Movie Profile

Movie Profile

by Pablo A. Tariman

In this presscon for a horror film directed by Wenn Deramas, Iza Calzado sums up her 13 years in showbiz as an amazing ride into a new world, full of work and daunting challenge and with her share of good luck. “Certainly, this year has been good to me. I hope this is just the beginning of a more spectacular ride with ABS CBN.”

Iza Calzado as the grieving mother in "Maria Leonora Teresa." Her little dream  is to get better as an actress.

Iza Calzado as the grieving mother in “Maria Leonora Teresa.” Her little dream is to get better as an actress.

Meanwhile, projects are pouring one after another. Of late, she is Atty. Bianca Magpantay in the teleserye, “Hawak Kamay” opposite Piolo Pascual and in “Maria Leonora Teresa,” she is the mother named Faith who has to cope with death in the family.

Iza admits she isn’t a mother in real life but she can connect very well with the sense of loss of her character.

For one, she has lost both her parents and she is a mother figure to her 11-year old step-brother. “In this sense, it isn’t too difficult stepping into the role of a mother. I loved my mother enough to know what a good mother is made of. From my father who has also moved on, I learned to be positive with every blow that you go through in life. Unlike my character in this movie, I dealt with loss in an amazingly positive way in real life.”

Iza Calzado with Piolo Pascual in "Hawak Kamay." She has logged 13 years in showbiz

Iza Calzado with Piolo Pascual in “Hawak Kamay.” She has logged 13 years in showbiz

To be sure, “Maria Leonora Teresa” isn’t her first horror film. She figured in an acclaimed film “Sigaw” with a Hollywood version entitled, “The Echo.” She was in one edition of “Shake, Rattle and Roll” and many hosting, dubbing and acting assignments later, she has learned what it takes to go along in the business.

She doesn’t have a ritual before she faces the camera but she makes sure she does the basic ones. “I get my makeup done and do other things necessary for my role. If I have heavy scenes, I avoid being flippant on the set. Because in real life, I am very makulit and madaldal. I have a tendency to lose focus if I get caught in the tsikahan. So I observe self-discipline. I say a prayer if I can. Otherwise if I lose control of myself, I will just be laughing and laughing on the set.”

Iza carved a well-marked part as the distressed mayor’s wife in Jun Lana’s acclaimed film, “Barber’s Tale” and she has since then been obsessed with getting better as an actress. “Actually I have not seen that part where audiences screamed during my suicide scene. I was pulled out early to do some taping during the premiere night. But I did prepare for the part. I had several reading sessions with Ate Shamaine (Centenera) where we discussed and analyzed the character and why her life looks the way it does in the story. I learned a lot from these discussions and it helped me get to my character. One of my insecurities as an actress is that I never went to acting schools and didn’t have any stint in legitimate theater. Every time I do my part in any film, I always feel there is something amiss. So I have to work hard because I wanted to be different in that indie film.”

Iza Calzado with  Direk Wenn Deramas and other members of the cast of "Maria Leonora Teresa." She is not a mother in real life but she is mother figure to her 11-year old stepbrother.

Iza Calzado with Direk Wenn Deramas and other members of the cast of “Maria Leonora Teresa.” She is not a mother in real life but she is mother figure to her 11-year old stepbrother.

She didn’t have a hard time working with Direk Deramas because they worked together in her first teleserye in ABS CBN. “I always enjoy talking and catching up with Direk who is always fun to be with. What I notice in his directorial approach is that he brings out the best in his actors. That is a welcome exposure and challenge for someone like me. I am a little bit like a baby when working with my director. I always expect to be guided but I also know directors can only do so much. That guidance is important to me because I know directors know the bigger picture and they know the kind of story they want to tell. I expect them to be in command of the ship and I am just one of the sailors.”

Her pre-showbiz life wasn’t anything ideal.

“Before showbiz beckoned and I was 19 at the time, I didn’t know what to do with life. That was the phase when I have no direction and I felt completely lost. But with showbiz, I found the motivation to become a better person. When I lost my Mom, I told myself I want to be a better person so she can be proud of me. My decision to stay put in showbiz and try to be better were the motivating factors.”

She admits she has big dreams and smaller ones. The big ones she cannot share but of the little ones she has a clear idea of. “I want to do more films and hopefully in the years to come, I want to get better in my craft and be remembered as an excellent interpreter. I know that will take some time but I am working on that. What I want to achieve as an actress is to get better and hopefully, I realize that.”

“Maria Leonora Teresa” starring Iza Calzado, Jody Sta. Maria and Zanjoe Marudo, among others, opens on September 17.

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