After 'Ilo Ilo,' Angeli Bayani to star in Australian film

by Vincent Garcia,

Posted at Jul 04 2014 12:04 AM | Updated as of Jul 04 2014 08:04 AM

Angeli Bayani opens up about the added pressure of beating both Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos for the Gawad Urian.

MANILA - Angeli Bayani, winner of this year's Gawad Urian for Best Actress, is looking to take her career a step further as she is set to star in another international film, which will debut in 2016.

In a press conference held Thursday, Bayani opened up about the heightened expectations that came with beating both Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos for the Urian, and teased her role in the film titled "Foreigners."

"Ngayon na nauwi ko ang Urian, para sa akin po hindi talagang pressure ang term para sa nararamdaman ko," she said.

She explained that it felt more like a testament to the skills of her mentors and teachers, whom she heaped credit on for helping her reach that peak in her career.

"I would not be here if not for their guidance. Gusto ko lang po ituloy," she added.

Bayani, who previously starred in the award-winning Singaporean film "Ilo Ilo" about a Filipino domestic helper, will be portraying the role of a boxer's wife in the upcoming film set in the Philippines.

She waxed poetic in explaining how it is working with foreign directors -- Australians Sam and Tom McKeith -- for her debut international film.

"The choreography given to me is an idea. You may work with it, you may not, and you may add your own. It's more collaborative," she said.

For their part, the McKeith brothers, who have worked in several short films together, were all praises for Bayani.

Citing her performance in "Ilo Ilo," Sam admitted that they were blown away by Bayani's acting and that they really wanted her to star in their film.

"We are so honored that she's come on board. Her performance was amazingly authentic," Sam said.

"She was great working with Chad [the lead star] who was a non-actor because she provided that experience and that balance. So far, she has been fantastic," added his brother Tom.

"Foreigners," which will be the first full length feature from the brothers, has also cast actress Mercedes Cabral and Lance Raymundo. The team is also in talks with Iza Calzado for a possible cameo role.