Iza Calzado plays a challenging role in “Culion”

pilar mateo sni THE “P” TALKS!

BY: Pilar Mateo

HOLLYWOOD thinking.

That was what’s in Iza Calzado‘s mind when she approached producer Shandii Bacolod and award-winning scriptwriter Ricky Lee for possible projects she can be a part of. And not as an actress. But as a co-producer or that, producer!

When Shandii and Ricky were conceptualizing a project, they already had Iza in mind. To portray the central character in the soon-to-be filmed “Culion” in Palawan!

Iza signed a contract with Shandii as an Executive Producer of the project.

Said Iza, “Ako ang nag-pitch ng idea sa kanila. I asked lang, is there a way…noon ko pa gustong gawin. Because of my experience in “Mystified“. Nagkaroon lang ako ng idea. ‘Yun lang naman pala ‘yun. All you have to do is ask. Gusto rin naman nila ‘yung idea. I believed in the project. Eh, Ricky Lee pa. And I heard good rhings about Direk Alvin Yapan. I think, birthday ni Sir Ricky ‘yun nung magkasabihan. I have worked on his material na in “Sabel“.

“When I learned about the character I will portray as Ana, the hopeful one who wants ro get out of Culion, and believes that there will be a cure for leprosy, naghalu-halo ang feeling ng excitement, kilig, kaba, nerbiyos but sobrang grateful. Na ako ang naisip nila to breathe life into the character.”

And Iza met the other girl who will be part of the triumvirate-the friendship of three women in Culion and their journey with the dreaded disease, Meryll Soriano.

According to producer Shandii, they have talked to one actress who was very much interested to play the role but has to wait for the “go” signal of her manager.

Joem Bascon will play an important role, alongside with the hundreds of hopefuls who auditioned for certain parts. Add a Hollywood actor, too?

Added Iza, “I want to be part of a project na makakasama ako sa magandang intensyon ng pelikula. Like what Shandii said, para makatulong pa rin sa pagbangon ng Culion from the stigma it has been beset with. Kaya hopeful din ako na makapasok o mapili ito sa MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival). For people to appreciate the story and find the value in it. It’s our history. Sabi nga ni Boss Gillie Sing, it’s a community film. Well, there would be no killing of animals here. Haha! Joke!”

One thing Iza is looking forward to is to see the beauty of the island.

“May Museum pa raw. I wanna explore. Kami ni Poopy (husband Ben Wintle) ko. Paradise sa amin ang Palawan. Parang nung ginawa namin oh yes, ni Joem ang “Batanes”. Napakaganda. I want to understand what it was like. That’s how I am when I am fascinated wirh a place. Gaya sa Austria. Get the feels.

“I admit there were movie offers sa akin intended for the MMFF. I picked this story. And as a poducer, wow! We want to make money! To do more films. We need cash. Hahaha! Hindi naman ako magmamaang-maangan. Kasali ‘yan. But for the now, my attention is in Culion!

“Alam natin na when Ricky writes a story, there is meaning to it. That is the challenge for me and everybody. And make sure that that meaning is not lost when we bring to life our character.”

Many times, Iza has proven her prowess as an actress whether she portrays the antagonist or otherwise.

“Culion” surely is one film worth waiting for. And Team Shandii’s biggest so far. Leave the controversies in the backburners. This film is more than that!

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