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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.

Nov 24, 2017

Carla Humpries Admits Being Disillusioned By Showbiz But Now Returns As The Lone Female Lead In The Crime-Thriller 'Smaller And Smaller Circles'

CARLA HUMPRIES admits there was a time she felt depressed about her showbiz career. After being introduced as part of Star Magic Batch 11, she gained praise for her performances in such shows as “Abt Ur Luv” and “Bituing Walang Ningning”. She did more shows, some movies but felt at some point that her career is not really going anywhere.

“I felt parang hindi yata talaga para sa’kin ang showbiz as the industry doesn’t seem to love me back so, to do some soul searching, I went to visit my paternal grandmother who lives in Nice, France,” she says. “My dad is French American and I stayed there for almost two years. It helped for me to find out more about the roots of our family. While I was there, I also fell in love with a French musician and producer who I met in a bookshop. We were together for about a year and a half then we split, I got heartbroken, and came home. Tamang-tama naman, I met Tita June Rufino and she’s managing me now. I did a guest role in ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and now I play a recurring character in ‘Pusong Ligaw’ as the best friend of Beauty Gonzales and I’ve just finished two new movies. In “Nay” for Cinema One, I play the young Sylvia Sanchez. In ‘Smaller and Smaller Circles’, I play the female lead. After this, I’m doing a project written by my friend, Alessandra de Rossi, titled ‘Diary of 30 Somethings’, about women in their 30s, hopefully for Viva. So hopefully, sana nga, this time, magtuloy-tuloy na ang projects ko.”

For “Smaller and Smaller Circles”, she was the personal choice of its young director, Raya Martin, to play the only female character in the story, Joanna Bonifacio. “I saw Carla doing drama in ‘10,000 Hours’ and comedy in ‘Bekikang’ and I was impressed by her versatility,” says Raya. “She also speaks French and the character delivers some lines in French in the movie so it fits her perfectly.”

“Smaller and Smaller Circles’ is an acclaimed Filipino novel by Felisa H. Batacan that won the Palanca grand prize in 1999 and was a best seller reprinted several times. A crime thriller about a serial killer in the dumpsite known as Payatas, the lead characters are Fr. Gus Saenz (Nonie Buencamino) and Fr. Jerome Lucero (Sid Lucero), Jesuit priests who are forensic experts. They try to solve the mystery involving the murders of young boys, with the help of their news reporter friend, Joanna.

Produced by Tuko Film Productions and Buchi Boy Entertainment who made the sleeper hit ‘Heneral Luna’, the script is co-written by Moira Lang, Ria Limjap and Raya Martin, with Ms. Batacan herself acting as their consultant. The film got an A from the Cinema Evaluation Board.

“My character as a reporter is actually the alter ego of Ms. Batacan,” says Carla. “She lives in Singapore now, but I got the chance to meet her in person when she visited our set. She’s very quiet but ang lakas ng presence niya. Akala ko, she’ll give me advice on how to play my character but no, she gave her full trust to me and our team to interpret the material our own way. She’s very, very encouraging. This is the biggest and most challenging role I've played in my career and I consider it a big blessing, especially working with top actors like Noni Buencamino, Sid Lucero, Christopher de Leon, Bembol Roco, Ricky Davao in the big cast. I’m really praying that local viewers will support this movie when it opens in theaters on December 6.”