"It was always crucial for her to know her character so she can prepare for her role," Alix says of her lead actress in Adela. Photo courtesy of Arlu Gomez
Culture Movies

Director Adolf Alix, Jr. on Anita Linda: ‘Like Norma Desmond, she was always ready for her closeup’

‘Her love for acting is her priority, no matter how small the role is.’ By RHIA GRANA
ANCX | Jun 17 2020

It took a couple of days for director Adolf Alix, Jr. to gather his thoughts and muster up the courage to write something about veteran actress Anita Linda (Alicia Lake in real life), who passed away last Wednesday, June 10, at the age of 95. The director had become pretty close to the actress (and her family) since they did their first project together in 2007—the movie Tambolista, starred in by Coco Martin, Sid Lucero, and Jiro Manio.

“I went to her house in Alabang Hills. She was very cordial and we talked about the character she’ll play,” Alix recalls the first time he met the actress. He offered the veteran the role of Lola Trining, a “haughty, noisy old woman who will be prey to the characters of Coco, Sid, and Jiro. They’ll rob her and accidentally kill her.”

During the shoot of Adela. Photo courtesy of Arlu Gomez

Known to be a professional and passionate actress, Linda would ask him what the requirements were for her character. “It was crucial for her to know so she can prepare for her role. That remained with me—how she wants to be ready for every role she takes on,” the director says.

Alix says Linda reminded him of a more grounded version of the Sunset Boulevard character Norma Desmond. “She is without a doubt an icon, but she’s more humble and professional. Her love for acting is her priority, no matter how small the role is. Like Norma, she is always ready for her close-up.”

By the Niagara falls during the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008

While doing Tambolista, the director and actress became very close that in their phone conversations, “she would tell me that she hopes to be in my films, no matter how small the role is, for she loves to act.” Linda would also tell him she feels bored at home, “although she enjoys tending to her garden and her cats.”

Alix promised the actress they would definitely work on a feature—a movie that will also be a fitting tribute to her immense talent. “That was how Adela was born in 2008. She was happy and elated to know that she will be starring in her own film after a while,” Alix recalls.

On the set of Circa. Photo courtesy of Jerome Zamora.

“She’s always cheerful on the set. She was also nervous and asked me once again what I expect from her. I told her that she has to contain her emotions and only reveal her true character’s emotion by the end of the film. She was conscious of that and I saw how dedicated she is. The ending scene we shot twice as she wanted another take. She felt her emotions were not enough,” he remembers.

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The last time Alix saw the actress was when he paid her a short visit after filming the movie Circa, an official entry to the 2019 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP). “It’s different but it seems like my continuing tribute to Anita Linda,” he told The STAR about the film.

In that last meeting, Linda reminded him they will keep doing projects. “She reminded me of our Tasaday project. I will always remember her to be a woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and truly an artist whose passion for acting is overflowing,” Alix says.