Pelikula Q&A: Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles’ LJ Reyes
by Jansen Musico
LJ Reyes seems to have found her footing. After years spent shaking off the post-Starstruck stigma and giving birth to her two-year-old bundle of joy, she’s decided to put on new shoes and walk on solid ground. Though still a fixture on mainstream TV, Reyes has stepped into independent cinema.
In 2010, she won Cinemalaya Best Supporting Actress for The Leaving. This year, she returned to the festival playing a hooker in the film adaptation of Eros Atalia’s Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino. Not satisfied, she signed on for special project with acclaimed director Erik Matti, whose Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles comes out next week.
How did you get pulled into the project?
They asked me to appear for a screen test. Direk and the whole production team were there. They called me for a look test with the costumes. Then direk told me [to read the script] and tell him which character I wanted to play. When I read it, I liked Hilda. Ang tapang niya at mabilis siyang kumilos. Among the aswangs, she has a very dominant character.
How hard was it being an aswang?
It’s very difficult, since it was all green screen. Mayroong isang scene na sinabihan ako, “Ops. Ops. Puno na yung katabi mo.” Tapos ako naman, “Sorry direk. ‘Di ko nakikita.” All you get to see is the floor and your co-actors. Mahirap, especially for Lovi and Dingdong. They couldn’t see the creatures they were fighting with.
So everything was in green screen?
Everything. All in all, there were 28 shooting days. It was in a 2,000 sq meter warehouse, and we shot everything inside. They just painted the walls green. They put up a small village. They placed an Owner jeep, a security outpost… actually, yun lang. Naglagay lang sila ng mga yero. It was minimal.
Is this your first time working with green screen?
We used green screens in soaps before, but this is the first time I’m doing something fully shot on green screen. ’Yung bahay lang at props yung totoo, pero ‘yung background, lahat ‘yun CGI na.
Do you like scary movies?
I like watching scary movies. I like Shutter. At the time it was released, it was different. Usually kasi, nakikita mo ‘yung mga multo or ghost or something. Doon kasi, makikita mo lang after mong kumuha ng photo. Natakot talaga ako. Mas gusto ko yung nakikita ko agad kaysa ‘di ko nakikita.
How about Pinoy scary movies?
Ever since I did a horror film for a workshop, hindi na ako masyadong natakot kasi alam ko na what goes on behind it. Pero for this one, iba ‘yung experience. It’s not your usual horror film. It’s a mix of everything: suspense, comedy, horror, drama, action.
You mentioned action. I heard you got a lot of that.
Itong Tiktik is a beginning of a whole new side of me that I want to explore. Lahat ng stunts ko, ako ang gumawa. Naging stuntwoman ako for this film. [Laughs] Before, natutuwa na talaga ako sa female characters who go for it. Dito sa Pilipinas, walang ganoon. If ever madevelop ‘yung ganoong klaseng projects, action for women, gusto kong subukan.
So you want to be the next Cynthia Luster?
[Laughs] Hindi naman. Gusto ko, parang si Michelle Rodriguez.
Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles opens October 17, 2012