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Andrea Torres steps up acting game as tango dancer in Pasional

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
Andrea Torres steps up acting game as tango dancer in Pasional
Andrea Torres.

MANILA, Philippines — Actors need variety in roles and projects for continued growth. Part of that, too, is for them to work in a new environment — even for a short period of time — to broaden their horizons.

Andrea Torres had Lady Luck on her side to relish such an opportunity by starring in the international film Pasional, a co-production between GMA Network and Malevo Films of Argentina. She, who is among the Sparkle talents that have remained visible and active these pandemic times, can attest to its rewarding effect on one’s craft.

“I learned a lot from them,” answered the actress when asked about her takeaways from doing Pasional, a follow-up to her 2016 Cambodian film, Fight for Love, with Mikael Daez, during a recent virtual press conference. Also joining her in the event were fellow actor-leading man Marcelo Melingo, director Francisco D’Intino, assistant director Nicolas Cacciavillani, director of photography Gio Croatto, and producers Agustin Clerico, Luciano Croatto and Noel Maximo. “We have a different way (of filming and acting) kasi tayo di ba palaging heavy drama, malalaking eksena, malalaking movements (we’re into heavy drama, big scenes and movements),” added she. “Sa kanila naman (ay) minimal lagi dapat yung reaksiyon mo, mas gusto nila pigil, mas gusto nila na mas snappy kang kumilos, mas gusto nila yung hindi ka palagi umiiyak (they lean towards minimalist acting, your reactions should be calm and restrained. They prefer you to be snappy and always not to shed tears in emotional scenes.)”

As an actress, regardless of the auteur’s approach to filmmaking, Andrea gave her “complete trust” to director Francisco, who also happened to be Pasional’s screenwriter. She appreciated the beauty of getting into her character’s psyche in such a working and acting manner.

This new experience has enriched Andrea to understand her craft more and its nuances, especially working in another filmmaking system like that of Pasional.

“Hopefully, yung mga natutunan ko through the years sa mga ginawa kong soaps at dito,” said she, “ay parang mapagsama ko sila para ibang atake naman next time (Hopefully, learnings that I have gained from my previous soaps in the Philippines and the ones from this film, I will be able to consolidate them. So, I’ll have a new way to approach acting in my next assignment).”

Andrea with Argentine co-star Marcelo Melingo, who plays biologist Norberto in the film.

In Pasional, Andrea takes on the role of a former tango dancer named Mahalia, who is a jury at the International Tango Dance Festival. The Kapuso actress’ character will meet Argentine actor Marcelo’s Norberto, a biologist. Their story will take off from there.

“It’s a romantic and universal story,” said the Argentine team through the assistant director Nicolas, who also served as a translator. “Both in Argentina and the Philippines, we tried to portray (show) very interesting and beautiful places, (the) highlights of these countries. It’s a love story, but it has a special twist… it’s about love as a universal language or way of communicating (people’s feelings and thoughts), which is the main theme of the story.”

According to Nicolas, Pasional was originally to be filmed in South America, but when the opportunity to do it in the Philippines presented itself, the director started to consider it. And then, that came to fruition. The shooting commenced in Cordoba, Argentina and continued on in the Philippines, particularly in Caramoan, Camarines Sur and Coron, Palawan. Andrea was happy that the Argentine fellow creatives visited these places as well as Banaue.

“I experienced a lot of new things,” recalled Andrea of working on the set of Pasional. “Before I left for Argentina, I had a training in tango. But when I arrived there, I was surprised that the tango that we know (and I trained for) is different from the tango they’re doing there, which is called milonga. It’s more intimate. You have to follow your partner, kung saan ka niya dadalhin (You follow his lead during the dance). There’s no choreography really, it is based on where he is leading you and that makes it intimate kasi nga nagpapakiramdaman kayong dalawa. They also taught me Spanish lines (and how to deliver them).” Her leading man Marcelo was a big help to Andrea and she found “a very good mentor and a strict one” in him. “I enjoyed it because iba yung tono niya sa pananalita natin. When I was doing it, I felt like I was singing.” The actress expressed interest to carry on in learning Spanish since it’s the second most used (spoken) language, said Andrea, adding that she can use it “in future projects or when I visit them kasi naging sobrang close na rin talaga kami.”

What’s in the pipeline for Andrea’s career after Pasional?

“I’ve heard there’s a show being planned for me,” replied she. “I’m very excited about it. (If it’s going to be pushed through), I’ll be working with this (Pinoy) actor for the first time. I’ve also done a Netflix series with Ian Veneracion, isa rin po yun sa dapat abangan (it’s also something one can look forward to).”

Based on the information provided by GMA, independent Filipino producer Ferdinand Dimadura is also part of Pasional. The film will hopefully increase the network’s international presence “while (it is) also creating content for Kapuso audiences abroad,” it stated.

The Kapuso star on the set of the film in Argentina.
Photos courtesy of GMA and Malevo Films

Aside from the romance, replete with struggles and triumphs, as one can also anticipate, between the two lead characters, Pasional is also a platform for everyone to see the similarities and differences between two cultures as well as the shared Spanish heritage between two countries.

ANDREA TORRES

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