MANILA — "Hindi ako martir!"
These were Lovi Poe's words as she described the challenge of portraying the titular character in "Malaya," iWant's latest original film that premiered on May 28.
Poe can't be further in personality from her character, specifically when it comes to love, the actress said in a virtual media conference for the Dreamscape Entertainment production.
"I've never loved like Malaya. While watching the film, as a girl, ang hirap aminin, I'm more of a Iago," she said, referring to the character by Zanjoe Marudo.
In the film by Concepcion Macatuno ("Glorious"), Malaya and Iago — both OFWs in Italy — have a whirlwind romance until the latter reveals he is actually engaged.
"That's why noong first time, sinasabi ko kay Direk, naiinis ako kay Laya. Bakit hindi niya kaya mag-move on? Hindi niya nakikita 'yung worth niya," Poe said.
"Instead of jumping from one relationship to another trying to move on, trying to find the right person, she stayed single and alone."
Admittedly "cold" and "tough" in real life — especially if faced with a similar predicament as Malaya — Poe said she at first had difficulty getting into character.
"It is hard because you have to find something na pagkakapitan mo, to believe you would do this in real life. Kumabaga 'yung mga decision ni Laya, hindi ko siya mabigyan ng hustisya before," she said.
Despite initially disagreeing with her character's decisions, Poe said she eventually understood Malaya's situation — short of revealing plot details. She credited her progress to her director as well as Marudo's portrayal.
"Now that I've seen the movie, doon ko masasabi na minahal ko si Laya, because now I understand and now I know how it is to love the way she loved," Poe said.