RUSSIAN ACTION STAR IN HOLLYWOOD ACTION FLICK BEING SHOT IN MANILA
by Pablo A. Tariman
The Philippines as land of happy people is not lost on Russian action star Alexander Nevsky who easily noted the country’s extra warm hospitality.
Here to shoot an action film called “Showdown in Manila,” Nevsky — who is also known as the Russian Arnold Schwarzenegger – said rich or poor, Filipinos smile a lot. “You are very positive people and I am not surprised you are known as the fifth happiest people on earth.”
A three-time Mr. Universe title holder and author of bestselling books on body-building, Nevsky said he has heard many good things about the Philippines from other film producers and when he decided to co-produce and star in his own action film, there was no doubt in his mind that the location had to be the Philippines.
He adds: “This is the first time I set foot in the Philippines and already I like it here. The women are so beautiful and the men pretty strong. I really hope the world premiere of this film will be in Manila as well.”
Nevsky’s credits in action flick include “Ündisputed,” “Moscow Heat,” “Treasure Raiders” and “Magic Man,” among others.
Directing “Showdown in Manila” is Fil-American martial arts actor Mark Dacascos with principal photography by Rudy Harbon. In the cast are Filipino actors namely Tia Carrere, Jake Macapagal, Mon Confiado, Will Devaughn and Iza Calzado, among others.
The international cast include Dacascos as Matthew Wells, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Aldric Cole, Oliver Gruner, Casper Van Dien, Matthias Hues as Dorn, Monsour del Rosario as Don “The Dragon” Wilson, the Queen of Martial Arts, Cynthia Rothrock, Tia Carrere as Sheryl, and Natalie Gubina as Alison.
Dacascos finds his transition from actor to director a natural progression. “I have a vision of what I’d like for this film and am blessed to be surrounded by a very experienced and talented cast and crew. I trust them and when I need help, because I will. My wish is that we give the audience an entertaining time. I think our cast is fantastically eclectic, and I can’t wait to see how they’ll all fit together up on the big screen. I’m playing a supporting role which shoots for two days.”
The Fil-American director said “Showdown” is his fifth project and the reason he agreed to shoot it in the Philippines is that he felt the previous films didn’t do justice to the natural attractions of the country.
Tia Carrere said it feels so good to be back in the country and couldn’t resist the best of Filipino food. “The Filipino food I think is second to none. On the other hand, I think the best strength of Filipino is their ability to be assimilated in all kinds of cultures and still hold their own. That is why Filipino actors also stand out. They can blend in any production without losing their identity.”
Nevsky said he is happy and proud of the international cast of “Showdown in Manila.”
He concluded: “Seeing an international cast is like watching members of a symphony orchestra in action. They come from different countries with different cultures. But once they work, you will be amazed how beautifully they blend together under one conductor which is the director.”