Sid Lucero goes daring in Brillante Mendoza's steamy 'Virgin Forest'

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Jun 24 2022 06:18 AM | Updated as of Jun 24 2022 07:42 AM

Sid Lucero plays a photojournalist in Brillante Mendoza's 'Virgin Forest.' Handout
Sid Lucero plays a photojournalist in Brillante Mendoza's 'Virgin Forest.' Handout

MANILA -- Sid Lucero made an effort early on to use the name of his dad Mark Gil's character in Mike de Leon’s best remembered drama, “Batch ’81,” rather than banking on the more widely known Eigenmann surname when he joined showbiz.

When he joined showbiz in 2004, debuting in the ABS-CBN primetime fantasy series, “Krystala,” with Judy Ann Santos, there was no turning back in making himself known as Sid Lucero.

In close to two decades, Lucero, whose real name is Timothy Mark Pimentel Eigenmann, has undoubtedly made his mark both on TV and in films. He even bagged two Urian best actor awards for directors Paolo Villaluna and Ellen Ramos’ drama “Selda” (2007) and Adolf Alix, Jr.’s LGBT film “Muli” (2010).

Lately, Lucero has been doing sexy roles in films shown through streaming. He went daring in his recent Vivamax projects, Lawrence Fajardo’s sexy thriller, “Reroute,” opposite beauty queen Cyndi Miranda and Mac Alejandre’s erotic drama, “Silip sa Apoy,” both shown early this year.

Lucero’s latest assignment is director Brillante Mendoza’s “Virgin Forest,” where Lucero plays another steamy role.

“It was a no brainer to work on this film when I found out who was directing,” the actor told ABS-CBN News. “If you’ll ask me how daring this ‘Virgin Forest’ was, I’ve always been daring in my films. This is not new to me.”

He previously worked with Mendoza a decade ago and starred in “Captive” (2012). “That helped me a lot to prepare for my new role in ‘Virgin Forest’,” he said.

“The thing with Brillante and the way he works, he takes normal people into situation and captures the action when they are finally there. I remember from the last time the way I thought the job was supposed to be done.

“It was like a great learning experience for me. When I found out who was directing this film, I found out about the premise. I knew there was no script.

“I basically just emptied myself and I found out what was going on. I found out who was going to be part of the cast, it was amazing. You just opened up and let the whole set take care of the rest.”

In 1985, award-winning director Peque Gallaga came out with the original “Virgin Forest,” that starred Sarsi Emmanuel. Aside from the title, however, there is nothing else in common with the two films.

The new “Virgin Forest” tackles the problems of illegal logging which the character of Lucero, a photojournalist, inevitably discovers in his venture. 

Lucero shared the life-threatening scene he executed with four female co-stars shot in a waterfall in Batangas.

“When I found out there was going to be a scene like that, initially you would be joking about doing it,” he said. “But when you actually got to the set, it was painful filming on that falls. It hurts.

“There was nowhere to rest any part of your body. At the same time, there was something that the director wanted to capture. The whole environment wouldn’t allow it.”

He could hardly hear the directions being given on the set in the waterfall. “All of us standing on the rocks, it was not easy. The only thing that was going on in my head, we’re all in this together. We were all naked. Whatever, respetuhan na lang.

“My position was lying on those rocks, ang sakit na ng likod ko. There was nothing protecting us from the rocks. It was scary and it wasn’t easy. It was an experience, though.

“Given all the hassles that went with it, I think Direk Brillante was able to capture what he was looking for in a short amount of time. He was able to do the shot. Wala lang maarte sa girls.

“I want to say it was more comfortable for me, but I don’t want to be insensitive to the ladies. Baka naman they had their own pain. I personally thought that the shoot was as smooth as it could get.”

Working with young actress Angeli Khang, who is one of the sexy actresses in “Virgin Forest,” was a welcome treat anew for Lucero. Khang is one of the Vivamax ladies, who has been getting wide attention.

“I’ve told Angeli this before. I’ll work with her as many times as she will allow me to work with her,” Lucero said. “I love supporting her. She is so generous. She was already a formidable actress when we first worked together [in ‘Silip sa Apoy’].

“I didn’t feel anything about her starting new. Her braveness was uncanny. I’ve never seen anything probably so fragile looking with a heart so amazingly tough and brave. It was inspiring.”

Their first film together was very physical and demanding for Khang, observed Lucero. “I don’t like to see anybody in that situation,” he said. “It was not very nice to watch. It was very painful.

“To get to work with Angeli again in something like ‘Virgin Forest,’ where I am so away from that part of her performance and I’m only experiencing just the emotional wave of what she’s going through.

“To see her just living in that and experiencing that side minus all that skin, it really allowed me to see just her and what she was willing to offer as an actress and it was a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful thing

“If I said yes to this movie because Direk Brillante said yes, I’ll do the same for Angeli anytime.”

Admittedly, Lucero still gets challenged in the roles that he gets in his film assignments. “I’m always challenged every single time. The characters are fleshed out, especially if I play the bad guy.

“It kind of overlaps because there are less layers with the way they write the characters.”

“Virgin Forest” starts streaming on June 24 on Vivamax. Also starring are Vince Rillon, with Katrina Dovey, Rob Guinto, Micaella Raz, Markki Stroem, Julio Diaz and Alma Moreno.