part of the late German “Kuya Germs” Moreno’s night variety show, Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman, where she met her manager Aster Amoyo. The latter introduced her to Viva and the rest, as they say, is history.

Her dream project would be a remake of Mula sa Puso or Anak. She hopes to play the roles of Claudine Barretto both in the series and in the movie, and work with Vilma Santos.

Speaking of love life, the young star admitted she is currently single. “Masaya po ako ngayon kahit wala po ako sa isang relasyon. Siguro sabihin nalang natin na single pero inspired (laughs). Almost six months na din po akong single.”

Her focus now is on her career, especially that she plans to accomplish several things this year. “But I’m still thankful that there are people in my life giving me inspiration to do better.”

“Never give up on your dreams. Our own time will come,” she offered her piece of advice to aspiring artists like her, who once thought of giving up on her showbiz career. But she came back stronger and bolder, “Mas kailangan kong mapatunayan ang sarili ko kaya mas lalo kung gagalingan.”

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