Doll House star Baron Geisler hopes to sustain ‘second wind’ in showbiz

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Doll House star Baron Geisler hopes to sustain �second wind� in showbiz

MANILA, Philippines — Baron Geisler takes the lead in the new Netflix film Doll House, a father-and-daughter story that tells of forgiveness, second chances and redemption.

“It’s a heartwarming film. People will realize how important family is. It’s about having that unconditional love, trying to find yourself, and how being selfless leads to something magical and unexpected moments. And it’s about forgiveness, of course,” the 40-year-old actor told The STAR during a small roundtable chat with select press at Revolver Studios in Makati.

Baron also described the Netflix Original film as his “second wind” in showbiz.

“What’s not to say yes? It’s a big project. It’s Netflix. It’s a worldwide movie. And it’s a big-budget film. It’s a good role. A lot of people have been telling me, co-actors, ‘Baron, this is your second wind. Keep it up, we’re very proud of you.’ So, now I’m on my knees, praying that I get to sustain this and get more substantial roles,” he said when further asked about his primary attraction to the film that was shot in the Netherlands late last year.

In Doll House, the actor is a troubled frontman of a rock band who sets out to rekindle the relationship he never had with his long-lost daughter.

Director Marla Mancheta, who previously megged the Netflix film Finding Agnes, said that when her producers suggested the name of Baron to play father to child wonder Althea Ruedas, she didn’t have second thoughts, except that the character might hit too close to home.

“Ang naisip ko nga baka masyadong malapit kay Baron (yung character) pero sige, mas maganda yun, mas may hugot,” she also told The STAR during the interview.

True enough, for Baron, the role didn’t pose any grueling challenges because he was able to connect with his character in more ways than one.

“There weren’t that many challenges because I was able to relate. Yes, close to life but there are a lot of plot twists that you should watch out for in this film,” he said.

He noted that he has similarities with his character which he was able to draw from for inspiration for his portrayal. These include his being a real girl daddy to Talitha, his two-year-old daughter with Cebuana wife Jamie Evangelista.

“I can identify with my character and I was able to use that in the story and character, in terms of mga hugot, especially because I also have a daughter,” he pointed out.

“So whenever I look into her (Althea’s) eyes, I’m looking at Talitha, my baby girl. Every time I message her or may post, I call her ‘anak.’ Simula nung nag-start ang film, we never stopped communicating. We became like a real father and daughter. So, whatever bonding we had in the Netherlands, hindi nawala,” he added.

Baron further said that the father-daughter love story resonated so much with him that he was reminded of some “unfinished” business he needed to deal with in his own life.

“One of the best things that really got to me was the father-daughter love story. Me reconnecting with my daughter in the film. And the realization that I have a lot of unfinished business in life. Naging part siya.

“And also, I can say that the heart and soul of this movie, a big part of it is direk Marla because she has guided Althea and I all throughout (the film). From the very beginning, whenever we had questions or may mga unfamiliar, may mga uncertainties kami, we just asked her and she was generous to give us clear directions.”

Baron hinted that audiences will see a different side of him as an actor in Doll House, also because a lot has happened and changed over the years.

“Baron, 10 years ago, was very immature and very irresponsible. But now that I’ve been living in Cebu, I’ve been connecting with the right people and a lot has changed. I’m just taking my family and being a father seriously. I want the best for them, that’s why I’m praying also for the best projects ang dumating from the future,” he said.

It’s no showbiz secret that Baron has had a troubled past that landed him on headlines. In Doll House, Baron is at his “most good-looking” on screen, as comments to the trailer point out. In person, he looks fitter and happier.

Baron with director Marla Mancheta and child star Althea Ruedas after the intimate roundtable interview at Revolver Studios in Makati.

Asked if he was already able to resolve whatever personal problems and issues he previously had, especially when this film was being made, he said, “Naka-move on na ako ng matagal eh. Sobrang grateful din ako sa wife ko. Ang laki ng tulong niya sa akin and nuong shino-shoot namin wala talagang problema sa set. Gaya ng sabi ni Althea, iba ng aura ko, di naman sila natatakot. Sila direk, everybody was instant family right away.

“Of course, we had time constraints. We had to wake up at a certain time. Four o’clock, I was already up to leave for the shoot. Sometimes, we would roll at 6. I was working with professionals and it’s such a good feeling to be working with really great people and now with Netflix na sana ganito parati ang pasukan ko na proyekto talaga.”

Meanwhile, Baron had an interesting story to share about the timing of Doll House. “Here’s a story. One time me and my wife were watching Netflix, yung A Faraway Land. Best friend ko si Paolo Contis. We loved his film and my wife, nakita ko parang sad siya, and she wanted something like that for me,” he recalled.

“And then I said, you know what, one day, I’m gonna have a film for that (Netflix) and that’s gonna be better than that. And then I called Pao, ang ganda ng pelikula mo, pang-Hollywood, I love you, congratulations.

“Walang jealousy ‘to. Punong-puno ng gratitude. ‘Dun ako nagkaroon ng revelation na parang if you have this authentic appreciation for another actor, for another film and you want the same na mangyari sa akin, God will give it to me. And wala pa yatang two months, tinawagan ako for this film. Nagulat misis ko, see, see, I told you, mangyayari, mangyayari. And now, we’re here talking about film and Netflix worldwide pa ilalabas. I’m very, very grateful.” (You can check out the film now streaming at www.netflix.com/DollHouse.)

In Doll House, the actor plays a troubled lead singer of a rock band who wants to build a relationship with his long-lost daughter.

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