Filipino-American director-actor Dante Basco talks about his movie, ‘The Fabulous Filipino Brothers’

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2021 11:17 PM | Updated as of Oct 17 2021 07:56 PM
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Veteran Filipino-American Hollywood actor Dante Basco, best known for his portrayal of the lost boy leader Rufio in Steven Spielberg’s 1991 film “Hook,” continues his evolution as an artist.

After three decades scaling the US showbiz industry in various projects, Basco turned his sights to directing, leading to the much talked about “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers”. 

“What’s fabulous about this movie is it’s a Filipino story, the madness of a Filipino wedding and the comedy and drama they get into,” Basco told ABS-CBN News in a virtual interview arranged by and Cignal TV, which will stream the movie on October 18. 

Dante and brothers Dion, Derek, Darion and other Basco family members star in the movie, which have reaped positive reviews across Variety, Rotten Tomatoes and other review platforms since last year along its positive reception in various US film festivals, the latest at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film fest. 

“Director-star Dante Basco’s family affair is an engagingly freeform portmanteau that runs the gamut from joltingly dark to sweetly romantic,” Variety said in its March 2021 review. 

Basco said: “I’m so excited. I wish I was there in Manila to celebrate the movie with you. The film title is inspired by my brothers. This is really telling our stories from a blue collar community. 

“The fabulousness is the wildness of each brother with their own stories and linear stories.”

Even more important, “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers“ rides on the crest of various successful Asian-inspired stories in the US film market in recent years. 

“It’s a great time, we’re in a pioneering time in Hollywood,” Basco said.

“We had ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘Parasite’ won the Oscars and ‘Yellow Rose’ and Jo Koy’s upcoming movie (‘Easter Sunday’). It’s really time for us to tell our stories in this beautiful social movement going on.” 

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It is also a terrific moment for Dante, who looks back at how he has evolved in the American entertainment industry. 

“I’m 35 years in the business. I started a child as a break dancer, a teen actor in ‘Hook’, did poetry, wrote plays, films, voice acting, now a director and podcaster. It’s been a very strange career,” he said. “But the fact that we’re still here counts for something.”

What remains constant through all this time is Dante’s advocacy to tell stories, invariably the Filipino way. “ ‘Let’s do more’ is what I say to young Filipino artists. It’s not about my career or my family’s career,” he said. 

“We added our narrative to what it is being Filipino in the world. Let’s do more, let’s have more actors, singers, dancers, filmmakers who can show the beauty of who we are. Let us write stories that we know and for most Filipinos, family is the essential part of who we are.”

With the continuing success of “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers”, Dante also aspires to build more bridges to connect Filipino artists in the Philippines and US.

“I look forward to collaborate with the next generation of artists who will build on what our generation worked on,” he said.

That includes Dante’s foray into social media, such as TikTok: “I’m so excited to do it even in my 40s."