MANILA -- Beauty queen-turned-actress Cindy Miranda found it unbelievable when she was given a chance to work with award-winning actor John Arcilla in the new suspense thriller, “Reroute,” megged by Lawrence Fajardo.
Since Miranda watched Arcilla in Jerold Tarod’s historical biopic, “Heneral Luna” (2015), she was awed by the acting range displayed by the Volpi Cup best actor winner.
Of course, Miranda remembers Arcilla all the more as the main antagonist Renato Hipolito in ABS-CBN’s top-rating primetime series, “Ang Probinsyano.”
“Reroute” is an “intense” material for Miranda, totally different from the previous projects she has done in the past. “Kasama ko dito sa ‘Reroute’ si John Arcilla, so dapat, sobrang mag level-up ako,” Miranda told ABS-CBN News.
“I was so worried that I would be working with the best actor of the Philippines. Siguro, when they ask me kung ano ang movie na dapat nilang panoorin sa mga ginawa ko, I will tell them na panoorin nila itong ‘Reroute.’ I think this is my best movie yet.”
Miranda didn’t think twice when “Reroute” fell on her lap. “Hindi pa naman ako nananalo sa lotto, but I felt that way,” she disclosed. “Walang second thoughts. Excited ako agad to be part of this movie.”
Miranda cannot be thankful enough that she is starting 2022 with “Reroute,” a perfect year-opener for her. “Iba ‘yung intensity nitong ‘Reroute’ sa drama,” she noted. “Sobrang gagaling ng mga kasama ko.”
Aside from Arcilla who essays the role of a strange man Gemo, "Reroute" also stars Sid Lucero, who plays her husband, Dan, in the film. Also in the cast is Nathalie Hart as Lala, the wife of Gemo.
“‘Pag magaling ang mga kasama mo, talagang gumagaling ka din,” Miranda attested. “Nakita ko sarili ko dito while doing this movie. Sobrang fluid ko. Sobra ang emotions ko. Iba talaga. Dalang-dala ako sa movie na ‘to.
“Before I arrived on the set, I asked myself, ‘Ready ba akong makipag-sabayan kay John Arcilla or Sid Lucero and even Nathalie Hart?’ I guess wala akong choice. Ang ganda ng script ng movie. Ang ganda ng kwento.”
Admittedly, Miranda felt intimidated once all the stars got to the set and filming the suspense-thriller commenced.
“I was just watching them,” Miranda recalled. “Ayoko namang ipakita sa kanila that I was intimidated. I wanted them to be comfortable. They might think kapag kinakabahan ako, natatakot ako and I couldn’t do the scenes.”
From the first shooting day of “Reroute,” Miranda immediately made sure she already posed for a souvenir shot with Arcilla, to document their first film together. Naturally, she is expecting for a follow-up project anytime soon.
In “Reroute,” the cast was revising the script as they were filming. “That was how we were doing it,” Miranda shared. “Nag-ad lib lang kami. Grabe ang pressure sa akin. ‘Pag magaling ang co-actors mo, I guess gagaling ka din.
“Kasi kung matatakot ako, walang mangyayari sa akin. Kailangan kong mag-focus at hindi ako mawala doon. ‘Yun lang naman ang hinihingi ng eksena palagi. Hindi ka mawawala hangga’t alam mo ang nangyayari sa eksena.
“Importante na mag-react ka sa co-stars mo. Hindi na based script ang ginagawa niyo. Ang gagaling ng co-actors ko. Sanay sila na kung ano ang masabi nila, ganu’n din ang ilalabas nila.”
Miranda also commends Lucero, who doesn’t memorize his lines. “He [Sid] just wanted to know the intention of the scene, then mag-ad lib na siya. Ako, kailangan kong sumagot ng tama sa kanya.”
She felt the pressure working with Lucero. “Sid is very smart. Talagang nahirapan ako. Dapat mag-level-up ako sa kanila. Takot ako doon. Maybe I learned grace under pressure when I became a beauty queen.
