‘A Girl + A Guy’: Relatable, fresh, unapologetic representation of relationships today

Erik Matti is one of those filmmakers who make controversial films, who makes movies worth talking about. So it’s interesting that he would go out of his comfort zone to direct a romantic comedy film about the young generation today – a story, from his words, he knows nothing about.

It’s interesting to know what are the initial reactions of the cast after reading the script, which was written by Anj Pessumal.

Carlo Tarobal: “initially ‘nung nakita ko ‘yung script, parang sabi ko, ‘sinulat yata ‘to para sa’kin.’ So sabi ko, ‘game na! Game na ‘to.’ Pagkatapos ko mabasa ‘yung script, naghihintay na lang ako tawagin to Baguio to shoot.’”

Chloe Reyes: ‘Nung nabasa ko siya, shooting day ko. ‘Nung nabasa ko siya parang I want to add my own thing, my own interpretation. With direk Erik Matti, he gave us the total freedom to interpret it the way we want it. Same with Carlo na para siyang sinulat for me. Parang I’m Kath and I’m acting as Chloe.”

Director Erik Matti interjects, “these two, sobrang revelation ‘yung dalawang ‘to. Si Chloe, isipin mo wala sa script ko na maging gymnast siya, pero ngayon inintroduce ko na siya sa movie na gymnast. Malalaman ninyo kung bakit kasi maraming split na ginawa tsaka nag-monkey bars pa ‘yan. Gymnast talaga ‘yan sa sex scene niya.”

Pau Benitez: “Sa totoo lang po, sobrang na-excite ako ‘nung nabasa ko ‘yung script pero nandun talaga ‘yung kaba kasi bago siya for me, kung ano ‘yung ginawa ko dito, first time ko ginawa. Pero sobrang laki talaga ng tiwala ko kay direk and naka-work ko na din kasi sila before so parang for me, sobrang brave niya, nakakatakot siya. Risky din siya gawin at the same time, sobrang worth it niya kasi kwento ‘to ng generation namin. It’s something na magiging proud ako kahit na tumanda ako, naging parte ako ng pelikulang ito.”

Shaun Salvador: ”Initial reaction ko ‘nung nakita ko ‘yung script, nagulat ako direk Erik Matti? Romcom? Kasi action, horror, ganun. So parang, ‘wow!’ Special ‘to kasi parang first time ‘to gagawin ni direk. Ang naisip ko lang ‘nung hindi ko pa nababasa ‘yung script, for sure may twist ‘to.”

Emilio Francisco Perez: “It was nice. I was kind of nervous I can’t memorize everything. Erik really let us like a bit of our own personality on it. So I really like follow the script with my own personality and everything went clean.

“With Pau for example, while we were discussing the love scene between Pau and Rob, si Pau ‘yung padagdag nang padagdag ang gagawin, eh. ‘Eto lang dapat ‘yung sex scene tapos si Pau, ‘direk okay lang ba ganito gawin namin ni Rob?’ ‘Si Jasper and si Alexa, in their scene, I never wrote a script for their scene. It’s a date scene, you know what I did while we were shooting it? They were doing the scene, meet and greet, action, two cameras are shooting both of them. And what I did was, I just shouted keywords na idi-discuss nila. If you don’t have good actors, then no one’s going to pick up ‘yung mga artista na sanay na binibigyan ng mga linya na sakto, hindi mo na magagawa ‘yun sa kanila. Sisigaw lang ako, ’favorite movie!’ Then, si Alexa, ‘so I love movies,’ then sasagot ‘yung isa, ‘well my top movies are,’ ganun. So, si Emilio, the difficult part was, we wrote his scene in English and sometimes, he doesn’t understand it. So I had to work with him in order to work out the context of what he’s saying. How would he say this, how would you tell his story. And a lot of times, this beach sequence nila, it’s just all improvisation. That’s true for most actors, puro improvisation. Si Candice, I only had an idea of the blocking, the sex scene in the kotse, but I had to make them do it kasi hindi ko alam kung kasya ba ‘yan, what’s the best position, director Erik Matti interjects.

Looks like there’s going to be a lot of steamy scenes in the film, but knowing director Erik Matti, it won’t feel like just another sex scene, they will be vital to the development of the film’s story and they will be shot beautifully.

I can’t wait to watch the new Erik Matti movie. I may be hoping the next I see from him would be on the big screen, but A Girl + A Guy looks like something that’s definitely worth our time. And I can’t wait to see how the romance of our generation would look like from his perspective.

A Girl + A Guy will be available for streaming on UPSTREAM starting June 24, 2021, and you can reserve a ticket as early as now via GMovies.

Watch our video coverage of A Girl + A Guy media conference:

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