The cast of "Da Possessed" led by Vhong Navarro meet the bloggers on Tuesday. Photo by Reyma Buan-Deveza for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA -- Given the numerous legal battles he is currently facing, it is a wonder how actor-comedian Vhong Navarro was able to finish his latest movie, "Da Possessed," which opens in theaters on April 19.
But the movie's director Joyce Bernal attested that she never had a problem directing the embattled actor in their reunion project.
In a bloggers' conference for the upcoming movie on Tuesday afternoon, Bernal shared that she made a conscious effort not to show Navarro that they are sad because of what happened to him early this year.
Last month, Navarro filed charges against the group of businessman Cedric Lee, who admitted that of mauling the actor after their friend, model Deniece Cornejo, claimed that the comedian tried to rape her on January 22 in Taguig City.
"Personal eh so hindi ko siya pwedeng kausapin on that. So kinausap ko ang mga artista, sila Beverly Salviejo, sila lahat 'o dadalhin natin si Vhong sa unang araw. Diesel 'yan, iinit din 'yan, ganun lang yan,'" said Bernal, who previously worked with Navarro on the hits "Agent X44" and "Mr. Suave."
Bernal said she also talked to Navarro personally.
"Sabi ko, 'Gusto kitang respetuhin Vhong pero kapag ni-respeto kita pangit na lalabas ang pelikula natin.' So 'yun, kailangan ko siyang barubalin kahit ano man 'yung pinagdadaanan niya eh deadma na, parang ganoon. Kasi kung hindi eh wala. Malulungkot kami at mawawala ang happiness. So ganoon lang, bale ganoon ang pinagdaanan namin," Bernal shared.
"Actually mabuti na lang siguro na sila Solenn (Heussaff), sila Smokey (Manoloto), sila Joey Marquez ang mga nakatrabaho niya. Kasi sila parang wala. The moment na nag-take na kami wala nang usap sa pangyayari. Bitaw na lahat, puro tawanan, masaya, ibang topic na," she added.
The award-winning director also said she was surprised that Navarro delivered more than she expected.
"Iba ang timing niya ngayon (sa comedy), mas mabilis ...siguro dahil na din sa 'It's Showtime.' Dati medyo mabagal pa," she said.
In an earlier interview, Navarro admitted losing confidence after the mauling incident, saying he e was traumatized after being attacked by Lee's group.