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Friday, June 26, 2009

Mylene Dizon commands respect at NYC filmfest

When Mylene Dizon walked on the red carpet at the famed Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City last June 11 to grace the first IndioBravo Film Festival promoting Philippine Cinema globally, there was no uproar or commotion, only gaze of respect and admiration and reserved applause accorded to the likes of Gina Pareño, Cherry Pie Picache, Jaclyn Jose and Gina Alajar.

“Yes,” confirmed Edmund Silvestre (of The Filipino Reporter), Funfare’s Big Apple correspondent, in his latest report, “the teenybopper of the ’90s is slowly inching her way towards the league of the Philippines’ acting luminaries.”

Edmund is right. At 33, Mylene has established an impressive filmography and along the way bagged numerous acting nods, with a cluster of wins: Two Best Actress honors (Cinemalaya and Enpress) for 100, one for Rome & Juliet (Cinema One) and a Best New Actress Award (PMPC Star Awards) for Calvento Files: The Movie, her film debut a year after being launched through Star Circle Batch 2 (with Diether Ocampo, Marvin Agustin and Patrick Garcia, to name some) in 1996.

Edmund noted that in Chris Martinez’s 100, Mylene delivered a tour de force as a cancer-stricken woman who only has 100 days to live. It was one of the most unforgettable films and performances in 2008 screened in various international film festivals. No wonder the organizers of IndioBravo filmfest in New York made sure that 100 would be the opening night selection, along with Mark Meily’s Baler.

“It’s always been one of my main objectives when I joined the industry, to be included in the list of actors that can be considered for good roles,” said the very regal and svelte Mylene in a black long gown that negated signs she just gave birth last April to her second son, Lucas, in Chicago. She was escorted to the New York filmfest by ex-boyfriend Paolo Paraiso and their elder son Tomas, four years old. (Mylene and Paolo came back from Chicago with their children last Monday.)

For Mylene, noteworthy projects can lead to one’s longevity in the acting business.

“That’s why medyo nagiging meticulous din naman kami when it comes to choosing projects,” she pointed out. “Pag tumanggap ako ng trabaho, I try to make sure na makabuluhan and I always do my best na hindi wardi-wardihin ang trabaho. I would do anything required by my role because I really respect my work.”

Mylene looks up to Gloria Romero as a great role model to filmdom’s young generation.

“Napaka-professional niya,” she stated with passion. “Sa edad po niyang ‘yon, she’s still so much respected as an actor. With her status and seniority, she can act like a diva, like a prima donna but you don’t see that in Miss Gloria Romero. She does her job well at wala siyang karekla-reklamo and I can attest to that. She’s nice even to young actresses like me. Maganda ang pakikisama talaga niya. I love her comedic timing; she’s also good in drama. Gusto ko rin maka-trabaho ang mga Ate Vi, mga Ate Guy, mga Ate Maria, mga Ate Shawie,” she laughed, referring to Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Maricel Soriano and Sharon Cuneta.

Mylene credited her 2001 film Gatas...Sa Dibdib ng Kaaway for turning her into a full-fledged dramatic actress. The controversial movie, which required her to show one breast, gave Mylene Best Actress nominations in all award-giving bodies, but it also caused a lot of heartaches to her family.

“I consider it my most challenging role, along with Rome & Juliet,” she said. “It led me to where I am now. Kumbaga, I wouldn’t have been cast in good films had I not done Gatas. I have no regrets having done the movie even if at first my family wasn’t so happy about it. It really affected them and I don’t want to put them in the same situation again. Paolo would understand and it would be easy to explain to my children, but not to my parents and siblings.”

Mylene’s last project before flying to the US was the top-rated and highly-acclaimed ABS-CBN soap Tayong Dalawa, playing a young mother to the character of Kim Chiu.

Said Edmund, “It is one of the most watched drama series on The Filipino Channel, along with May Bukas Pa and Only You.”

But Mylene had to bow out of the show to give birth.

Believe it or not, Mylene’s dream project is an action-packed film like Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie.

And her dream director?

“Puwede bang Lino Brocka? Hahahaha,” she chuckled, perhaps forgetting that Brocka is dead. “Among the contemporary directors, I like to experience a Chito Roño. Pero natatakot ako kay Chito Roño. Nakakatakot ‘yon, eh; masungit ‘yon, eh. Hahahaha. Everytime we see each other, we always talk and laugh. Pero pagdating sa trabaho nakakatakot siya pag hindi ka naka-deliver ng tama. It’s because he’s very good and he knows what he wants at nakakahiya na nakakatakot pag hindi ka prepared. Pero gusto ko siya.”

Aside from Mylene and Chris Martinez, others who were at the IBFF were directors Mark Meily (Baler), Francis Pasion (Jay) and Mark Reyes (God Only Knows).

Joining them were IBFF executive director Vincent Sandoval, finance director Jonner Nazareno; administrative director Janice Perez, and program director Darlene Malimas; Joseph Francia of GMA International, WCBS News anchor Hazel Sanchez, and writer-producer Christine Dayrit.

The film line-up encompassed a diverse array of genres, themes, directorial voices and even regional flavor: Endo, Tirador, Yanggaw, Dayo, Donsol, Confessional, Carnivore, Himala, Melancholia, My Only You, When Timawa Meets Delgado, and Ang Huling Balyan ng Buhi, plus the short films Kultado, To Siomai Love, Angan-Angan, Kamera, Performing Naturalness, Musa, Kagat ng Dilim, Putot, Lata at Tsinelas and Salat.

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