Teen actress Francine Diaz summed up her feelings about her first ever suspense thriller film, “Tenement 66” participating at the 25th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) in South Korea, under the Bucheon Choice category.
“Napakalaking blessing, napakalaking opportunity,” she shared.
Francine took on the role of the quiet but angsty and dominant Lea. Other stars of the Rae Red-helmed flick are Francis Magundayao and Noel Comia.
“Tenement 66” follows the story of three teens who execute a plan to rob the apartment of a man named Nando (Lou Veloso), a man that Lea witnessed stealing a large sum of money. But their plan took an awry turn when their lives were put on peril, after being held hostage by the gruesome homeowner and his aid in a series of bloody and suspense-filled confrontations.
Francine also shared that the most challenging part of the film for her was being gagged and tortured by the main villain as there were many shots for that scene. However, Francine was quick to add that she learned a lot from that experience.
“Kasi na-e-explore ko yung sarili ko bilang artista at kung hanggang saan ang kaya ko at kung ano ang kaya kong ibigay,” she said.
The “Huwag Ka Nang Mangamba” star added that she never had second thoughts when the project was pitched to her.
“After nilang ibigay sakin yung kwento at yung character, sabi ko, ‘Okay po ako. Kelan po tayo magsisimula?’ Kaya talagang sobrang saya ko nung nabigay siya sakin,” she recalled.
She became nervous though upon learning that Rae, who’s behind the award-winning feminist film “Babae at Baril,” would be directing their film.
“Kasi first time ko po siyang makaka-trabaho. Napakagaling na director at open siya sa mga suggestions naming actors, kung ano ang gusto naming gawin sa characters namin. Ready siya makipag-collaborate sa mga actors,” the teen star stated.
After “Tenement66,” Francine said she now looks forward to projects of this sort.
“Yes, I think so. Like I said, I’m always down for the challenge, especially when it comes to acting. Kasi gusto ko yung meron akong na-a-unlock na achievement or skill sa buhay ko at sa sarili ko.”
Having been in the business for only six years, Francine admitted that she has a long list of dream projects and dream roles.
“Gusto kong ma-try yung role na secret agent ako or ako naman yung medyo ma-action. Yung parang si Al Pacino sa Scarface tapos si Angeline Jolie sa Salt,” she said.
Catch Francine in "Tenement 66" commercial-free and in high-definition on SKY Pay-Per-View from July 9 until August 9.
"Tenement 66” is a co-production of Dreamscape Entertainment, an ABS-CBN entertainment unit, and Epicmedia.