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Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Skilled ‘Reroute’ co-stars compel Cindy Miranda to step up

Vanessa A. Balbuena - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Like winning the lottery for film co-stars was what Cindy Miranda felt upon learning that two of the country’s formidable actors – one hailed a few months back as Best Actor in Venice, Italy and the other an International Emmy Awards nominee – would be joining her in the suspense thriller “Reroute.”

Sure, she was a jumble of nerves on the inside. John Arcilla and Sid Lucero, although of different generations, have carved reputations of bringing intensity to their roles and could very well eat up any neophyte alive.

“I was nervous but I didn’t want them to see because I also wanted them to feel comfortable. Kung matatakot ako walang mangyayari sa akin. So I needed to relax and focus,” said Miranda during a Zoom interview.

With the story being revised as they were filming, and Lucero better inclined to improvise than memorize his dialogue, Miranda had to be constantly on her toes to fire back an appropriate response. This was where her  pageant training of tackling pressure with grace saved her from potentially humiliating herself on set.

“I think sanay sila na kung anong mailabas nilang emosyon and kung anong masabi nila, yun ang ilalabas nila. Especially Kuya Sid. He doesn’t care about the lines,” she shared.

“He just wants to know what the intention of the scene is, and then he adlibs. He thinks on his feet so that was really pressure on me. I had to focus kasi kailangan kung sumagot sa kanya ng tama.”

Directed by Lawrence Fajardo (Amok, Nerisa, Mahjong Nights, A Hard Day), “Reroute” follows couple Trina (Miranda) and Dan (Lucero) who are hashing out some marital problems. As they travel down south to visit Dan’s dying father,  they encounter a roadblock, advising all vehicles to take a reroute.

Dan gets frustrated after finding out that it would take them another hour if they change course. He decides to continue their journey on a nearby shortcut, passing through a rough and deserted road.

To add another mishap to their evening, their car suddenly breaks down, and here they stumble upon a strange, barefooted man named Gemo (Arcilla). Gemo invites them to stay overnight at his house and then help in fixing their car in the morning. Exhausted from their long drive, the couple accepts his offer, even if Trina senses something odd about Gemo.

As they arrive at his house, they meet Gemo’s wife, Lala (Nathalie Hart), a young woman who also seems strange and seldom speaks. As Trina and Dan get comfortable in their stay, Gemo continuously interviews them. When his questions turn personal, that’s when they feel for certain that something is off.

Miranda noted how this has been her most intense movie yet – which is no small thing to say, what with her earlier films “Maria”, “Adan”, “Nerisa”, and “My Husband My Lover” also packing in the action, mystery, and heat.

“Iba yung intensity nito sa drama and sa sobrang gagaling ng mga kasama ko,  parang gumagaling ka din,” she said. “I thought ‘Nerisa’ will be my hardest movie. But emotionally, mentally and physically, ‘Reroute’ has been the hardest.”

Her last scene with Arcilla in particular was one tough nut to crack.  “Kailangan mo siyang pantayan. You can’t be so-so or ngumanga lang,” Miranda said.  “I had to really level up. Hindi pwedeng hindi mo kaya dahil nandiyan ka na.”

She always brings her A-game with every film, but more so in “Reroute”, arriving on Vivamax tomorrow, January 21.

“Mas ginalingan ko, I took the craft more seriously. Ang galing kasi nakapunta ako doon sa emosyon na gusto ko ipakita.”

She added, “Minsan kasi ang hirap makarating sa isang emosyon. But while I was shooting, I was there. I was there. Maybe because ang gagaling ng co-actors ko.”

Her fellow stars also went out of their way to make her feel at ease and didn’t carry their veteran badges on their shoulders.

“They shared with me their previous experiences so eventually you’d relax. I fell in love more with the work because watching them motivated and inspired me. They would often whisper to me, ‘Alamin mo lang palagi yung intention ng eksena,’” said Miranda, who has always dreamed of becoming an actress despite her parents wishing she pursue Medicine.

While both supportive, Arcilla and Lucero had contrasting methods on set. “Sir John and Kuya Sid, magkaibang-magkaiba ng personality and how they prepare. Si Sir John, pareho kami na seryoso, naka-isolate talaga before the scene. I have been told I’m very serious on set. I’m already in the zone and in character. Hindi ako masyado nakikipagkwentuhan because I don’t want to get distracted. But with Kuya Sid, sobrang makuwento at masayahin.”

After paying her dues, Miranda hopes to be offered lighter fare such as a romantic comedy, and eventually graduate from having to shed her clothes in every flick.

“With ‘Adan’, I remember how brave I was. It was my first time to be a lead in a film and I was a lesbian,” she would recall. “I really want to be a serious actress, not just a sexy one. I look forward to making a wholesome film too.”

CINDY MIRANDA

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