Kylie Verzosa credits Jake Cuenca for convincing her to accept 'The Housemaid'

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Aug 20 2021 06:32 AM

Actress-beauty queen Kylie Verzosa gets the biggest break in her acting career after bagging the title role in “The Housemaid,” director Roman Perez, Jr.’s remake of the South Korean erotic thriller.

Verzosa started in showbiz in 2017, a year after she won the Miss International crown. She is thankful that she has been given the right direction and has been led into the right path in her career. 

“Hindi ako gano’n kagaling,” Verzosa unabashedly admitted to ABS-CBN News. “But over the years and with the experience, mas napapalabas ang talent ko. Given the right project and the responsibility of having to remake ‘The Housemaid,’ I told myself na ibibigay ko talaga ang best ko na magagawa for this movie.” 

Verzosa attests her character of Daisy in “The Housemaid,” is totally different from her real-life personality. “Maybe ‘yung palaban na aspect, ako siya,” she mused. “‘Yung tahimik in some cases, yes.

“When you’re a beauty queen, you have to be the best version of yourself. The character of Daisy, you have to be the barest, most naked, most raw, unfiltered version of yourself. The most natural.”

She credits her boyfriend of more than three years, Jake Cuenca, as her mentor and acting coach, who egged her on to do “The Housemaid,” after she received the offer.

“He was the one who convinced me to do this project,” Versoza said of Cuenca. “He told me, ‘Gawin mo ‘yan. Magandang project ‘yan.’ Sobrang supportive niya sa career ko. I believe he will even go with me to watch this.

“Kami ni Jake, when were at home, we always talk about acting. Ang dami kong nakukuha na information at natutunan sa kanya. Sobrang swerte ko na partner ko siya and we work in the same industry.”

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Filming “The Housemaid” at the peak of COVID quarantine protocols, was undeniably a challenge for Verzosa. Yet, she faced everything head on. “It was such a different experience doing this movie,” she maintained.

“The circumstances we were shooting in, very careful kaming lahat sa set. Sobrang grateful, but very difficult because it was a very heavy role for me. I needed to unload after every shooting each day.”

Playing the title role is another challenge, too, for Verzosa. “Parang lahat talaga naging challenge for me,” she allowed. “The challenges in my character, the intimate scenes. I had to take note of everything.”

It helped her that her director steadily gave his full support while they were filming. “Direct Roman is an actor’s director,” attested Verzosa. “He was very hands-on all throughout the shoot.

“When we all reported to the set, ready na siya sa lahat ng dapat gawin. Ready siya sa questions on the set, while shooting, after the take, 24/7. There were times I doubted myself compared to the past year, I’m really new. Like my character Daisy, she is always doubtful of herself. No confidence.”

Verzosa got to work with the veterans in the industry, Jaclyn Jose and Albert Martinez, in “The Housemaid” and she cannot be thankful enough. Also in the cast is Louise de los Reyes, who will make things hard for Verzosa, as well as Alma Moreno.

“If you will compare our movie to the original, by shot, exactly the same or maybe even better the one Direk Roman made,” Verzosa said. “Before the trailer came out, there was pressure. With Kuya Albert and Miss Jaclyn, I am really so grateful to them.”

“The Housemaid” is Viva Films’ adaptation of a South Korean erotic thriller shown in 2010. The Philippine version was scripted by Eric Ramos, who wrote director Joel Lamangan’s award-winning drama, “Rainbow’s Sunset” (2018).

In 1960, an original version of “The Housemaid,” competed in the Cannes Film Festival. “Sobrang faithful ng adaptation, even sa lines,” Perez said. “Napaka-galing ng ating writer [Eric Ramos]. Siya ang nag-translate ng lines. Ang tone, sa atin na ‘yun. Pinoy ang flavor.”

Admittedly, Verzosa is essaying a “wild” portrayal onscreen. She had to undergo an acting workshop for her role. She even had to be deglamorized for her character.

“As an actress, I had a few restrictions,” she said. “But the essence of the scenes, weight, nagawa namin. Same lang siya at mas personal.

“We removed all the layers for the character of Daisy. Hindi siya matalino or edukada. The way she moves is through her emotions. Tawag ng puso ang sinusunod niya. That’s her way of thinking. 

“Yaya talaga siya. That’s the challenge. Ayaw niyang makita siya. She doesn’t want to be there. She’s just like a wallflower. She has no confidence in herself. Throughout the film, we will see her confidence build up because of all the experiences she has been through.”

“Mas nabubuo ang personality niya. If that’s good or bad, we don’t know. Ibang-iba talaga ang character ko dito.”

Even Viva’s boss Vic del Rosario was said to have been impressed with the kind of acting Verzosa delivered. He was delighted the actress surpassed expectations for her in “The Housemaid.”

Doing Verzosa’s love scenes with Martinez entailed long conversations with the actress and her director, more so with the award-winning actor. 

“Hinanda ko din ang sarili ko for scenes like that,” Verzosa said. “Sobrang nagpapasalamat ako dahil supportive si Kuya Albert.”

The actress-beauty queen is grateful how her fellow cast members showed their support to her for her first solo movie. “Sobrang I can’t even believe I have the support of my fellow cast members in this movie,” Verzosa allowed.

“Makasama ko lang si Ms. Jaclyn and Kuya Albert, Ms. Alma Moreno and si Louise, nakakataba ng puso. The more I want to prepare myself for a movie like this because it’s such an honor to be acting with them.

“Hindi niyo lang alam, pero sobrang kinikilig ako every time may scene ako kay Ms. Jaclyn. I even asked my make-up artist to take my picture the first time. Kuya Albert is also so supportive. He would tell me, ‘Good job,’ every after our scenes together.”

Verzosa does not deny she feels the pressure of doing a title role for a movie. “Honestly, even before the trailer came out, may pressure na siya,” she said. “But after I saw the trailer, direct Roman gave me an assurance.

“Naging malakas ang loob ko knowing who my co-stars were. I’m so grateful to them for this project. I really don’t think it’s just me. This is a collective effort with the whole cast, my director and the production.”