Tom and Albie go indie

Tom Rodriguez (MNS Photo)

Tom Rodriguez (MNS Photo)

Tom Rodriguez and Albie Casiño are stepping away from mainstream fare, taking on character-driven roles in the indie “Magtanggol.”

In the movie, Tom plays Juancho Magtanggol, a popular senator being groomed for presidency in the coming elections.

The actor finds the role challenging. “Mahirap na nga alagaan ang pamilya, paano pa kaya kapag meron kang maraming constituents? I can’t imagine the phantoms they face each day,” he said.

The film also tackles the plight of OFWs and Tom admitted “hindi ko alam na may ganung karanasan ang ating mga kababayan…”

As takeaway, Tom believes every Filipino should work towards helping the country become a better place, making sure they elect the right officials like in the May elections.

“It would be a crucial one because the coming years will really shape and determine the future of the country,” he said. “I urge everyone to at least exercise their right (to vote).”

Starring in an indie film is refreshing for Tom.

“Kasi you can really think about your character. Kumbaga open sila sa suggestions. Although it’s the same thing din naman sa mainstream. Ang iba lang siguro eh, ’yung time constraints,” he said.

Winning awards, however, is not his primary concern.

“Naging sakit ko kasi noon ’yun eh. I wanted to draw ng napakandang drawing pero blank ’yung papel. So since then, naisip ko na we are not here to compete. You just need to have fun and I was able to do that in this film” he said.

Albie, on the other hand, plays the role of Jonathan Magtanggol, the family’s so-called black sheep.

Aside from participating in a film that could raise political consciousness among viewers, Albie appreciates it that he can approach director Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez to give his ideas since the latter has pretty much given him free reign to develop his character.

Another memorable experience for him was getting slapped by co-star Dina Bonnevie in a crucial scene.

“Ayaw niya kasi ako sampalin nang totoo. Kaya sabi ko kay direk na sabihan si Ms. Dina na sampalin ako nang totoo,” he recalled.

Albie has only good words for the whole cast. “All of them are wonderful actors. It’s an honor to be working with them in this movie,” he said.

He describes Tom as someone generous who helped him in some of the scenes. Tom finds Albie “quiet but kind.”

“We have our own personalities pero in the end, nagkakasundo kaming lahat,” Albie said. (MNS)

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