Even though Midnight in a Perfect World director Dodo Dayao admitted that he got inspiration for the film while growing up during Martial law, actress Jasmin Curtis said she does not believe their film is political in nature. The story revolves around a group of friends who suddenly get caught in a blackout and have to find a safehouse to survive.
“When I first read it, hindi siya nag-occur sa akin to relate it agad to what is happening in our society. I just took it as what was written there and I was trying to figure out ano itong mga creatures na ito? Anong mangyayari sa safehouse? I was just trying to piece the puzzle of the narrative kung san yung magiging problematic moment niya, where will we solve it.
“But it seemed like all throughout I was reading it I felt so tired reading it. Parang humihingal ka. Kasi tumatakbo yung mga characters namin for the most part, may ganun siyang momentum when you are reading it also. Then nung nasa set na kami nagtatanong na ako kay direk Dodo (Dayao) ng mga specific scenes kung tama ba yung pagkakaintindi ko, ito ba yung reference na he intended? So parang for clarity and for an actor’s intention and perspective, kumbaga tama yung pagkukuhanan mo for it. To execute it the way it should be told,” she shared.
The 26-year-old actress said she was more focused on her acting and how it relates to the storyline than the political undertones in the film.
“I think yung personal views ko in politics, I try as much as possible not to let it influence the stories I tell. Not unless the story I’m telling really goes against what I believe is right or hindi nag-li-leave ng room for open discourse. But when I read the script of Midnight in a Perfect World hindi siya binigay sa amin with a briefing na this is in reference to certain happenings in our country so binasa ko lang siya as what it was supposed to be and the narrative that it was trying to tell at face value and then saka na lang ako nagtanong in case na meron ngang references to any of the historical happenings in our country. For me what matters most is that you spark a conversation,” she explained.
In the film, Jasmine plays the role of supportive friend Mimi who looks after her friends played by co-stars Glaiza de Castro, Dino Pastrano, and Anthony Falcon.
“Si Mimi siya yung friend mo na sensible or tries to be sensible. She tries to look out for everyone in the group. Yun yung personality niya. She tries to steer you into the right direction and make sure maalagaan niya kayo as a friend. So she’s the friendly one to have kung gusto mong magpakawala sa mundo and may mag-alaga pa rin sa iyo. So of course I hope from my character dito, sana ma-takeaway nila that there’s always a need for that one friend who can keep it together or at least try to keep it together so you can find that actual safehouse for all of you and make it ’til the end,” she shared.
After doing the film, Jasmin admitted it was more physical than mentally challenging work for her. “Ang dami naming takbo eh (laughs). But of course mentally also there’s some level of exhaustion there in some of the parts kasi you’re not using your mind just to think of the emotions that you have to execute or the mood that you have to bring but pati na rin yung technicalities of the movement. Tapos there are some scenes that require you to be a bit more aware of camera movements or us to move along with it and to make sure our pacing is correct. It requires a certain rhythm na yung actors and the production team jive together and get each other’s kung ano man yung kailangan nilang i-attempt with their executions. Sasabayan dapat namin yun. I wouldn’t say the mental stuff was exhausting. I would say it was good exercise for us not to get too comfortable na eto lang yung dadalhin namin sa table with the emotion and the lines lang but also the physical movement, the awareness of everyone’s blocking and not just ours. So that was really fun,” she recalled.