The world is beholden by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. It has so much to offer those who make it inside, so it becomes understandable that both emerging and established celebrities from other regions of the globe try their luck at securing a career inside the entertainment capital of the world. However, it still holds true that unless you check all the boxes of a star in the making (American-born, White, Nepotism baby), it still is undeniably difficult to break through the Hollywood.
So it makes it more impressive when we hear of our own actors and actresses making it into the big league of entertainment–a feat that is becoming more pronounced thanks to more calls for inclusivity and representation in films and shows, as well as our stars’ undeniable larger than life social media presence which helps propel their names out there. Apart from these factors, we can also give a hat tip to these men and women of Philippine show business who have previously paved the way in letting the world know that Filipino actor and actresses have what it takes to become fundamental assets in film or TV productions:
In 2004, former Sang’gre Iza Calzado starred in the horror flick “Sigaw” (Scream). The film then got an American remake in 2008, which was titled “The Echo”. The remake features Iza joining the cast and playing the role of Gina alongside actor Kevin Durand.
In 2011, together with Briana Evigan from the “Step Up” series, Jericho was cast as the lead actor in the romantic thriller “Subject: I Love You”. The film, inspired by the “ILOVEYOU” computer virus of 2000s, tells the story of Victor, who will do anything to reconnect with Butterfly, the only woman he has ever loved, even if it means getting himself into a mess with an international criminal investigation.
The Queen of All Media played a role in “Crazy Rich Asians” as the wealthy Princess Intan. Although her character only had a short screen time, her appearance was memorable nonetheless, where she gave an inspiring and meaningful speech to Rachel Chu’s character during a particularly noteworthy scene.
Lea Salonga is one of the most internationally known Filipino artists, famous for her roles as the singing voice for 2 Disney princesses (Mulan and Jasmine), eventually naming her as a Disney legend in 2011 for her work with Walt Disney productions. She is also internationally lauded for her performances in theater like Miss Saigon, and as the first Asian actress to play the roles of Éponine and Fantine in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway, winning many accolades and awards for her performances.
Most recently, she was cast in the Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, a spin-off of the original series, which is currently airing on HBO Go. She plays role of Elodie Honrada, mother to Minnie Honrada.
John Arcilla and Lou Veloso
Heneral Luna star John Arcilla and seasoned comedian Lou Veloso were cast in The Bourne Legacy movie starring Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz. Though they were there for bit roles, Tony Gilroy only had the best things to say about them, going so far in saying that they’ve helped beyond acting in the film, as Lou even helped the crew find child actors to appear in the movie.
Cesar Montano and Ryan Eigenmann
Muro Ami lead Cesar Montano and Baler star and son of Gina Alajar Ryan Eigenmann were cast in the 2005 war film The Great Raid starring Benjamin Bratt, James Franco, and Joseph Fiennes. Cesar and Ryan represented the characters of the Filipino resistance. At the time of the production, news of Cesar and Ryan’s casting became big news in the Philippines as the movie starred well-established names in Hollywood.
Former MTV VJ Donita Rose starred alongside David Hasselhoff in the 1998 film “Legacy”, which is about an American war photojournalist who joins forces with a woman in her quest to find her father, who’s been missing for over 20 years. While it did not receive much fanfare and could be relegated to direct-to-DVD (VHS, at the time) titles, the fact that Donita Rose appeared alongside The Hoff is already a win for us.
Chin-Chin Gutierrez also appeared in this movie.
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