CHERIE GIL & Co. – Speak of classy contravida and Cherie Gil’s name is right away mentioned. She who made life difficult for Sharon Cuneta in, among other films, “Bituing Walang Ningning.” Smart, witty, articulate, calculating.
But let it be said that onstage Cherie is diva like no other – as Maria Callas and other prima donnas. A leading lady.
Who can follow in Ms. Gil’s classy footsteps?
A few names come to mind: Glaiza de Castro, Iza Calzado, Aiko Melendez, Alex de Rossi, Andi Eigenmann (Cherie’s niece).
Come to think of it, KC Concepcion will make a classy contravida, contra in a starring role.
VIDA-CONTRA – Yes, one can be a villain in a lead role.
Richard Gomez recalls that in Chito Roño’s “Dahas,” he was offered the love interest of Maricel Soriano. Tonton Gutierrez would have been the villain.
At the time, he didn’t want to shoot for weeks on end, as the leading man-role required. Richard requested that he and Tonton exchange roles. Granted.
Richard was so convincing as contravida that he won a best actor award for “Dahas.”
In “Fatima Buen,” directed by Mario O’Hara, John Regala shed his villain persona and instead played a cop hopelessly in love with Kris Aquino (title role). John proved to one and all he could be good guy onscreen… and won an Urian and Star trophies for it.
Kris and Zoren Legaspi were also good and merited Urian nominations. Zoren was sort of taken aback by the Urian nomination, asking, “Totoo ba ito, o ek-ek lang?
PAST VILLAINS – From way back, there were already classy contravidas.
The likes of Rosa Rosal, Carol Varga, Rebecca de Rio, Tessie Martinez, Pacita del Rio.
Among men, there were Eddie Garcia (still very much around), Fernando Royo, Gil de Leon (father of Christopher), Johnny Monteiro, Charlie Davao (father of Ricky), Subas Herrero.