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EXCLUSIVE: Anne Curtis On Why MMFF Entry "Aurora" Is Not Your Typical Horror Movie

 

Times have changed. The local film industry has evolved, and along with it, the Filipino audience. Gone are the days when majority of storylines revolved around a man and a mistress—today, more narratives are being explored, more genres being touched, more scripts being written and executed. Today, actors and actresses are given more unconventional roles they can pour their craft into. 

These are sentiments Anne Curtis conveyed as she sat on her makeup chair in the middle of a late-night shoot. At half past 9, the actress still looked radiant as ever, flashing her signature red lips and bold smile at us as we chatted. 

She had just uploaded the official trailer of her newest movie Aurora on Instagram a few days back. ”This isn't a screamfest film but it will give you 'THAT' feeling,” the actress quips. The two-minute goosebump-inducing video had people curious. Excited. This is a different take on Filipino horror, some might even think.

 

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In an exclusive interview with Metro.Style, the award-winning actress, jet-setter, and entrepreneur talked about one of the most challenging years of her career, and of course, her latest film to date. Read ahead for more details on Aurora and what’s next for the celebrity!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Anne Curtis (@annecurtissmith) on

 

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Not your usual horror movie

When Direk Yam Laranas first sent the script to Anne Curtis, he received an instant "yes." “Basta galing kay Direk Yam, alam kong maganda 'yan,” the actress beams. 

After more than two decades in the industry, Anne isn’t new to the horror scene. She played the role of a possessed daughter in the 2000 film Ika-13 Kapitulo, topbilled iconic 2006 film Huwag Kang Lilingon, and also starred in an independent American vampire romance film Blood Ransom in 2014. However, Anne is convinced that Aurora is different. 

“During the shoot, I asked Direk Yam why there weren’t any screaming parts. Usually, in a horror film, there would always be a scene where the character would just shout, right? But Direk told me, ‘Our film is different,'” Anne shares. “This movie gives you a different kind of feeling. It’s a thriller movie you have to see for yourself.” An interesting fact? Because of her tight schedule, Anne was only on the set of Aurora for only 10 days, finishing every scene within one and a half weeks. “I guess that’s what you can do when you’re with a great team!” she says.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Anne Curtis (@annecurtissmith) on

 

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An official entry for the 44th Metro Manila Film Festival, the movie takes place in the province of Batanes. When a ship named Aurora sank near the island, the seatown became haunted by the spirits of the dead passengers. Leana (Anne Curtis) and her little sister Rita (Phoebe Villamor) stayed in the island to help retrieve the missing bodies.

Once again, we’ll see a different side of Anne Curtis, proving that she’s matured into her craft, a seasoned leading lady.

 

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Overcoming challenges

To say that 2018 was a busy year for Anne Curtis is an understatement. 

Aside from regularly hosting for ABS-CBN noontime show It’s Showtime, the Top 1 Metro Most Stylish woman of 2018 spends her days gracefully juggling plenty of hats. In between shooting advertising campaigns and managing her own makeup empire, the award-winning actress spends hours on end traveling from one place to another. She has just come from Africa, where she spent her honeymoon with her husband Erwan. 

Just this year, Anne starred in an impressive lineup of movies with completely different genres. Irene Villamor’s romantic-drama film Sid and Aya: Not a Love Story was released in May, Erik Matti’s thriller-action BuyBust premiered in August, and starting on Christmas Day, people can watch Yam Laranas’ horror-thriller film Aurora in cinemas.

Anne’s back-to-back schedule meant that the shooting dates for these films overlapped. But for the actress, the biggest challenge wasn’t flying to Japan for Sid and Aya, nor doing death-defying stunts in Buy Bust, not even shooting deglamorized underwater scenes for Aurora. It was switching from one role to another—playing a charismatic, carefree young woman one day, an anti-narcotics special operative the next, and a mysterious island girl in between. 

In fact, because it was so taxing to internalize one character without affecting the others, Anne had to take a break from shooting one of the movies. “It just became too much,” she shares. The actress came back refreshed, ready to take on the next chapter. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Anne Curtis (@annecurtissmith) on

 

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“I don’t think I’ll do this again next year,” she giggled in her makeup chair. “Maybe two is enough. I have no idea how I managed three!”

I glanced at my watch and realized it’s been hours since we started shooting—the actress, however, was still bubbly and energetic, ready for the next layout. She was born to be a star.

Being an actress isn’t always about the glitz and glam of celebrity life—most of the time, it’s being covered in mud, dirt, (fake) blood, and salt water, all for that one good take. It’s spending a lot of your time on the road, driving from one location to the next. It’s sacrificing your weekends to pursue your craft. 

Anne Curtis was on a roll this year, and the release of her three films meant one thing: there’s nothing too ambitious for a person this driven, this passionate.

 

Photography by Mark Nicdao

Creative direction by Chookie Cruz

Sittings editors: Kate Paras-Santiago and Judy Arias

Set Styling by Flourish and Frills

Fashion Styling by Danae Dipon for StyLIZed Studio, assisted by Aia Tabuzo

Makeup by Robbie Piñera

Hairstyling by Raymond Santiago

Shoot assistant: Cara Tirona

Shot on location at Luxent Hotel, Timog Ave., Quezon City

Special thanks to Warren Dimen, Francis Simeon, Michelle Nuñez, Greenwich, and The Butterhalf