New actor Tony Labrusca finds it an honor to share co-lead role with the legendary and iconic actor Eddie Garcia via his debut film, “ML” (short for “Martial Law”), an official entry to Cinemalaya 2018.
In “ML”, written and directed by Benedict Mique, Tony plays a sheltered teen-age boy who experiences “Martial Law” first hand – from a retired military soldier with slight dementia who believes it’s still the Martial Law era.
What can Tony say about working with the great Eddie Garcia?
“He’s the man, he’s a legend. The fact that I was able to work with him, I’m such a new actor. It was such a humbling experience for me, and I have to admit, I was very intimidated.
“I stepped in there (on the set), not knowing what will gonna happen, how our relationship be like, but it was really humbling and I learned a lot.
“This is an experience that I will always be able to tell people one day when I grow up, that ‘I did a movie with Eddie Garcia!’” says the proud newcomer.
How did he prepare for his role?
“I’m a new actor, so I prepared by going through the script with Direk Benedict Mique and really evaluating every scene. He was always there for me, guiding me. That’s how we prepared.
“We had a really symbiotic relationship, kasi, I couldn’t do any other scenes without him, and obviously, I’m his main actor, and so we definitely helped each other out. I’m really blessed that he chose and trusted a new actor like me. So, we just prepared by working through it together.
“Direk Benedict just made us watch videos, ‘coz there are certain scenes that we needed to feel, like the horrible things that happened to people.”
What was his realization after doing the film?
“I think my realization now is that, you just have to make an open mind. Ako kasi, I’m not really a political person.
“But I think, after watching this movie, it’s just good to be very aware about your surroundings. I think, that’s the biggest thing. More than people taking sides, or to be aggressive or inactive, I think it’s just about knowing your surroundings, being more aware and just educating yourself.”
How was the over-all experience doing his very first independent film in a co-lead role with Eddie Garcia?
“I love it! I love it so much. It’s a completely different vibe.
“I wanna encourage everybody out there, that if you’re an aspiring actor, and you think that mainstream is the only way to make it, I think it’s important that you give indie a shot, and you’ll realize a whole new respect for the art!” says Tony Labrusca.
“ML” will be screened at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and select Ayala Malls Cinemas during the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival run on August 4-12.