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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Feb 1, 2017

Director Gil Portes On How They Got Sophie Albert To Play The Young Elizabeth Oropesa In The Pre-Valentine Offering, 'Moonlight Over Baler'

CASTING THE role of the young Fidela in the pre-Valentine offering, “Moonlight Over Baler”, became quite a problem for Director Gil Portes. The older Fidela is played by Elizabeth Oropesa and they have to get someone who would be believable as a young Beth O.

“Importante yung role as the young Fidela will establish how much she loves Nestor, her soldier fiance who went to fight in World War II and never came back,” explains Direk Gil. “We have to get someone na kasing-taas ni Beth O, na malaking babae. It was Screenwriter Eric Ramos who recommended Sophie, who I saw in a Cinemalaya entry, ‘Hashtag Y’, at okay naman siya, so we called her then pinagtabi namin nsila ni Beth. We quickly saw their striking resemblance with each other. Ang kulang lang kay Sophie, yung nunal ni Beth. But when it comes to acting, hindi rin nagpahuli si Sophie. She’s able to deliver and everyone approves of her acting, including Beth herself.”

Beth O is a multi-awarded actress and she says when she saw Sophie’s acting, she was quite impressed. “When I saw the movie, I told myself, ‘Wow, ang galing naman ng batang ito,’” says Beth. “Hindi talaga siya nagpapahuli sa kahit sinong kaeksena niya. And it helps na maganda talaga ang chemistry nila ni Vin Abrenica as her leading man.”

Sophie is flattered to the bones with Beth O’s assessment of her acting. “Coming from a respected actress like her, siempre, kinikilig ako,” she says. “I really pray that people will like the movie, my acting, and it will help open the door for other projects for me. Actually, before this movie, I’m already thinking of quitting showbiz kasi parang walang nangyayari sa career ko, e. I’m just getting depressed and was about to take up lesson in doing make up. But with ‘Moonlight Over Baler’, nabuhayan ako ng loob about acting again. I began to feel my passion for acting came back and I realized this is what I really love to do. I also got a new manager, Manny Valera, who’s helping me chart my career now. Sana nga, 2017 will give me better opportunities as an actress.”

“Moonlight Over Baler” opens in theaters on February 8 as a pre-Valentine presentation.