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Paulo faces highly daring challenge others defied

Paulo Avelino
Paulo Avelino

PAULO Avelino is elated to have an entry in the coming Metro Manila Filmfest, “Fan Girl”, written and directed by Antoinette Jadaone, produced by Black Sheep and Dan Villegas’ film company, Project 8 cor. San Juan, with Globe Studios, to be shown streaming on Upstream.ph.

The film is experimental as Paulo plays himself but only a fictionalized version as its ultimate portrayal of him is not very flattering. This is because it shows the bad side of a popular actor who tries to exploit his fan who is so obsessed with him and stalks him.

After doing a mall show, Paulo is not aware that the fan secretly stows away in his car and he is surprised to see her inside his mansion. The teenage girl is at first thrilled to be up close and personal with her idol, but later sees the darker side of this fictitious Paulo, who is so different from the matinee idol she has learned to admire and even worship.

It’s a daring role for Paulo, not only because the role might give him negative feedback, but he goes beyond his comfort zone and even does frontal nudity in a scene where he is shown peeing and his fan takes his picture. The movie has been shown in international film festivals in Tokyo and Estonia and got rave reviews, even from the Hollywood Reporter. We just don’t know if this scene would be shown uncut in its local release.

Paulo is grateful that he made the right decision in making the movie. “It’s always nice when your work and your movie are appreciated by those who’ve seen it, specially by audiences abroad,” he says. “I’m positive local viewers will also enjoy watching it as an entry in the MMFF.”

Even the newcomer who plays his fan, Charlie Dizon, got the nod of foreign critics, who say she played her role with “great naturalness”.

Antoinette Jadaone, who’s noted for romantic films like “That Thing Called Tadhana” and “Never Not Love You”, says the film is four years in the making. She offered the role to other actors but only Paulo was brave enough to accept its forbidding and formidable challenges.

On TV, Paulo is also getting good feedback for his performance in the Kapamilya series, “Walang Hanggang Pag-ibig”. He’s also busy working behind the camera as the co-producer of “Aswang”, one of the two stories in the iWant horror series, “Sitsit”.

“I feel grateful for all the blessings and opportunities that come my way despite these challenging times of the pandemic we live in,” he says. “I feel optimistic not only for myself but for the whole country, that things will surely improve and get better for all of us in the coming new year 2021.”

No advertisers on TV show, Atienza turns to Facebook

Lito Atienza
Buhay Partylist Cong. Lito Atienza

LIKE we told you, everyone is now a Youtube or social media star. Deputy Speaker Buhay Partylist Cong. Lito Atienza has started his own show during the lockdown, “Buhay Mahalaga, Facebook Live”, shown Monday to Friday at 2 PM at his own Facebook account under his name.

“It’s a natural consequence of my desire to communicate directly with the people about important national issues,” he says in a special meeting with some press people. “It’s a very practical way of reaching out to the public, lalo na ngayon na marami tayong problems because of the virus. I really encourage people participation on Facebook to hear out their opinions on current issues. I’m happy kasi encouraging ang response nila, we have about 70 to 80,000 people watching everyday.”

He doesn’t believe in what the government thinks is the solution to the virus: which is a nonstop extension of the lockdown. “Maraming mayors, gusto nila, basta bawal lumabas ang mga tao. Pero sila mismo, lumalabas. They’re enjoying themselves while the people suffer. Hindi puwedeng solusyon ‘yang bawal lumabas, kasi people need to earn a living. Hindi nga sila lumalabas, e kung mamatay naman sila out of desperation and hunger?

“I don’t think the virus will ever disappear. What we should do is teach people to be more responsible in enforcing the safety rules. Kailangang manindigan tayo na labanan ng gobyerno ang virus. Kung puro lockdown lang ang gusto nila, that’s a very defeatist attitude.”

He might be accused that his views are anti-government. “Ever since, kapag may nakikita akong mali, I was never afraid to speak my mind out. Noong panahon ni Marcos, I fought the dictatorship, the military came, I was arrested, natakot ba ako? No, lalo akong lumaban. I don’t just side with anyone. Those politicians who are said to be maka-kaliwa, I always tell them to renounce violence. I don’t believe in any movement that wants to overthrow the government.”

Some people are urging him to run for the Senate in 2022. “Sa totoo lang, I have no plans kasi want to retire na in 2022. By that time, 50 years na ako in public service. I now have 19 grandchildren and one great grandchild. I want to spend more time with my family.”

So who will he support as the next president? “It’s too early to tell. Marami pang maaaring mangyari. Let’s wait and see. But I have good news for senior citizens. We’ll soon pass a law that says when they reach 100 years old, bibigyan agad sila ng P1 million. This will encourage their children to take good care of their parents para maging milyonaryo ang family nila.”

What happened to his drama show, “Maynila”, on GMA-7? “We tried taping new episodes during the lockdown, using our own ingenuity. Ang problema, there were no advertisers, so lagi pa kaming abunado. So I told GMA we will stop for a while at babalik na lang kami later kapag maayos na uli ang lahat.