Sarah Lahbati wants to do an action film with husband Richard Gutierrez

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Mar 28 2021 10:54 AM


A post shared by SLG (@sarahlahbati)

MANILA -- Many showbiz couples prefer to take on acting assignments apart from each other. 

However, Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati make it a point to discuss what projects they can do together. In fact, both of them are open to working together again.

“It has been nine years since Richard and I last worked together onscreen,” Lahbati told ABS-CBN News. They previously co-starred in a TV series, “Makapiling Kang Muli,” where their romance bloomed.

Recently, they started brainstorming on a film that they can work on, perhaps similar to the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie 2005 action blockbuster, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”

“Excited akong bumalik, that’s why I want to do an action film,” Lahbati shared. “Richard and I have been brainstorming on different ideas. We’re talking to directors and hopefully, we can present something to Viva and I can get back onscreen very, very soon.”

Lahbati, who signed her first management contract with Viva Artists Agency (VAA) in 2016, recently renewed her ties with the company. The agreement is good for another three years.

“Richard and I want to stay creative and we want to create concepts,” Lahbati said. “Hopefully, once we decide on something that has good potential, we can execute and start working on it.

“We’ll see on which platforms that will be. It’s nice that we have different avenues for films or for series. These are exciting times.”

Lahbati has been a long-time fan of Jolie. “Ever since the day I decided I wanted to act, when I was still a teenager, I’ve idolized Angelina Jolie for the longest time,” Lahbati disclosed.

“I remember watching one of her action films with my dad [Abdel Lahbati]. Gusto kong gawin ang ginagawa ni Angelina. Gusto kong maging kagaya niya. Maybe I can do an action film or a superhero na pwedeng maging inspiring sa Filipinos, especially now na maraming problema or negativity. We want to uplift and give hope to Filipinos.”

The creative part is something that Lahbati misses the most when working in a film or a teleserye. “Working with people and being creative with a director and a writer,” she said. “The process of working on a scene. Being able to discuss scenes and create something good and meaningful. I want to do that again.”

Lahbati does not mention names of local leading men whom she wants to work with, now that she will return to acting. “Anyone whom Viva trusts to pair with me, that will be fine,” she said.

“I’m expecting to work. I want to create good and meaningful content. Regarding the roles, I don’t have restrictions in terms of being a mom onscreen will be good or bad. As long as the story is great, I will do it. I’m 27 and there are a lot of possibilities. I don’t need to just stick to just one thing.”

The Gutierrez family is considering starting a YouTube channel to also showcase their kids – Zion, who’s turning eight this April; and Kai, who recently turned three.

“Lalo na ngayon that we’re all getting into motocross as a family,” Lahbati said. “It’s something that Richard loves doing and we’re all doing that now.”

She proudly shared what the inclination of her young boys are lately. “Zion is into arts and music,” Lahbati beamed. “He loves singing. He loves reading and is doing great in school. I’m his teacher. Both of them are coping very well. Both are very lovely kids.”

Zion can do a mean Elvis Presley number, apparently influenced by his paternal grandfather, Eddie Gutierrez.

“Zion is very artsy,” Lahbati added. “He loves drawing and sketching. He loves music. He’s also very being sporty and is doing good in school. Whatever he’s doing, I really want to push and support whatever it is he wants to do in life.”

She insisted: “Zion is very Lahbati, because he’s more quiet. Kai is very Rama-Gutierrez. He’s always out there, jolly, mas maingay. Zion is more like me, although he also shows personalities of Richard’s, and Kai is more like Richard. Kai just turned three, is very good at basketball and other sports-related activities.”

If Lahbati will have her way, she does not want her boys to tread the same path she and her husband have taken. “Honestly, I’d rather not make the boys enter showbiz. But one day, in case they insist, they should know how to work hard, know all the principles and everything that comes along with the showbiz life.

“I will always show support to my kids whatever path they choose in life, as long as they are level headed and they are ready for whatever they want to do.”

March is a “significant and very important” month to Lahbati. “If other people have February for love, mine will be March,” she asserted. “I know March was the start of the pandemic, but for Richard and I, it was the beginning of a new chapter.

“Our civil wedding was on March 14, March 21 is Kai’s birthday, March 16 my dad’s birthday. Richard also proposed to me in the month of March.”

“It’s the little things that mean the most that matter. When you’re with your family and loved ones, that’s what’s important. Last year, we celebrated the birthdays of the boys. Kami lang ni Mommy ang gumawa ng cake for Kai’s birthday.

“Tunay na saya when you’re with your family and with your loved ones. Being healthy that’s what matters most.”

Lahbati proved her mettle when she made films like Katski Flores’ “Pagsanib Kay Leah De la Cruz” (2017) and Carlo J. Caparas’ “Kamandag ng Droga” (2017), which showcased her acting talent.

She is ready and willing to work this pandemic. “It has been a while since I’ve been active on the screen, that’s why I’m very excited to work again,” she said. “Regarding taping, lock-in, Richard and I just have to schedule it properly, in a way na may maiiwan sa mga bata. 

“Very hands-on ako sa kids, but I think if everything is scheduled properly, our schedules will be fine. If matapos si Richard sa ‘Ang Probinsiyano,’ that will be better para may kasama ang mga kids. As long as we can fix our schedules properly, that will be fine.

“I’m actually happy that I’m a mother of two. I am married. Everything happened very quickly at a young age for me. There’s also beauty in that. I can be with the kids. They know I’m their mom, but I can be their friend, too.”

Focusing on her family and allowing her career to take a backseat then was something Lahbati will never regret. 

“I’m only 27 and I know there’s a bright future ahead of me,” she asserted. “There are so many things I can still do. I can still make my dreams come true in terms of my career. There are still a lot of possibilities.

“I’ll be onscreen more. I’ve been laying low for a long time. I focused on being a mom, which I love doing. I decided I’m ready to work again and be visible onscreen. I miss dancing. I miss my ‘ASAP’ family.

“I also miss acting, so I’ll be visible with acting projects. There might be a teleserye. Perhaps I’ll even try hosting, as well.”

Lahbati and Gutierrez were scheduled to have a grand wedding in March last year. Everything was set when the lockdown for the pandemic was declared.

They decided to do the civil wedding, instead, on March 14, a day before the big ceremony. “We both asked, ‘Ano ba talaga ang main reason bakit tayo magpapakasal? It’s our love for each other and our commitment for each other.

“We are not doing it for the amount of people who are attending. We are doing it for you and for me.’ We decided to last-minute change of plans. With all the uncertainties happening at that time, we were just focused on making the civil wedding happen. Thank God, it did.”

To date, Lahbati confirmed there is still a plan to push through with their grand wedding. “Sayang ang wedding dresses ko,” she lamented. “We want to celebrate with our family, our extended families, our friends.

“We were not able to do that. Hopefully, one day, when this pandemic is gone, we still want to have a big wedding celebration.”

Understandably, they cannot give a definite date yet. Only when everything returns to normal. “Our times are still uncertain until now,” Lahbati said. “I am just thinking how grateful I am and how lucky na healthy ang family ko. But of course, I still want to wear my wedding dresses. Hopefully, one day, when everything is stable.

“We’ve all gone through a lot, but I think that’s what makes us stronger human beings and more resilient. I’ve been coping very well because of my family. Richard and the kids.

“My mom [Esther Lahbati] is here. My dad is in Switzerland, but I talk to him everyday. Knowing that we’re all healthy, we’re all safe, makes me feel grateful to be alive.”

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