Despite being an award-winning actress and a seasoned and respected thespian, Cherie Gil revealed that she initially had qualms about doing the play Full Gallop. Cherie took on the role of noted fashion columnist and former Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar editor Diana Vreeland in her first solo play.
During a media preview of the show held at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza in Makati, Cherie unabashedly confessed that it took her almost a decade before she actually gave it a go. “It all started with Bart [Guingona] many years ago like maybe more than 10. Bart asked me and called me if I would consider doing a play and at that time I wasn’t quite brave enough and I wasn’t so into theater at that time, I only did Doubt and I’m not sure,” she revealed shyly to the members of the press after her jaw-dropping solo performance. The Pulitzer Prize award-winning play Doubt was staged back in 2006 where she played the role of Roman Catholic school principal Sister Aloysius.
Relating what her Full Gallop director Bart told her in the past she said, “’You’re the one actor who loves to do obscure plays, you’re one thespian.’ I know he likes to do the most difficult of plays for an actor.”
The major turning point she said was after the success of her 2010 play Master Class where she breathed life into the role of operas La Divina—grand dame Maria Callas. “Somehow after I did Master Class and I had such a joy performing with different actors and doing different characters. At that point when I turned 50, I knew that I needed to that thing that would help me grow more as an actor and that’s finally when I’ve decided to put the script on Bart’s lap literally on my birthday,” she recalled.
Cherie, who’s touted as one of the most stylish actresses in showbiz, felt the need to bring Diana’s sparkling character to life because of her love for fashion. “They would lend me clothes, they would dress me up and I’d get so excited and a part of me being a stylish actor is due to them and so I thought this is the time that we give homage to all my friends in the industry and all those folks that love Diana Vreeland,” Cherie explained.
However she admitted that knowing that a lot of people loved Diana also got her a little scared. “Because I realized that there are those who love Diana Vreeland and know her very well.” But instead of being disheartened Cherie claimed that she used that frightening thought as a “fuel to get me going to get it right and I hope I did it justice.”
In a very candid moment, the Ikaw Lamang star blurted that Full Gallop was “an excruciating process” so much so that “I kept telling Bart ‘I would never do anything like this again… sa susunod dapat may kaeksena na ako. Oh my God it was a freaky process.’”
But she Cherie has no regrets about doing Full Gallop because the challenge that it gave her just upped the ante. “I don’t think I can come close to Diana Vreeland because by reading the script I got to dig in deeper and research. I have learned so much because of how she looked at things. People think that I’m so sophisticated and knowledgeable about many things [they’re wrong] I’m not. Like far out. I had to study... I had to look into the society women that she talked about. It was an era when I must have been 15 to 16 I suppose. I’ve learned about the Hapsburg Era and Queen Elizabeth,” the seasoned actress narrated.
She continued, “Lumawak ang aking paningin and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again and I want to give growing and knowing more things and I think as an actor this is the gift that we have as actors because we learn about people such as them.”