After a well-received debut film performance for Shift, which was part of the Cinema One Originals 2014, Yeng Constantino is back on the silver screen with an entry to this year’s Cine Filipino Film Festival—The Eternity Between Seconds. First of all, can I just say that I am so in love with the title of this film? What an awesome, catchy and intriguing title, right? It was certainly intriguing enough to get the pop rock superstar on board this project.
It must’ve also had something to do with the challenge that came with it, as she portrayed a character that was almost the exact opposite of her."Yung sa Shift po kasi, yung character dun is very much like me lalo na yung time na yun. Very boyish, musician, mahilig sa rock music, fiery na person at very passionate. Syempre nagiba na ng konti nung nag-asawa ako but malapit talaga siya sa akin." reveals Yeng, "Pero for The Eternity Between Seconds, si Sam, ang layo talaga kuya (yes, she calls me kuya), kasi si Sam mas kalma lang siya. Mas close siya sa mom niya, ako mas close sa tatay ko. Hindi niya alam ang gagawin sa buhay nya. Ako as a person, I’m very determined when I know what I want. When I want something done parang may fixation ako, that it has to be done agad. With the help of (the director) after our workshop, naintindihan ko na rin kung saan nanggagaling si Sam."
For singers or performers, a change of image or sound is always good to break the monotony. Unpredictability is a desirable trait in this business, to keep your fans and followers excited. In Yeng’s sophomore film, she is finally getting her hands on real acting or role-playing as she takes on a character which is a 180 degree turn from her real persona. "Nung una, takot na takot talaga ako kasi paano kung 'di ko mabigyan ng hustisya yung karakter? Pakiramdam ko walang something in me na maididikit ko sa kung ano ang pinagdadaanan nya," she admits, "Pero nung nagworkshop kami, mas naloosen up ako. Mas naintindihan ko kung saan sya nanggagaling.
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If Yeng is then seriously venturing into this field of acting, her sophomore film is perfect for the rock diva to launch a new career path. Sophomore ventures are pivotal in the sense that it will consequentially prove if you are worthy to last in your current trajectory or not. Coincidentally, it's also the sophomore film of her director Alec Figuracion who has properly steered Yeng in the right direction, earning nothing but praise from the Rock Diva. "Ang ginawa namin, naghanap kami ng parallel na scenario ni Sam sa buhay ko para makuha ko yung similar emotion na yun. Kunyari may isang scene, ibang pangyayari sa buhay ko yung iniisip ko," Yeng relates, "Like yung scene sa banyo na heavy drama. I was crying while talking to my lola, ang inaalala ko nun na emosyon ay yung ilang beses na akong narereject at feeling ko wala na akong chance makapasok sa industry. Yun yung method na ginamit namin ni Direk. Parallel emotions.’
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They’re both lucky though, that they have veteran actor, TJ Trinidad, on board, who adds more acting chops to the project. In my opinion, TJ, is one of the best actors of this generation. Yeng reveals that she picked up more lessons from her scene partner whom she shares the screen with for most part of the film: "May isang part sa film na mga 10 minutes lang kaming naguusap ni kuya TJ. Sobrang haba ng mga dialogue! Ang sarap pag yung katrabaho mo sobrang beterano na sa industriya. For some reason, parang nakakahawa lang kung gaano sya ka-natural magbitaw ng lines," Yeng reveals, "Tuloy ako rin, nagrereact lang sa kanya which is, sabi ni Direk sa kin, that’s real acting: when you just react to whatever he’s saying. Pakikinggan mo lang mabuti yung sinasabi nya at sasagutin mo lang ng as natural as you can."
I think it’s just about correct to assume that the acting bug has bitten our Pop Rock Superstar so I asked what other role she would want to portray next. ‘May naiisip ako na idevelop na thriller. I’ve been watching NetFlix films and may napanood ako yung ‘Circles’. Parang low budget lang and nasa isang place lang sila tapos isa isa silang namamatay. Parang ang sarap maging part ng ganung pelikula. Kahit anong role ok sa akin. Kung ako ba yung hinahabol or yung killer. Ayoko ng horror kasi matatakutin ako sa supernatural stuff pero thriller, yun, gusto ko yun.’
From talky dramas to a thriller, that is quite a range in filmography that our rock star thespian is targeting! From what I gather, she’s dead set on getting whatever she sets her eyes on. As we end our interview, Yeng suddenly remembers another dream role of hers. ‘I wanna be part of a historical film like Heneral Luna. Naging fan kasi talaga ako ng pelikulang yun so kahit anong role sana, okay na sa kin.’ Paging TBA Studios—you now know who you can cast for the 3rd part of your trilogy!
'The Eternity Between Seconds’ is part of CineFilipino Film Festival 2018 which runs from May 9-15 at select cinemas.
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Photographs by Vyn Radovan and courtesy of Eternity Between Seconds