Trusting in Dennis Trillo
Posted by Admin | Posted in Dennis News | Posted on 20-07-2012
Tags: Ang Katiwala, Cinemalaya, Dennis Trillo
Thursday, 19 July 2012 19:08 Gerard Ramos
IT seems ages ago when Dennis Trillo first commanded our attention—and we even had no idea who he was at the time. That was a little over a decade ago, specifically in 2001, via Kahit Kailan which he, despite the late introduction of his character in the GMA Sunday afternoon drama, basically and no doubt unintentionally commandeered over star Jolina Magdangal with his thoroughly engaged and engaging performance.Since then, he has not only become one of entertainment’s biggest male stars but also a multiawarded actor whose greatest triumph remains to be his gender-bending turn in Aishite Imasu 1941: Mahal Kita, which brought him a slew of Best Actor awards.
That Joel Lamangan movie was released in 2004, which in showbiz years may as well be ages ago. To be fair, much of Dennis’s work in films and on TV since then has shown him to be never willing to take that walk in the park even when the material deserved nothing less or more than a snooty dismissal. (Hello, Zaido!) Then again, it would seem that Dennis regards the projects that come to him, however least some of them are in our estimation, as part of his continuing journey as an actor, one who never stands still and chooses to learn from everything.
It may have been a while since Dennis achieved greatness on the big screen—although we would argue that his turn in last year’s Yesterday Today Tomorrow was one of the best things about that unfortunately uneven movie—but his legion of believers will again be rewarded, perhaps more often than they have been as the actor wades deeper into independent cinema even as he continues to send hearts a-pitter-patter as one of GMA’s most gorgeous leading men. And perhaps even the most bankable.
Opening in select cinemas this week as a finalist in the New Breed Full Length Feature category of this year’s Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, is Ang Katiwala, written, produced and directed by Aloy Adlawan.
Also starring Ronnie Lazaro, Althea Vega, Neri Naig, Angelina Kanapi, Miggs Cuaderno, Ernie Zarate, Louella da Cordova, Shyr Valdez and Richard Manabat, Ang Katiwala tells the story of Ruben (Trillo), a carpenter who leaves his wife (Vega) and family in Zambales to work as a caretaker of an abandoned property in Quezon City.
Ruben soon finds out that the previous owner of the house is an important figure in the country’s history.
When he is interviewed by a TV reporter about this historical figure, Ruben feels embarrassed that he knows nothing about him.
He soon starts reading up to get to know more about the life of this person, his accomplishments and what he has done for the people. Ruben’s fascination about the person’s life and his inevitable hero-worship irks the only friend he has in the sprawling compound, the night-shift security guard, who jokes that Ruben is slowly being possessed by the soul of his new hero.
Dennis’s work in the film has again spurred awards talk—but that should no longer surprise anyone who has been following the career of this incredibly handsome and marvelously talented artist.
How did you arrive at Ang Katiwala? Did Aloy Adlawan seek you out, or did you learn about it and sought him out?
According to Aloy, the role was custom-made for me. He wrote the script with me in his mind and really wanted me to play the main character.
What was it about your role and the movie that attracted you?
It was the uniqueness of the story. I also loved the subtle buildup of the narrative, and how it affects Ruben, my character.
What was the hardest part—emotionally, mentally, artistically—about doing the movie?
It would have to be immersing myself into the character, because when I was doing the movie, I was also doing two other different projects. It was a really hard time, making the effort to make each role distinct from the others.
You have already done a number of independent movies on top of your work in mainstream cinema. Do you make any distinction between the two disciplines? Is the sense of fulfillment in doing one different from doing the other?
It’s fun to do indie movies because it’s thinking out of the box. It’s exciting because you have room to exercise your creativity and expand your craft. It can be disheartening that mainstream cinema doesn’t stray often from established formulas and storylines and plotlines, but that seemingly is the nature of the beast and it’s your job as an actor to show up.
We were told by a top GMA exec that Biritera (his most recent primetime drama) was their most profitable prime-time offering of that period. Of course there’s satisfaction to be derived in knowing that, but does it add to the pressure you place on yourself?
I’m glad that people still appreciate what I do. When I act, I don’t think about ratings or the box office, because that has nothing to do with your performance. What I’m more concerned about when I’m in front of the camera is the effect and the impact that I leave in every scene that I do for the people who get the chance to see my work.