They may be ex-lovers now but actress Bela Padilla and film producer Neil Arce have still maintained a good friendship and working relationship.
This they proved in their latest film collaboration, “Last Night.” The idea for the film was hatched when they were still together, but even after their breakup they still pushed on with the project.
Padilla wrote the movie’s script, while Arce produced it.
The entertainment press caught up with the ex-lovers on Thursday’s press conference for the movie together with cast members Piolo Pascual and Toni Gonzaga. Film Director Joyce Bernal and co-producer, actor Boy 2 Quizon, were also present at the press briefing.
To clarify, Padilla said the movie was not based on any real-life story and “is completely fictional.” She added that the title of the movie was given by Bernal. Her original working title was “Last Chance.”
Arce opened up that “Last Night” was both a passion and a dream project for both of them. In the minds of the film’s creators, Pascual and Gonzaga were their choices to do the leads. But even before they thought of who to star in the film, they already wanted Bernal to be its director.
“This project is very important sa’kin. ‘Eto kasi talaga ‘yung project na two, three years namin inintay bago gawin, with the right casting, hindi kami pumayag na hindi namin gusto ‘yung casting, ‘yung director, kung san pupunta ‘yung buong pelikula, tama lahat ng timing, medyo baby project talaga namin,” said Arce.
Still puzzling perhaps to some, the former lovers were asked how they were able to continue on with their professional work even after parting ways.
Arce simply said, “Wala naman po kasi kaming ginawang masama sa isa’t-isa. Di naman kami 18 years old na magsusulat kami ng masasama sa pader tungkol sa isa’t-isa. I think we’re both mature enough to work together.”
How the idea of the film was conceptualized
Just very simply, Padilla and Arce were on a road trip and just instantaneously, the idea of the story came to their minds.
“Nag-da-drive kami nun, sabe ko kay Bela, what if two people met on a bridge about to commit suicide and they accidentally talked to each other kasi nagkasabay sila, then ‘yun na,” said Arce.
She may be the script writer, but Padilla gave the credit back to her ex-boyfriend for being the other brains behind the film.
“He was one of the persons who conceptualized the movie with me. Siya ‘yung kabatuhan ko ng mga ideas, hindi ko din naman siya masusulat ng ganito kung hindi din dahil kay Neil,” said Padilla.
Oddly enough, it was actually Arce’s rumored girlfriend, actress Angel Locsin, who encouraged him to pitch the story to ABS-CBN’s film production unit, Star Cinema.
“Si Angel ang nagsabe sakin na mag-pitch sa Star kasi kinwento ko sakanya yung storya,” said Arce.
Padilla and Arce’s break-up hit the headlines early this year. In past interviews, the actress said that they held no bad blood against each other and that they remained best friends. She has also always mentioned that she only has the best intentions for her ex-boyfriend.
Arce has produced some of Padilla’s movies including “Luck at First Sight” and “10000 Hours.”
Produced by Star Cinema, Spring Films and N2, “Last Night” is set to hit cinemas nationwide starting Sept. 27. /ra
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