‘Break up than beat up’
He had to hold my hand and guide me the whole time,” said actress Lovi Poe of director Ralston Jover when asked about how she managed to effectively portray Lorie, a character who abuses her husband both verbally and physically, in the dramatic film “Latay.”
Lorie becomes abusive after she catches husband Olan (Allen Dizon) meeting an ex-girlfriend. “This is one of the most difficult characters I’ve portrayed. The last thing I want to do is intentionally hurt someone. In real life, I avoid arguments as much as possible because I never want to hurt another person, even if it’s just verbal abuse,” said Lovi during the special screening of “Latay” at Gateway Cinemas in Quezon City.
The film, which already won awards in various international film festivals, will be screened in local cinemas nationwide starting Feb. 8.
“There are scenes where, as Lorie, I would berate Allen for not being able to provide for our family. That was already tough for me. Imagine how I had to motivate myself for the scene where Lorie beats up Olan. Personally, it’s something that I can’t do to a loved one. If not for the help of Direk Ralston and Allen, it would have been a lot more challenging for me,” the actress said.
Allen, who saw the film for the first time during the special screening, said he couldn’t help but recall the time he was shooting the violent scenes with Lovi prepandemic. “We shot all the ‘bugbugan’ scenes for two days. We suffered from cuts and bruises after that. My scalp bled and hurt so much because of all the hair-pulling that Lovi had to do. You all know that she’s the daughter of the late action king (Fernando Poe Jr.) and that she does her own stunts, too,” Allen said, laughing.
‘Protect my co-actor’
“We didn’t choreograph our fights for the cameras, which were all handheld. Direk Ralston would shout ‘cut’ several times whenever he spotted errors. Since he wanted the scenes to be just one long shot, we had to do it again and again,” he recalled. “My goal then was to protect my co-actor. I am much bigger than Lovi. I needed to act like I was taking all the blows but, at the same time, I was also defending myself. “It’s hard to move around because we were just in a small room. At one point, I had to carry Lovi as a way for Olan to try to stop Lorie from hitting him. For these things, we had to communicate with each other and with Direk to make sure we knew exactly what to do at a particular point during the shoot.”
Allen said he could never purposely beat up another person, more so a loved one. “I would rather break up with my girlfriend or wife before we reach that point where I’ve lost all my love and respect for her that I would beat her up. But I believe that nothing can’t be resolved by talking amicably. If both of you are too angry to do that, then take time to cool off first,” he pointed out.
As for Lovi, she believes that some people are not meant to be together. She cited the characters in Colleen Hoover’s book “It Ends With Us” as examples. “’I don’t want to spoil the story for everyone, so let’s just say ‘di talaga sila swak. It’s better that they separate while they still care for each other,” she stressed.
“I’d rather be the person who gets hurt than the other way around. I don’t want to have that burden on my conscience. I’m probably selfish that way, but at least, I will be able to look at that person straight in the eye, knowing that I did him no wrong,” she added.
Meanwhile, Ralston said his goal for the film was to help spread awareness that battered husbands exist and that there should be a law protecting them from abusers. “Just because the percentage of cases of battered husbands is quite low doesn’t mean it can be ignored,” he pointed out. “What’s sad is that these men aren’t really comfortable telling their stories. It’s actually encouraging that there are ‘Tulfo cases’ already.”
Ralston was referring to the investigative program “Isumbong Mo Kay Tulfo,” where host Raffy Tulfo helps resolve domestic cases, among others.
“Latay,” which also features Snooky Serna, Mariel de Leon and Soliman Cruz, is produced by BG Productions International.
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