When it was announced earlier this month that plans for a movie based on the life of Regal Films producer Mother Lily Monteverde was already in the works, director Erik Matti admitted he immediately jumped at the chance to get on board. “Hindi ako in-offer-an, hiningi ko yung project (laughs). Ilang taon ko na hinihingi kay mother yun. Itong final na ito na hiningi ko talaga sa kanya, ‘Mother gawin ko na talaga.’ Sabi ko, ‘Magtatampo ako pag hindi mo binigay sa akin.’ Um-oo na siya. So we started doing it,” he shared during Mother Lily’s recent birthday celebration last August 19 At Valencia Events Place.
During the gathering, direk Erik revealed who will be his lead star in the biopic. “Meron na kami si Judy Ann (Santos) pero may isa pang lead, parehong lead. Hindi ko pa ma-reveal kung sino pero yung present day ni Mother meron na kami. Kailangan ko pa kausapin. Sana um-oo. Eh mamaya i-reveal ko yung pangalan umayaw pala. Yung ibang cast hindi ko pa alam yung mga yun. Ang importante muna yung (gaganap na) totoong Mother (laughs). Ang father iniisip ko pa nga kung sino eh di ba? Kasi si father 6’1,” he shared.
Preparing for the film involves a lot of legwork and research according to direk Erik. “We are doing interviews. We interviewed Joey (Reyes) already, Manny Valera, we’re interviewing a lot more just to get a sense of Regal, good or bad ah. Ayoko naman na parang goody goody. What makes a biopic interesting is really seeing the grayness of a character di ba? Parang tanggap naman ni Mother na matapang talaga siya na character so it’s not an issue. Pati yung mga artistang nakasalamuha niya doon. Matindi ang casting. Snooky Serna, Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, Albert Martinez, Gabby Concepcion, Christopher De Leon, Dina Bonnevie,” he explained.
With shooting scheduled to start early next year, the Buy Bust director said they want to make sure the lead actress imbibes Mother Lily’s gestures and accent. “We already sat down with Juday. We’re starting shooting mid-January. She will portray the mid-level, yung heydays ni Mother, yung wild days ni Mother. (Aaralin pa niya yung accent), especially all the smoking, all the inom ng beer ni Mother. Kasi si Mother umiinom ng beer dati di ba?” she said.
Known mainly for doing action and horror films, direk Erik said he is looking forward to trying a totally different genre. “Ang challenge is maging totoo siya. May kuwento na pag gumawa ka ng pelikula tungkol sa pelikula jinxed. This maybe the only time I will be able to do a movie about movies in my career and that’s going to be something I’m really looking forward to doing. Kasi di ba you want to put your views on showbiz and pag narinig mo yung kuwento ni Mother coming from LVN, Sampaguita, and how [she] started Regal, it talks about what we are now,” he added.