Dionne Monsanto joins ‘The General’s Daughter’ as drug queen
Karla Rule (The Freeman) - April 30, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebuana actress Dionne Monsanto lends her reliable villainy to the ABS-CBN primetime series “The General’s Daughter,” joining the ranks of high-caliber actors in the powerhouse casting.

Dionne, a “Pinoy Big Brother” 2007 alumna, currently plays Vera who also goes by Miss Poison, in “The General’s Daughter.” She portrays a brilliant chemist who provides high-quality drugs to Tirso Cruz’s General Tiago.

The show, headlined by Angel Locsin, is an action-drama series that premiered last January. It also stars Albert Martinez, Janice de Belen, Maricel Soriano, Eula Valdez, Arjo Atayde, Paulo Avelino, JC de Vera, and Ryza Cenon.

“I said yes to the role because it was different and something I wanted to explore. Crimes that involve drugs is very much apparent lately. Even before I was offered to play Poison, I’ve already read up on articles and watched biographies of female drug lords such as Jemeker Thompson and Griselda Blanco,” Dionne told The FREEMAN.

Asked how she plans to treat Miss Poison and make her unique from her previous kontrabida roles, the 33-year-old said it boils down to preparation.

“Like with any role that I do, preparation and research are very important. So when I’m on set, I don’t scour for inspiration on how to portray being a drug queen anymore. Our director, Emmanuel Palo, guides me every step of the way so we see eye to eye in every scene that we do. Something that I value very much, “ she shared.

Dionne said her co-stars have been helping her. She and veteran actor Tirso Cruz III, fondly known as Tito Pip, go way back. She shares the same standby area with Janice de Belen and they often talk about all things under the sun. She also has nothing but kind words for lead star Angel, who she has already worked with in the series “Lobo” and in the film “The Legal Wife.”

“I have known Tito Pip since my PBB days because his son Bodie is a fellow housemate. He and I talk during breaks, and it always inspires me when he shares his wisdom and experiences of being a character actor. His career path is truly goals,” she said.

“Janice de Belen, who we call Ms. J on set, is very fun to talk to and work with. We talk about the most random things—art, food, traffic, social media and its effect on people, etc. Angel, of course, is a breeze to work with. This is our third show together and she is, hands down, such a sweetheart. Which makes being a kontrabida to her difficult because how can you be mean to someone so nice, right?”

Her role in “The General’s Daughter” comes three years after 2016’s “Tubig at Langis,” where her antagonist character of Lucy Villadolid opposite Cristine Reyes was highly commended, so much that it was described as a breakthrough performance, and achieved meme status online. Why then did it take so long for a follow-up ABS-CBN project?

“’Tubig at Langis’ was such an amazing opportunity that made me discover so much about myself as a person and as an actor. And for that, I will always be grateful to the RSB unit (Ruel S. Bayani),” Dionne said.

“After the show, I actually wanted to venture to other things that I felt was necessary to push my limits as an actor. In effect, I did a Japanese-Filipino film collaboration which we shot in Japan, and was screened there last year.”

Dionne explained that she’s been acting with the network since 2002 through ABS-CBN Cebu, and being in the industry for 17 years made her “more hungry for new experiences.”

Recently, she worked in the upcoming film “Mina Anud” as Dennis Trillo’s wife. The Regal Films production, directed by Cebuano filmmaker Kerwin Go, is based on true events about drugs found washed up on the shores of Eastern Samar.

Some of the stars she’d love to work with include Cherry Pie Picache, Agot Isidro, Kathryn Bernardo, Liza Soberano, Nadine Lustre, Cherie Gil, Julia Barretto, and Judy Ann Santos.

Acting-wise, Dionne just wants to do something different, perhaps a role she has never done yet.

“I’m very happy with being a character actress. I want to portray strong women characters. To this day, there are still many parts of the world where male chauvinism is very apparent. There’s still a lot of work to be done so our voices can be heard. This is a good time to fight for equality for all genders.”

Apart from acting, Dionne keeps herself busy with bazaars and online ventures. Among her goals this 2019 is to satisfy her wanderlust.

“I kind of want to travel more since I haven’t traveled out of the country last year due to work overload. I will still continue doing online work since that’s something I can do even when I’m out of the country,” she shared.

“I’m also going back to my roots, which is writing. I’m currently working on a book that I’ve been meaning to write for a couple of years now. It’s a long process, but I’m so excited for it.”

DIONNE MONSANTO
Philstar
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