Katrina makes big move

PNS — One of the most misunderstood showbiz personalities, Katrina Halilli has finally mustered enough guts to assert herself, meet her detractors head on and put to rest every negative issue that has hounded her in the past.

This brave move has certainly endeared Katrina to many, especially those who didn’t know her very well. “I guess it’s about time to speak up, to clear things and to set the record straight, “ she says, more confidently now than ever.

Playing villain in almost every role certainly took its toll on the young voluptuous actress, who is really sweet and fragile in real life. “Pag contravida ang packaging mo, parang lagi kang defensive, lagi kang may kailangang iexplain. Madali kang husgahan, mahirap kang maunawaan lalo na ng mga fans.”

That’s why when the opportunity for Katrina to take on the protagonist’s role in the afternoon soap Magdusa Ka, she grabbed it without even thinking twice. “I guess that was the tuning point in my career. When my producers took the risk and offered me to be the good girl in the series, they didn’t realize that they did me a big favor, I mean they turned my life around.”

The afternoon drama has churned in very high ratings, prompting film producer Orly Ilacad of OctoArts Films to offer Katrina an irresistible contract deal. “Katrina has what it takes, she only needs to be given the right projects,” explains Ilacad at the recent press conference to welcome Katrina to the OctoArts family.

It’s not as if Ilacad just woke up one morning and thought of signing up a new star. “It took months of careful observation, planning and decision-making. We followed the career of Katrina and we saw the vast potential in her. At the moment, the throne for a sexy-dramatic actress is vacant so we thought she might be the one to fit in,” adds, Ilacad.

For starters, Katrina will be shooting her first movie soon, with no less than filmmaker Jose Javier Reyes writing the script and directing the movie. Titled One Night Only, the film has been accepted as one of the entries to the annual year-end all Filipino film festival and Katrina will surely get one of the prized roles.

“I will play the role of a mistress,“ volunteers Katrina, “ it’s exciting, you know, I can think of more than a dozen character studies.”

The movie One Night Only might serve as the appetizer to Katrina’s second coming, because what she’s really looking forward to is her next film, where she will have the honor of being in the title role of Miss X, a remake of a 1979 movie by Gil Portes starring Vilma Santos and Mark Gil, shot in The Netherlands.

“I can feel the pressure as early as now,“ she admits.“ Since I will definitely be compared to Miss Vilma Santos. I’m glad that I have loads of time to prepare and I promise to give my all so my producers will say that they made the right decision.”

Katrina isn’t sure who will play the role first essayed by Mark Gil but there is a clamor to cast Sid Lucero, Mark Gil’s real-life son, who is being touted as the next most important dramatic actor of Philippine cinema.

As one of the more celebrated journalists remarked, “ That role should be given to Sid and Sid alone. He will be able to provide the balance to Katrina’s vulnerability as an actress. That can be a lethal combination and it will be a good marketing tool for the movie.”

Katrina considers this new developments in her life as blessings, answers to her fervent prayers. “Matagal din naman akong naghintay, di ba?”

Katrina didn’t win this year’s search for the sexiest woman (that’s just according to a small fraction of men’s magazine patrons) but she doesn’t mind. “I feel sexy inside out. I try to live a healthy lifestyle, I exercise, I think positive and happy thoughts. I work hard.”

On the romantic front, Katrina complains that she is without an inspiration. “I had only three boyfriends: one during high school, then Andrew Schimmer (a tattooed mestizo actor wannabe) and Bullet (Jalosjos, a scion from the powerful Jalosjos political clan of Mindanao). But I’m not in a hurry, darating, yan, nakakalungkot lang minsan, natural lang di ba?’

What’s important to Katrina now is to seize every moment. “I am building a house in Palawan for my family. That entails a lot of money so I’m trying to save for it. Being an actress is not permanent, at least someday, I’d have a house to call my own, far from the maddening crowd in the city. And if I’m lucky, I’d find a man who will take good care of me and my future.”

Katrina Halili has truly grown up. And she’s making all the right moves now.