“Kahit kinakabahan ako, sinasabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘Kaya mo ‘yan. Hindi pwedeng hindi mo kaya kasi nandyan ka na. Wala namang ibang gagawa niyan.’ Ayokong mapahiya sila, sa harap nila at mapahiya ang buong team because of me.
“I just had to be there. Hindi nawala ang focus ko. I had to deliver. I was so thankful at that time I was shooting. Mahirap to shoot in a bubble, ang location namin. Meron kang iniisip. But I was there. This is really my best movie.”
The year 2021 was obviously fruitful for Miranda’s acting career. She has charted three films last year, starting from Fajardo’s sexy thriller, “Nerissa,” followed by Roman Perez, Jr.’s “House Tour” and Mac Alejandre’s “My Husband, My Lover.”
“I hope the year 2022 will be better for me,” said Miranda, who turned 31 last November. “I took time to rest last December. Wala kasi ‘yung family ko. I’m alone at home.”
Her mom is in Abu Dhabi with her sister and brother, while her other brother is in Dubai. Her dad passed away several years back. She initially planned to visit his grave over the holidays, but decided to rest, instead.
“Pagod talaga ako,” Miranda insisted. “I just stayed home. My friends surprised me. They called me up and sent me gifts. I really had a good rest over the holidays. That was how I gifted myself. Nag-rest lang talaga ako.”
Miranda spent the Christmas holidays strictly inside her house and she took the break simply to rest and recharge. “The whole of 2021, I was loaded with work,” she said. “I really took the time to rest over the holidays.
“I was able to celebrate with my family even through video calls, through Zoom. But I was really happy. I didn’t really want to go out because of the new COVID-19 variant. I also took the time to recharge because I know 2022 will be busy for me.”
She acknowledged the year 2021 was a big one for her. “Iba ‘yung happiness and fulfillment na ginagawa ko na dati dream ko lang,” she said. “Nandito na ko. Sana magtuloy-tuloy.
“For 2022, sana hindi ako mawalan ng pagmamahal ko sa trabaho. Sana sipagin pa ako at mas pagbutihan ko pa. Sana mas marami pang tao ang maka-appreciate sa ginagawa ko. That’s what I’ve been praying for this year.”
Miranda consistently gives her best in every role that she plays. In “Reroute,” which starts streaming January 21 on Vivamax, she delivered more than the role required from her. “Mas ginalingan ko at mas seryoso pa ako sa naging craft ko,” she insisted.
“Nakarating ako sa emosyon na gusto ko talagang ipakita. Sometimes kasi, ang hirap makarating sa emosyon that the role called for. Nangyayari ‘yun. When I was shooting ‘Reroute,’ I was there.
“Maybe because ang gagaling ng co-actors ko. Napunta ako doon sa emosyon na talagang dapat kong puntahan.”
Her last scene with Arcilla in “Reroute” is veritably the hardest that Miranda did. “When John is your co-star, may halong takot dahil kailangan mo siyang pantayan,” she said. “Hindi ka pwedeng ngumanga lang while acting.
“Sobrang heavy ng eksenanang ‘yun. Emotions. Very intense at buhos ang acting. That was the hardest for me. I didn’t want to commit a mistake at that time. I was happy that I was able to do it. I have yet to see it, though.”
Miranda wants to be known as “a very good actress,” not just a sexy one as she is being labeled of late.”
“I want to be known as a serious actress who can do drama, action or even a wholesome movie,” Miranda said. “I hope, people will still watch me in the future. If ever I will make a wholesome movie, sana suportahan pa rin ako.
“Every movie, hanggang tumatagal, mas nai-in love ako sa pagiging actress ko. Gusto ko talaga ang ginagawa ko. Sobrang happy ako kapag nasa work ako. Very serious ako sa trabaho ko. Very OC [obsessive compulsive] ako sa ginagawa ko.
“Habang tumatagal, mas minamahal ko ang trabaho ko. Mas gusto kong mag-improve. I want to become a best actress someday. Alam ko marami pa akong pagdadaanan.
“Sana lang, I can go beyond being known as a sexy actress. I really want to become a very good actress one day.”