CREATIVE DIRECTOR: PAUL VILLARIBA
PHOTOGRAPHERS: JERICO MONTEMAYOR & JOGZ DE JESUS
MAKE-UP ARTIST: RHINA MONTEMAYOR
HAIR STYLIST: JAN PATRICK IVAN FROA
STYLING: JOANNA MARIE LIWAG
What's the premise of 'CALL ME ALMA' and who is the character?
From the title itself, ‘CALL ME ALMA,’ the story revolves around my character; her experiences, the people she deals with everyday, the three men Alma has in her life. She was orphaned early in her life, so she had to learn how to survive. Alma works at the bar, because that’s the only thing she knows how to do. She’s been hustling in the hopes to live a better life when Ms. Jaclyn, who claims to be Alma’s mother, suddenly came into picture. The rest you have to find out in the movie hahahaha!
How did Azi Acosta transform herself into Alma?
It’s big thanks to tita Angie, she was the acting coach for ‘CALL ME ALMA.’ She conducted an acting workshop with us, so that we can fully understand our characters better. I think I became Alma naturally as we were shooting the film. In the process, I had a deeper understanding of who Alma is and how I can do her justice as a character.
This marks your third collaboration with accomplished director Mac Alejandre. Can you pinpoint a standout element in 'CALL ME ALMA' that distinguishes it from the previous two films you've worked on together?
Of course the standout here is that it’s a lead-role for me. Playing Alma requires me to be fierce and strong, because that’s who the character is! She has no family to go home to, so she had to be cunning and smart. Hindi siya papayag na api-apihin, matapang siya!
What's the experience working with Ms. Jaclyn Jose? Did she give you any acting advice?
I want to gate-keep most of her advice hahahahaha! But I got one piece of advice from Ms. Jaclyn that I want to share with my fellow actresses. Ang pinaka-sinabi sa’akin ni Ms. Jaclyn sakin ay no’ong bago palang daw siya, bawat pelikulang ginagawa niya ay hindi raw pwedeng hindi siya magaling.
Can you share an interesting story that happened on-set of 'CALL ME ALMA?'
I remember that one time we were shooting at 3AM; it was a heavily-emotional scene and Alma was crying. Tapos ewan ko, parang nadala ako sa eksena. Nagtuloy tuloy na yung iyak ko hanggang 5AM hahahahaha! The following day, my eyes were severely swollen, na-delay tuloy kami ng 30 minutes hahahaha! Talagang hagulgol kasi yung scene, kaya the next day yung mata ko parang kinagat ng ipis!
Among all the movies you've done in your filmography, which one stands out as your favorite?
They are all different in their own ways, so I can’t say I have a favorite. But if I had to pick, of course it would be my first hit ‘PAMASAHE’, and ‘CALL ME ALMA.’ Pero pantay pantay yung tingin ko sakanila!
What's one unique experience you encountered while working on 'CALL ME ALMA' that you haven't come across in your other film projects?
If I have to pick one unique factor in ‘CALL ME ALMA,’ it would be the mother and daughter relationship of me and Ms. Jaclyn. ‘CALL ME ALMA’ is an acting piece written by our very own national artist Ricky Lee, directed by multi-awarded Mac Alejandre, with Mon Confiado, Josef Elizalde and Gold Aceron as supporting actors. That cast and crew alone is a testament that this film wouldn’t disappoint!
Azi has come a long way since her debut lead role in ‘PAMASAHE.’ Now, with ‘CALL ME ALMA’ being her first feature in Cinemalaya, her future shines brilliantly as she journeys towards ultimate stardom. The anticipation for ‘CALL ME ALMA’ is palpable — soon to be available on the no. 1 pinoy streaming platform Vivamax, and we’re sure to see it on release!
Want to get a more intimate experience with Azi? Check out her store in VMXclusives!