Eugene Domingo, Jake Cuenca top bill ‘Tuhog’

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MANILA -- Actress Eugene Domingo is set to return to big screen as she takes the lead role in the Skylight Film and ABS-CBN Film Production's 20th anniversary offering, "Tuhog."


The film is about the connected lives of three struggling people -- the cranky bus barker Fiesta, played by Eugene; Leo Martinez' character Tonio, a confused retired old man; and Caloy, played by Enchong Dee, a young man who preserves his virginity for his girlfriend.

Their complicated lives will be furthered screwed when they figured in a bus accident, driven by actor Jake Cuenca.

According to its director Veronica Velasco, she's happy with the project as they were able to translate the script to the big screen seamlessly given that they only shot the movie for 23 days.

"On a scale of 1 to 10 as how proud I am about this film? I can say na 12 kasi ang hirap-hirap gawin ng pelikulang ito. Actually, hanggang ngayon, nagugulat pa rin ako na nagawa namin siyang tapusin in 23 days despite all the logistical nightmares," said Velasco.

"Tuhog," Velasco added, is inspired by a true story.

"Nasa isip ko na siya early 90's pa kasi I came across this tabloid picture na may several bus passengers na nasaktan dahil sa isang freak road accident. From the start, it was a challenge to pitch, to produce, and to write this movie. It's a daring drama movie about family na seryoso ang tema pero mag-e-enjoy ka," she said.

On Jake's part, he said he's happy to be a part of this anniversary project of his mother network and to be able to work with seasoned actors and actresses in the entertainment industry.

His role as a bus driver wasn't easy, he said. First, he must learn how to drive a real bus and second, he must drive it cautiously as all his co-actors and production team are shooting inside it while on the road.

"Iba talaga siya, nakakatakot at mahirap. Pero masasanay ka rin naman. Bandang dulo medyo magaling na akong magdrive. Marunong na rin sa ilang oras naming nagdrive ng bus. I just learn by doing it and ingatan mo ang mga co-actors mo. Hindi rin madali kasi meron ring mga cameras na sobrang mahal, so kailangan mo talagang ingatan," he said.

Jake recalled that there was one instance when Eugene tumbled inside the bus while he was driving it. The actor said the comedienne was very professional and said that it's all part of the job.

"Pinuntahan ko siya (Eugene) kasi tumilapon talaga siya. Kinabahan ako. Again, Eugene Domingo is a gamer. Okay lang raw sa kanya iyon. Had it been another actress, ewan ko ha. Si Miss Eugene kasi walang kaarte-arte at all. Doing the movie with her was one of the best experiences for me," he added.

The actor said he's happy and proud that he was able to work with Eugene in one project. He praised the comedienne for her superb acting and professionalism.

"The thing about her, macha-challenge ka kasi ang galing talaga niya. Napakahusay niya. Dapat i-challenge mo rin siya para mag-enjoy rin siya sa eksena," Jake said.

As for the movie, Jake said it's something new for the Filipino audience.

"Hindi siya minount as slapstick. Nakakatuwa yung situation pero iba yung approach. Hindi kami nagpapatawa at all. May drama and comedy rin yung movie," he added.

"Tuhog" opens July 17 in theaters nationwide.

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