Max Eigenmann scores intenational role in film shot in the UK

Leah C. Salterio - The Philippine Star
Max Eigenmann scores intenational role in film shot in the UK
Max Eigenmann stars in the British-Filipino production, Raging Grace, which is the directorial debut of Paris Zarcilla. The suspense-thriller, which she filmed back in 2021 at the height of the pandemic, is now showing in local cinemas.

MANILA, Philippines — Since actress Max Eigenmann wrapped up the suspense-thriller, Raging Grace, in October 2021, still at the height of pandemic, she has watched the mystery-suspense eight times, the last being only last week.

“The first time I watched it, I was a bit tensed,” Max told The Philippine STAR. “But now, after eight times, I was less tense. It was nice to hear the applause after everybody watched it. It made me really proud of our film.”

The directorial debut of Paris Zarcilla, Raging Grace which Paris also wrote, premiered last November at QCinema. The young director also prove his excellence in making the film which earned him a Maverick Award nomination at the British Independent Film Awards.

Raging Grace is the first British-Filipino film shot in the UK. The film undoubtedly captured the critics’ attention as it gained awards such as the Thunder Bird Rising Award and the SXSW (South by South West) Grand Jury Award from the SXSW Film Festival.

It also scored the International Critic’s Award, Youth Jury Awards and the Audience Award from Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival, as well as nominations from the British Independent Film Awards and Sitges-Catalonian International Film Festival.

When Viva Films premiered the film last Jan. 17, more people came to watch and it made Max very happy.

Max was invited to audition for Raging Grace in May 2021. “The Filipina co-producer of the film (Darlene Malimas), invited me to audition,” Max disclosed. “That took around two months. By July 2021, I got the part. We started filming by October that year.”

Also in the cast of Raging Grace are Jaiden Paige Boadilla (who plays Max’s daughter, Grace), Leanne Best and David Hayman.

To date, the film has made the rounds of international film festivals in the UK, the US, Australia, Switzerland, some countries in Europe and the Busan Film Festival in Korea.

“We saved the best for last, the Philippines,” Max beamed.

Raging Grace is about an illegal Filipina immigrant, Joy (Max), struggling from one job to another, so she can secure a better life for herself and her daughter, Grace (Jaiden Paige Boadilla).

Raging Grace is about an illegal Filipina immigrant, Joy (Max), struggling from one job to another, so she can secure a better life for herself and her daughter, Grace (Jaiden).

Joy lands a job in an old mansion as a housemaid to a middle-aged woman (Leanne) and a care worker to terminally-ill old man (David). However, her relief from securing this job is short-lived when she uncovers a deep, dark secret about her employer.

“Everybody in the cast, except for (me), was cast in the UK,” Max offered. “They are all based there, including the girl who played Grace. She was born and raised in the UK. Raging Grace is her first film. She was very good. She is one of those young actors whose acting is probably in her genes. Ang husay.”

Raging Grace is finally being shown in local theaters. “I’m extremely proud that the film has finally reached local shores,” Max said. “I’m so excited for the rest of the country to see the film.”

Prior to filming Raging Grace, Max was encouraged by her co-producer to meet up with a lady who worked as an OFW in the Middle East for 25 years.

“After the OFW retired, she put up her own agency and provided good employees who want to work abroad,” Max said. “I asked her questions. I wanted to hear it from somebody who has experienced working abroad first hand what’s it like to be in a situation like that. It was really a heartbreaking and intense experience.”

Max cannot be thankful enough that she was given a chance to do Raging Grace. “It was really an honor for me to be able to share the voice of a lot of OFWs,” she admitted. “That’s really the important message of the film.

“The horror bit was just to make it more entertaining and engaging. The important part was how to make others more aware of how difficult is it to assimilate an OFW in another country.”

Max enjoyed her stay in the UK for 10 weeks. “Filming took only six weeks,” she said. “Five weeks in the country side and one week in London. I also did a few days of workshop before filming. Gumanda ang skin ko in the cold weather, while I was there (laughs). I got home three days before Christmas in 2021.”

After Raging Grace, Max is open to do another international film. “I’m open to do international and local (films) also,” she admitted. “My last film was 12 Weeks, shown last year for Cinemalaya. I also did a soap (The Missing Husband for GMA 7).”

Max was also named Best Actress in the Sixth Eddys or Entertainment Editors’ Choice for Anna Isabelle’s Matutina’s 12 Weeks, given by the Society of Philippine Entertainment Editors (SPEED).

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