'It gave me goosebumps': Piolo Pascual initially declined doing 'Mallari'

Jan Milo Severo - Philstar.com
'It gave me goosebumps': Piolo Pascual initially declined doing 'Mallari'
Piolo Pascual in a 'Mallari' scene
Screengrab from Piolo Pascual's Instagram page

MANILA, Philippines — Actor Piolo Pascual revealed that he first refused to play as the lead character in the upcoming 2023 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry "Mallari" based on Fr. Juan Severino Mallari, said to be the Philippines' first and only recorded serial killer.

In a press conference held at Kao Manila last Ocotber 19, Piolo admitted to not knowing Mallari was a real person and initially declining the project.

"When I got a phone call on a pitch [for] three characters, I didn't know if it was real. It said tatlong character, horror tapos 'Mallari' yung title, serial killer siya, 'yun lang sinabi sa akin. Sabi ko no, I was doing a film back then and I still had a tour. So there was no way I could squeeze it in my busy schedule," Piolo recalled.  

But the same day he rejected the project, Piolo said that he and fellow actors Joao Constancia and Kyle Echarri were discussing American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and wondered if there was a Filipino serial killer. 

"Nasa set kami and then we were talking about serial killers. Then I said 'Do we actually have a serial killer in the Philippines?' So we googled it," Piolo shared. "Joao Googled it and said there was a Severino Mallari. That was the same day, I stood up, 'Oh, shoot, it's a real guy. It's a real person.' It gave me a goosebumps. Sabi ko, 'Lord sign ba to?'"

Piolo then called up his manager to set a meeting with the producers.

"Sabi ko pa-pitch tayo. Nong nagpa-pitch na kami, napakaganda. Pero sabi ko tatlong characters napakahirap. So I guess you can say I'm just a sucker for those stories," he said. 

The character revealed the three characters he portrays in the movie complicatedly related from different timelines: the serial killer Mallari in 1812, a John Rey Mallari in 1948, and a Jonathan Mallari in the present day

"But if you watch the film, there's a lot of back story, there's a lot of good narrative that you will be able to keep up," Piolo ended.

"Mallari" is a partly true-to-life account of a parish priest in the 1800s who killed 57 people before being arrested, the murders antedating those by Jack The Ripper by over 60 years.

The film directed Derick Cabrido and written by Enrico Santos also stars JC Santos, Janella Salvador, Elisse Joson, and Gloria Diaz, with the special participation of Mylene Dizon.

RELATEDPiolo Pascual thrills Internet users with 'Mallari' trailer

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