By PETERSON GONZAGA
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Filipino-Australian actress/TV show host Anne Curtis is considered one of the most popular artist in the Philippines. She can endorse any product and it becomes a must have for the masses. Her popularity is on par with Britney Spears when Spears was at the top of her game. And yet she is virtually unknown in Hollywood.
Francis dela Torre, who wrote and directed “Blood Ransom,” in which Curtis stars, hopes to change that.
“I hope that this may be a vehicle in which Anne can be like a Penelope Cruz, who is still popular and respected in Spain, but who also has a made a name for herself in Hollywood,” he says.
Curtis, of course, agrees. She says she is comfortable with the career and success she has carved out for herself, adding that it’s a little daunting to step out of her comfort zone.
In “Blood Ransom,” her first Hollywood film, she plays Crystal, a femme fatale who wants to escape the clutches of her boyfriend Roman (Caleb Hunt). When an attempted kidnapping is bungled, she takes the opportunity to get away from him. The situation becomes complicated when Crystal realizes she has fallen in love with one of the kidnappers, Jeremiah (Alexander Dreymon). This leaves her and Jeremiah on the run from Roman and the other kidnappers. At the same time, Crystal has to deal with morphing into a vampire, unbeknownst to her.
Dressed in a bright blue Kenzo dress, with her straight hair flowing to her shoulders, Curtis explains the reservations and excitement of taking on her first Hollywood film role.
Q: Did you have any reservations doing “Blood Ransom?”
Curtis: Of course. I guess (it would be the same) for anybody who hasn’t worked outside of the Philippines before. But at the same time I was very curious and eager because I knew it would be a great learning experience for me. Just auditioning, it was scary for me because I haven’t auditioned in so long. As soon as I got over it, I realized that this is actually really fun. Then I got (the part). It was like starting from square one.
Q: Being comfortable and successful in the Philippines, do you see yourself doing more Hollywood films?
Curtis: I’m super comfortable there in Manila. But actually, you don’t really have to leave anymore. You just send in (audition) tapes.
Q: How did you become involved with “Blood Ransom?”
Curtis: I was asked by my friend Samantha Rochelle if I wanted to audition for an indie film. I was like, “Yeah. Sure!” And I did. I got it. I asked permission from my mother company, Viva Films, if I could do it. They were pretty game and then I asked permission from my mother studio ABS-CBN, then they said okay. But I was only allowed to leave (The Philippines) for about a month.
Q: Was that exciting to get approval from your mother company and studio?
Curtis: Oh yeah. But I wasn’t allowed to say what it was for. That was so hard. I wanted to share it with everyone already.
Q: When you finally were able to share it on your television show “It’s Showtime!” how exciting was that?
Curtis: Yeah, I was able to share the photos and clips. It was just like, “Oh my God, it’s really happening.”
Q: Tell us what drew you to the role of Crystal?
Curtis: For the mere fact of what Crystal is. I was so curious. What is she? Is she vampire or a monster? And I wasn’t getting any answers from the writer/director. That was all part of me portraying the role not knowing what I am or what’s happening to me.
Q: This is your first time playing a vampire. How exciting was that and were there any challenges playing that role?
Curtis: A lot of challenges. There was a lot. But it was fun. I mean, excitement took over the nervousness. I just had so much fun playing Crystal.
Q: How was the mood on the set?
Curtis: It was great. It was a lot of fun. For certain scenes, everyone kept their distance. It was a lot more of the serious scenes. But when it was the off days, it was great hanging out with everyone.
Q: Were there any fun or challenging scenes that you filmed?
Curtis: There are a lot. The whole movie I thought was very challenging. But you know what, at the end of the day, it was really a great learning experience for me that I’ll know that I’ll be able to take home and share with my other colleagues there in Manila.
Q: We’re sure that your diehard fans will come out to support your film, but for those who aren’t familiar with you, why should they come out to watch this film?
Curtis: “Blood Ransom” is not your typical vampire movie. It’s a lot more different and has a lot more depth. It’s a totally different take on a love story between a vampire and a human being, and the journey as to what you would go to sacrifice for the one that you love.
Q: If Hollywood comes knocking at your door after this film plays in theaters, would you entertain that thought of taking on more roles?
Curtis: I mean, why not? I think that would be great with perfect timing.