Anne returns to romance drama

Her millions of social media followers and fans have seen her in an action film (in Buy Bust) and in a mystery thriller (Aurora) just recently.

Anne Curtis is Mae Pimentel, wife of a businessman, in Just a Stranger

Anne Curtis is Mae Pimentel, wife of a businessman, in Just a Stranger

Yet, they’d like to watch Anne Curtis in a film genre that cemented her stature as one of the industry’s most bankable stars – the romantic drama.

Remember the films No Other Woman (2011) in which she was paired with Derek Ramsay and A Secret Affair (2012) also with Ramsay? Or Sid & Aya (2018) with The EDDYS Best Actor Dingdong Dantes?

Those films have marked Curtis’ filmography with enough performance highlights to make her a certified A-lister in the local film industry. And that’s not ignoring the other films she had been in of various genres and a variety of leading men to make her acting portfolio extensive enough to make casting directors’ eyes pop out in disbelief.

Now, Curtis is surprising her tons of socmed followers (Twitter: 11. 6M; Instagram: 12.3M; FB: 14M) with another unpredictable choice of a role in Viva’s new film Just a Stranger.

At the press do for the film last week, Anne was besieged with questions about why she chose to play the role of Mae Pimentel, a married woman, who gets tangled in a casual and physical relationship with a younger man, Jekjek, that is played by the dashing Viva artist Marco Gumabao.

Curtis didn’t hesitate a bit to say, “I have long wanted to do a May-December romance on screen. But there wasn’t any material landing on my lap, so I did other things, as you know, like Buy Bust and Aurora. Finally, when the script for this film came and the role of Mae was offered to me, I read the script, evaluated its worth, and I said, ‘Go.’ I liked it and the character of Mae offered me as an actor lots of room to explore it.”

Someone asked if she had a hand in choosing her leading man, “Not actually, but I was asked if I’d be able to work with certain actors, and maybe, I had the last say.”

The Anne Curtis-Marco Gumabao tandem is the latest to bolt on screen

The Anne Curtis-Marco Gumabao tandem is the latest to bolt on screen

Curtis was careful in names of the other actors considered by Viva and director Jason Paul Laxamana (known for The Day After Valentine’s and100 Tula Para Kay Stella) as the screenplay of Just a Stranger required her and the younger man to be in some intimate scenes.

The press, as usual, was curious how both actors, Curtis specifically, managed to make the intimate scenes between her and Gumabao convincing in relation to the characters they play in the situation in which the characters found themselves.

Gumabao, by the way, plays the son of Philippine ambassador to Portugal.

Mae and Jekjek meet not by accident but through circumstances that allowed their paths to cross.

Though in her mid-30s, Mae easily became the woman Jekjek who is clueless that Mae is afflicted with Fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. 

Mae is in Lisbon with her husband Phil, a businessman and a much older man (played by Edu Manzano) who doesn’t have just the time to pander to Mae’s whims and caprices.

Jekjek (Jericho Esguerra) meanwhile is only 19, still reckless and irresponsible. His father, the ambassador wants him to find a job so he’d grow up, be mature enough to take on a responsibility even just for himself. But, the young man is charming and to Mae’s judgment, very sexy.

While Jekjek is not excited about finding a job, he respects his parents enough to obey them and while he was in the running to find a job meets a fashionable Filipino woman whom he’d later know as Mae Pimentel.

The meeting becomes exciting for Jekjek who for a while forgets about his girlfriend, Febbie, as Mae offers promises for more thrilling afternoons.

                                                Not awkward, gentle but sensual

Most of the questions that night lead to the intimate scenes between Mae and Jekjek, so Anne had to accommodate them and provide answers, like “No, there wasn’t no awkwardness between us.” Or, “Marco and I have known each other for some time and we are able to connect with each other in scenes where we are required to be sensual and physical.” To something like, “He (Marco) was gentle, making sure that in the scenes I don’t feel anything weird…hahaha.”

Mae (Anne) meets a young man, Jekjek (Marco) with whom she has a short-lived liaisaon

Mae (Anne) meets a young man, Jekjek (Marco) with whom she has a short-lived liaisaon

Curtis is no stranger to physical and intimate scenes. If we recall right, he had very intimate scenes with Derek Ramsay in the two films they were paired. She said, “For so long as the director knows the boundaries of the scenes, I am not going to scrimp, I will do it for the sake of the film.”

Still, Curtis wasn’t compelled to spill the beans on how far she had gone in the scenes with Gumabao. “You have to watch the film so you’d know. I won’t tell you so you can write about it without watching the film,” she said in jest.

One audacious blogger even shouted, “Dou have frontal nudity in the movie?” Other females stars would have been offended, but Curtis simply smiled and said, “Watch the film.”

The trailer gives a hint of the numerous steamy scenes between Mae and Jekjek, but Laxamana, the director, pointed out that the film was not to romanticize cheating by any party or condone an illicit affair.  

He said, “This drama will delve deeper into the personal stories of the characters to show their reasons behind their actions.  It is interesting to know if despite their liaison, Mae and Jericho can stick to this principle: ‘Not your friend.  Not your lover.  Just a stranger.’ Can they?”

Again, Curtis said, “That’s what everyone should watch out for.”

Anne Curtis seemed happy that she’s finally doing another romance. “I have missed doing movies like this. I could recall the films I starred in like, Baler, In Your Eyes, No Other Woman, A Secret Affair, and, of course, Sid &  Aya. I like doing something like this. It’s cool, di ba?”

Can Curtis’s husband watch movies with her in the arms of another man? “Oo naman,” she said. “Just don’t ask him to go and watch during the premiere of the movie. He doesn’t like being swarmed with questions (similar to the ones the press asked).”

                                                -30-