MANILA -- Beauty queen Ariella Arida is no longer new to showbiz. Since she bagged third runner-up honors at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, the 32-year-old Arida expectedly ventured into entertainment after her reign.
She is seen on TV and has appeared in a number of teleseryes. In 2017, she played a minor role in director Joyce Bernal’s “Gandarrapido: The Revenger Squad,” with comedian Vice Ganda on the lead.
Last December, Arida also had a supporting part in the Metro Manila Film Festival entry, Adolf Alix’s “Coming Home,” where she played the reluctant mistress of a married OFW played by Jinggoy Estrada.
In director Darryl Yap’s forthcoming, sexy comedy, “Sarap Mong Patayin,” Arida gets her first major role, this time opposite hunk actor Kit Thompson and comedian Lassy Marquez, as she the delves into the complicated world of catfishing, the slang term for creating a false identity in order to lure people into relationships online.
However, even before she came to know about the theme of the movie, Arida was initially asked if she was willing to do a kissing scene with Marquez. That somewhat gave her an idea what the story was all about.
“Lahat naman ng roles or projects being offered to me, kahit hindi major, I would first think about it before I say yes,” Arida said. “This time, what gave me the confidence was the movie was directed by direk Darryl.”
Admittedly, the complicated theme of catfishing was what made Arida gave her nod to the project. “I already had an idea what the previous movies of Direk Darryl were,” she said. “I know, this one is the modern type. Even if hindi ko pa talagang kilala si Direk Darryl, I know he would tackle the issues.”
Yet, Arida had initial apprehension and reservation. “What made me say yes was the story of catfishing,” she said. “The story itself is very relevant. Kaka-iba ang atake for me. I got in-zone with the role itself. That helped me later to do everything without hesitation.
“I’m in character. I was no longer Ariella. That was where I focused more. With the help of Direk Darryl, I was able to detach myself from my role and my character of Krista. Nag-shift na agad. Nawala na ang reservation ko in the role I would play.”
Arida is thankful to her co-actors and director for making the film a breeze for her. “They helped me a lot, especially Direk Darryl, when it came to the difficult scenes,” she said. “I’m really proud of the outcome of this film. When I saw just the trailer, I was already so excited. Hindi ko alam na magagawa ko ito.”
When she was offered to engage in a kissing scene with Marquez, Arida didn’t have second thoughts. “Natulala na lang kami sa isa’t-isa,” Arida recalled. “First time ko naka-trabaho lahat sa movie, from Direk Darryl at ‘yung mga kasama ko.
“Ang gaan nila lahat kasama. I became at ease right away on the set. Kahit mabigat ang ginagawa naming eksena, magtatawanan na lang kami after the take. Bumabalik kami doon sa unang tanong ni direk sa akin, ‘Kaya mo bang halikan si Lassy?’ I believe laughing it off really helps.”
In her future film projects, Arida expressed her desire to do action, perhaps like Angelina Jolie in “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.”
“Something like that, bad-ass girl,” Arida excitedly pointed out. “I love the outdoors and I’m also active in different sports. Maybe, action is something that the people wouldn’t see me into. Akala nila, beauty queen, only glitz and glamor ang ini-ikutan ng mundo ko.
“In reality, I’m more of the outdoor type. Kahit pagulungin mo ako sa putik, gagawin ko. I’m looking for that kind of role. Active, action.”