MANILA - “At the end of the day, it’s still a role.”
This was the reply of Paulo Avelino when asked about how important image is to him, since he is playing himself in the movie “Fan Girl,” an entry to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival.
“Ako upon reading the script, I kind of figured it na. It’s my actual name. It made me think for a while but upon processing, in accepting projects kasi, I always look for something new. When I got the script, oo nga no, I haven’t played myself. Sino nga ba si Paulo Avelino? What’s the persona I’m letting people see? What’s my persona when I’m alone? I took it as a challenge as well,” he said during a virtual press conference on Monday.
Through the role, Avelino said he got to remind himself that as an actor, he should not worry about what people might think of him when they see the movie.
“I am always grateful for the endorsements… at the end of the day, I am an actor. If the role requires this, I would do it. In this day and age, I would think that maybe people from brands would not see this in a bad way or a different way. Kasi at the end of the day, it’s still a role. I’m Paulo Avelino playing Paulo Avelino,” he explained.
Avelino believes the brands trusted him to endorse their products “because of what they see on screen as well, who I am as an actor.”
Director Antoinette Jadaone said it was actually a brave decision for Avelino when he agreed to play himself in the movie.
“Actually dahil 2016 pa po ito, marami pong revision 'yung script. Meron akong isang actor in mind pero si Pau talaga 'yung matapang eh. Kailangan ko ng isang matapang na artista. Pero naintindihan ko 'yung takot, kung bakit nakakatakot i-portray 'yung role sa 'Fan Girl' kasi you are portraying yourself,” she said.
“Kaya sobrang tuwang tuwa po ako kay Pau. After ilang days, walang questions asked, tinanggap niya. Ang tinanong lang po talaga niya is sino yung fan girl,” she added.
When asked if she had a hard time convincing Avelino to do some scenes including a frontal nudity, Jadaone said: Hindi. “Nandoon sa scrtipt 'yun. Lahat ng nasa pelikula, nasa script siya. Nung tinanggap ni Pau, tinanggap niya 'yung mga nandoon sa script.”
On the other hand, Avelino said that scene actually helped enhance the story.
“To be honest, para sa akin hindi naman talaga kailangan ['yung frontal nudity] pero kung mapapanood niyo 'yung eksena, mas nae-enhance niya 'yung nangyayari. Kung ipapaintindi mo sa audience na nasa level 3 lang ito, kapag napanood nila, umaangat 'yung gustong ibigay ng eksena para umabot sa level 10. Feeling ko nag-work naman,” he said.
If anything, the most challenging part of the role for Avelino is to just be himself in front of a camera for a movie.
“Actually ang pinaka-challenge kasi talaga 'yung hindi ka umaarte. 'Yung natural ka lang sa lahat ng ginagawa mo bilang ikaw with some added factors. 'Yun ang challenge, 'yung paano maging mas organic sa pag-deliver ng lines,” he said.
“Fan Girl” is a collaboration between ABS-CBN Films' Black Sheep, Globe Studios, Project 8, Epicmedia, and Crossword Productions.
It is Jadaone’s newest film following the successful “Alone/Together,” which starred Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil.