MANILA -- After doing more than 20 films together, the popular love team of Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon in the 1970s up to 2000s is back this year in “When I Met You in Tokyo.”
The two award-winning stars were first paired in 1975 in Celso Ad. Castillo’s “Tag-Ulan sa Tag-Araw” and followed by “Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig” in 1977.
“The last movie we did was 'Mano Po.' Matagal na, more than 15 years. And now, here we are with a beautiful movie. We’re ready to go to Japan. Almost 95% ay i-shoo-shoot sa Japan,” De Leon said.
For her part, Santos said, “It’s good to be back after 6-7 years. My last movie was “Everything About Her.” When this movie was offered to me, tinanong ko lang kung ano ang synopsis at kung sinong kasama. When they said si Christopher de Leon, yes agad ang sagot ko.”
She added, “Na-miss ko rin ang team-up namin ni Boyet. Alam ko, kahit papaano, nandiyan pa rin ang crowd namin ni Boyet. Ang ganda kasi ng istorya. Ang istorya kasi tatakbo sa edad namin.
“It’s a love story na nasa edad namin. Hindi kami magbabata-bataan dito. It's a good comeback sa akin. It’s a love story for all seasons. We’re very thankful sa trust.”
About her absence from showbiz and new movie in Tokyo, Santos said, “Kasi medyo matagal akong nawala sa industry, nakakapanibago. It’s a simple love story pero napakalalim. Malaking-malaking plus factor sa akin si Christopher de Leon. At kukunan pa sa Japan. Malaking factor ang visual sa Japan. Ang ganda-gandang makita at mapanood. Perfect timing talaga ito.
“Kahit almost 7 years akong hindi nakagawa ng pelikula, wine-welcome pa rin ako with all the offers and blessings. This is going to be the start. And I feel so comfortable with Boyet.”
Vi-Boyet together again
De Leon said he was surprised when Santos accepted the movie. “Ang totoo niyan, mayroong concept ‘yung kaibigan ko na director. We were just talking about the concept. I was thinking the right partner at sabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘Bagay dito si Vilma Santos.’ Eventually, talagang this movie is for us. Napa-wow ako kasi pumayag si Vi when she read the material at nalaman niya na mag-shoo-shoot kami sa Japan.
“Everything is really perfect there sa Japan. Maganda talaga ang material.”
“It’s just that we are very comfortable with each other. With Boyet, magsasalita pa lang o magda-dialogue siya in a scene, alam ko na agad. It’s just so comfortable. At para buhayin na rin ang natulog kong career. Na-miss ko ang movie industry," Santos said.
“Alam niyo, hindi madali na mag-shoo-shoot ka ulit, haharap ka sa camera ulit. Kaya malaking tulong na comfortable ako kay Christopher. Si Boyet dito ay associate director.
“It’s not easy. Parang, ‘Makaka-arte pa ba ako?’ Pero dahil andiyan si Boyet, matutulungan niya ako.”
Seasoned stars with young stars
Produced by JG Productions of Rowena Jamaji and Rajan Gidwani, “When I Met You in Tokyo” is a romantic-drama film shot in Japan with today’s hottest young stars Cassy Legaspi and Darren Espanto.
The award-winning actress shared her excitement: “We’re so excited. It’s nice to have them — mga bagets. It’s nice na mga bagets naman ang kasama namin. Ang gaganda naman ng roles nila. ‘Yung totality ng movie, hindi naman na puwedeng kami lang ni Boyet. We’re very honored na mayroon kaming kasama na katulad nina Cassy and Darren. Masaya kami na kasama namin sila sa movie.
“Soon, we will meet them. We’re very happy kasi two artists from different networks ay makakasama namin,” she ended.