“I take this role seriously,” said actor Paolo Contis about his role in the film “Fuchsia Libre,” where he plays a homosexual seeking acceptance from his authoritarian father, played by top Venetian actor John Arcilla.
As if the talk of traditional masculinity wasn’t problematic enough, Paolo’s character is a professional wrestler while John’s is a military man in this comedy-drama project directed by RC delos Reyes and written by Tonio Rodolfo.
“I promise you, it won’t be a caricature. First of all, I agreed to carry out the project because of its serious consideration of the role of the LGBTQIA+ community in our society. I want to help people better understand and accept their group. That for me is the main challenge of the film,” Paolo told Inquirer Entertainment. “I recently received some material that I am supposed to study for this role. I plan to take this seriously because I will be representing a huge group. I don’t want to disappoint them. »
Paolo is once again familiarizing himself with the rules of wrestling, he said. “I trained with fighters when I was younger. I stopped because I had to concentrate on my work. Most of the teleseryes I did for GMA 7 were action, like “Sugo”, where we got to train with Chinese fight and stunt coordinators. Moreover, whenever Dingdong (Dantès) did his action teleseryes, they automatically called me to be his kontrabida. The two of us shared many training sessions related to combat.
He continued: “I just need to refresh my memory on the discipline of wrestling. I don’t think there will be a problem. I didn’t join the war clueless, so to speak. Of course, we have to make the fights cinematic enough because they are also part of the selling points of this film.
The character’s difficulties
Meanwhile, John attempted to explain the struggles of his character, a parent who may or may not end up rejecting his child when the latter finally reveals his gay identity. “My character grew up with a military orientation. Suddenly he discovers he has a gay son. We’ve heard of stories like this before… gay men joining male-dominated sports, so I did my research. One important thing that emerged was that some parents blame themselves for what happened to their children. This is because they think that being gay is an anomaly and that their children get that from their father. They asked, “What’s wrong with me?” In fact, that’s the most painful part of the whole situation,” the actor explained.
Besides the opportunity to work with Paolo again — they were together in 2005’s “Sugo” — John said he liked that the story was “very relevant.” It’s good that issues regarding the LGBTQIA+ community are now being discussed in detail. We used to treat them with such disdain: “Bading ka? Tapos. Today, the pain and struggles of parents of gay or lesbian children are front and center. It is true that we still do not know how to accept them correctly. Are we able to sincerely accept them or are we just trying to tolerate them? As for the gay son, will he still be happy with his identity if his parents reject him? ” John told Inquirer Entertainment during a visit to the “Fuchsia Libre” taking place in Fairview, Quezon City.
Paolo, who also has a list of successful comedy films under his belt, promised that humor would be an important part of the film. “When you’re talking about a serious subject, it’s sometimes easier to get people to listen if you also make them laugh. Of course, we need to make sure the jokes aren’t offensive. These days you have to be very sensitive about these things,” Paolo emphasized, adding that he was “open to doing kissing scenes” if necessary.
“Fuchsia Libre” is a production of Mavx Productions.
“It is up to the producers to decide whether they will accept this offer. When I read the script, I saw one of these scenes. Parang kulang,” he joked. “To be honest, the kissing scene is not a selling point of the film. It’s there because we’re trying to show what the two characters are like as father and son. It’s part of the father’s acceptance of seeing his son with a romantic male partner,” Paolo explained.
The actor, who is also the main host of the midday game show “Eat Bulaga”, said he hoped to learn a lot while working on set with John. “The last time we were together was 18 years ago. It was a happy set; that’s why, to me, it felt like I was just playing. I never really paid much attention to it. I’m very excited to see it in action this time around. When we first met, he asked a lot of questions about the story that I had never even thought of. Iba pala siya talaga,” says Paolo.
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