Isn’t it interesting to know how a Hollywood artist sees the beauty of our own Filipina actresses? Watch how multi-awarded actor Cory Kays was put on the spot by Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco during an exclusive interview on his first time in the Philippines. His reactions to Filipinas are gold!
On location in Manila for the pre-production of his upcoming sports drama/romance film ‘Titleholder,’ Kays got to choose among Kathryn Bernardo, Nadine Lustre, Liza Soberano, Erich Gonzales, Lovi Poe, Jennylyn Mercado, Marian Rivera, and Maine Mendoza. Find out who got to be their respective “titleholders” in the special video below.
Cory Kays is in collaboration with Filipino-American director and producer Danny Aguilar, who is based in Dallas but was born and raised in Pangasinan. Kays, on another hand, has performed leading roles in 12 featured films and has appeared in various television shows and commercials. Despite his young career, he has already received accolades including Best Lead Actor, Best Hero, and Best Villain. He is from Nixa, Missouri.
Follow Cory Kays through the following social media accounts:
- Facebook: @RealCoryKays
- Twitter: @RealCoryKays
- Instagram: @RealCoryKays
For the film ‘Titleholder,’ he plays the lead role of a street-tough American boxer who travels to the Philippines to enhance his skills—and unexpectedly falls in love with an aspiring beauty queen.
Blanco, a street-tough American boxer, contently makes his living as a journeyman fighting in rundown bars, gymnasiums, and small convention centers. Tired of seeing him battered for little to no money, his best friend Alvin asks what he is fighting for – a question Blanco is unable to answer. Alvin encourages Blanco to relocate to the Philippines in order to train under to the tutelage of Benjie, the pupil of Alvin’s late grandfather. Initially resistant to the idea, Blanco embarks on a journey into the Philippines which begins with a standoff against a confrontational cock-fighting rooster. He is then thrust into Filipino culture by Benjie and Alvin’s grandmother, Victoria. Benjie arranges for Blanco to be an honorary foreign judge at a local beauty pageant where he awkwardly meets Luzviminda, an aspiring beauty queen. The two begin an unlikely friendship budding into romance. Blanco and Luzviminda find themselves on the same path to redemption leading to a coveted beauty pageant and a hostile boxing showdown with current champion, Magtanggol. Two titles are on the line as Blanco begins to learn what he’s fighting for.
Stay updated with ‘Titleholder’ through the following profiles:
- Facebook: @TitleholderMovie
- Twitter: @TitleholderFilm
- Instagram: @TitleholderFilm
Diversity in Hollywood still has a long way to go, especially in representing a subsection of the Asian-American community – Filipino Americans. Although the representation of Asian-Americans is still a work in progress, the success of the movie “Parasite” as the first foreign language film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture signifies that diversity is in demand and has proven films with subtitles and local language content have appeal.
I was involved in the conceptualization and story development of Titleholder, a sports drama mixed with romance and a cross-cultural flare. Titleholder highlights the most popular past times in the Philippines: boxing, beauty pageants, basketball and karaoke.
As a storyteller, nothing is more compelling and authentic for me than telling stories that hit home. Titleholder is very personal to me because it represents my whole being: heritage, culture, family, people and the Philippines. I cannot think of a better way to showcase my heritage than in the form of a motion picture.
I immigrated to the United States from the Philippines three decades ago. The transition of becoming acclimated to and fully assimilating in American culture and society scared me. It was quite a struggle, but as time passed, I found my way and built my family. I now call this adopted country my home. It is through these experiences that I relate to this story.
In many ways, my journey is similar to the journey of our protagonist. Blanco, a street-tough American boxer, travels to the Philippines to train and in the process learns what he’s fighting for as he unexpectedly falls in love with an aspiring beauty queen.
In directing this movie, I’ve been privileged to show the Philippines through my eyes and through the eyes of Blanco, so the audience can experience how he navigates this new-found place and adopted family. Blanco’s courage, determination and resilience are bound to strike a chord as people can appreciate and relate to his struggles and his outlook on life.
Each of us is a Titleholder, much like a boxer or a beauty queen, but in different capacities. Just like our tag line “Everyone needs something to fight for,” everyone has a mission, advocacy or life’s purpose. It is my goal to put the Philippines on the proverbial Hollywood map and for people all over the world to recognize that the Philippines has more to offer than gorgeous beaches, warm hospitality, close family ties and delicious cuisine.