“Never ako hindi kinabahan on set. I can’t remember a time na hindi ako kinabahan. But it’s always been a fuel for me as a performer in any way. Natutunan ko siya gamitin as a fuel.
“Nung nalaman ko na kasali siya sa Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, akala ko makikita ko na mga bias ko na K-pop stars. I gave it all back to my mom. I felt proud. If it’s appropriate to hear, I felt really, really proud kasi I know na hindi siya magiging possible if it wasn’t for the people who helped me. So una kong ginawa linapitan ko mama ko. Siya yung pinakaunang taong sinabihan ko and then we shared a moment. I thought nothing else but proud,” he said.
The 22-year-old actor also revealed what was the hardest part of acting for him in the film.
“Based on my experience, yung pinakamahirap is creating organic fear. Nung nag-aaral pa lang ulit ako mag-act before. Sinabihan na kami before na one of the hardest things to recreate as an actor is fear. It’s not kilig, it’s not love, it’s not sorrow or yung mga ganung klaseng emotions. But it’s fear.
“Creating fear na something organic na mararamdaman ng audience mo and nung scene partner mo. Terrifying kasi I had to list down top ten things that I am afraid I won’t be able to do when I die. Which in turn creates fear. Yun yung tinuro sa akin na method and I did twice for this film. Mahirap siya kasi you have to keep recreating it on each scene in a different level. Hindi siya puwedeng 100% sa isang scene. Dapat 80% lang siya dito, dapat 30% dito o 60%.
“Pero napadali yung process ko kasi andiyan si direk Rae to guide me through the process especially since isa siya sa mga nagsulat sa film and she knows the story inside and out and read in between the lines. Parang modesty aside, talagang I wouldn’t have chosen any other scene partners other than these two kasi they were really, really good for the record,” he explained.
With the film currently competing in the 25th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) in South Korea, Francis said he is proud of their project with acclaimed director Rae Red.
“Hearing na lalabas siya internationally still sounds very, very unreal to me. Kasi when we were doing this, we were only solely focused on the film and the story and the script. Nothing else mattered at that time. So yung narinig ko yung sa Bucheon actually surprise yun sa aming lahat. Talagang halos mangiyak ngiyak nga ako nun. I remember throughout the duration the film na ginagawa namin, ang dami naming sana. Pero nung natapos namin yung film, na-realize namin na the best thing that we could do in any given circumstance is what we did sa situation na yun. So yung makikita niyo dito, this is the best na we have done. We did not pull our punches. Hindi kami tinamad. We did everything that we could to make this the best film we could do and we can only promise is that it will be better next time,” he said.
The Tenement 66 star also said he would have loved to go to South Korea for the film festival.
“It’s better kung nakapunta kami dun to hear what international audience thinks of our film. But this is still a great honor. It doesn’t make it less honorable. It doesn’t make it less humbling na ganito yung setting namin,” he said.
Aside from being the story of three teenagers who live inside a tenement housing in Manila, Francis said there is a bigger lesson shared by the film.
“My takeaway from this is that it’s also a social commentary on how the Philippines is working at the moment. There’s a power struggle lesson that you would see. When you watch the film you will realize that these things can actually happen even to kids because of how the country is working at the moment. Parang we’re all not living in an equal kind of situation kumbaga. Because all could have been prevented if mas may social equality sa Philippines,” he added.
Tenement 66 stars Francis Magundayao, Francine Diaz, and Noel Comia. Directed by Rae Red. It is now available for streaming on iWant TFC.