Palace communications official Mocha Uson, a sexy performer and actress prior to her government post, is set to return to showbiz after being cast as a reporter in a film about faith and family, the movie's producer announced Friday.
Uson's role as a reporter in "Kaibigan" was detailed in a press conference introducing its lead star, Hollywood actor Stephen Baldwin, at Icon Hotel in Quezon City.
Describing Uson's character as a "key role" in the film, producer Tarney Perkins said: "She's doing what she really does best — reporting. She's actually a reporter in the movie, and she reports on goodness, good things that are happening the community."
The presidential communications assistant secretary, whose last film was CineFilipino's "Mga Alaala ng Tag-Ulan" in 2013, was not present at the event.
But in a separate interview with ABS-CBN News, Uson shared why she accepted the part, which she said has already been cleared with her superior, PCOO Sec. Martin Andanar.
"Na-invite po ako na maging kabahagi nitong 'Kaibigan' movie. Sino naman po ako para tumanggi? Maganda po ang mensahe, at sinusuportahan ng pelikulang ito ang kampanya na protektahan ang ating mga kabataan laban sa masasamang bisyo katulad ng droga," she said.
Set in the Philippines, "Kaibigan" will see Baldwin as a father rearing his teenage son towards the right path. According to producer Perkins, whose twin sons Jesse and Christian also star in the film, the story's themes include faith, family and friendship.
He explained: "Drugs, bullying, smoking, and drinking — they're big problems of the youth, we know that, right? We're going to really attack those in the movie.
"You make the right choice, good things happen. You make the wrong choice, bad things happen. But if you fix it all, there's something called 'redemption,' and that's done through something like 'kaibigan,' friendship. That's really the story."
Perkins did not divulge how Uson's role will tie in with the story of the lead characters. Uson did say, however, that she is doing the part pro bono.
"Wala pong bayad ito, libre po," she said, "dahil kung maganda po ang proyekto, positibo, ay i-aalay po natin ang ating munting talento."
Asked what kind of reporter she will play, Uson quipped, "Kung mayroong Kapamilya, Kapuso, para sa'kin, Ka-DDS!"
"DDS" is a term she frequently uses in her Facebook blog. It stands for: Duterte Die-Hard Supporters. "Kapamilya" and "Kapuso" refer to TV networks ABS-CBN and GMA-7, each with their respective news divisions.
Uson is no stranger to journalism-related issues. She has accused mainstream media, and has been accused, of proliferating "fake news." Notably, she was among the resource speakers in a Senate hearing about online disinformation early this year.
"Kaibigan" is under the direction of Cesar Montano, similarly a Duterte appointee to the Tourism Promotions Board as chief operating officer until his resignation in May.
Montano was not present at the press conference for "Kaibigan." Alvin Anson, one of the cast members, explained that Montano was busy for preparations for the filming, in light of Baldwin's limited time in the country. — With a report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News