EXCLUSIVE: "Mystified" Stars Diana Zubiri, Iza Calzado, Karylle, And Sunshine Dizon On Metro.Style
On Iza: Dress by Apartment 8 and coat by Stradivarius; On Sunshine: Dress by Forever 21 and belt by Chris Diaz; On Karylle: Suit by Yong Davalos; and On Diana: Top by H&M and skirt by Zara
"It's hard to come by real friendship in this industry," says Sunshine Dizon. The complexities that come with showbiz often make it difficult for artists to establish and maintain a kind of friendship that will remain strong despite changes in their personal and professional lives and even controversies.
More than a decade ago since they starred in a fantaserye, Sunshine Dizon, Iza Calzado, Karylle, and Diana Zubiri have stayed close despite the distance; two have moved to another network, and they have all started their own families as well.
At Iza's wedding to Ben Wintle in Palawan last December, their collective fans saw them reunite as the three ladies were part of the bride's entourage. And among the highlights at the reception were the tear-jerking messages of Karylle, Sunshine, and Diana to their dear friend Iza. Seeing them together brings a sense of nostalgia, especially to those who followed the show that bonded them for life. Somehow there is that longing, too, to see them reunite in a project, now that they have gotten better with time and age.
On Diana: Top by Rajo Larel; On Iza: Dress by Carolina Herrera; On Karylle: Dress by Rajo Laurel; and On Sunshine: Dress by Tadashi Shoji from Rustan's
The fantasy for the reunion of these fantaserye icons has become an exciting reality. Iza, Sunshine, Diana, and Karylle topbill iflix's upcoming breakthrough project, an action-fantasy-drama movie. "When we were brainstorming ideas for our first original film, we saw an opportunity to reunite these four actresses in a single project, and worked towards finding the right story," says Georgette Tengco, Head of Content and Marketing for iflix PH.
The result of all their brainstorming sessions is Mystified, a story of four sorceresses who were sent to live in the real world to protect a magic portal—the challenge, however, is that they can’t use any of their powers. They must come together to protect mankind from a great evil that is coming their way.
Directed by Mark Reyes, the same director of their former project, Mystified was such an emotional movie to work on for the core team. Asked what it was they missed most about having each other around on the set, Iza tells Metro.Style, "Siguro 'yung kakulitan namin together... and then when we got on set, we got to experience that again... There is a shared energy on set that when you trust siguro your scene partner and you understand each other and both are generous, open, and giving, it's beautiful."
On Diana: Dress by Tadashi Shoji from Rustan's | On Iza: Dress by Keepsake Label from Rustan's
Iza, Sunshine, Karylle, and Diana are not just about to come out in iflix’s Mystified, they also have a bigger stake in the movie, and in each other—they’re all part of a corporation now, aptly named Sang’gre Inc., along with esteemed director Mark Reyes. “There was always a very positive reaction whenever people would see us together. We thought that if nobody’s going to fund a movie, let’s just come up with our own project. And our director Mark had an idea of pitching it to iflix, and that’s how it started. We incorporated, and now we have a production company.”
Being producers and actresses at the same time gave the four of them more reasons to be invested in Mystified. But more than that, they knew that the story needed to still revolve around what the public wanted to see: four women with magical powers, good versus evil.
Without revealing too much, Iza, who plays Adela, says that a lot of things happened to the girls in the past that break them apart, and they need to come together again and resolve their issues to defeat the dark forces. Iza shares, “We’re witches, basically. Something happens in the past that make us blame each other for something, so we kind of part ways, and there’s animosity between me and Shine’s character, Althea.”
While all the elements of a magical movie seem to be present in Mystified, Iza teases that there will probably be more projects in the pipeline for the four of them. “I don’t want to jinx it, but we’re not just here to star in our own films," Iza says. "Hopefully, we get to do more stuff. And the fact that we were able to put the company up is empowering already!”
"There was always a very positive reaction whenever people would see us together." - Iza
It’s been 13 years since Diana last worked with Iza, Sunshine, and Karylle. Admittedly due to time constraints and contracts, the quartet finally found their middle ground—a way around it, so to speak—and made a way to deliver what the fans want, which is to simply see them all together again in a project.
But the path to get here wasn’t easy, and it took the right elements to fall into place in order for Mystified to come to life. Talks have been happening for quite some time, but when they couldn’t figure out how to make it work, they decided to just make it happen themselves. “The number one thing that I learned as producer is how to save!” Diana shares, laughing. “We got to save money for production. Oh, and patience. Mahirap mag-schedule! And as producers, we had to do pre-prod.”
Diana is no stranger to multitasking. After all, she’s a working mom with two children, a wife, and an entrepreneur, among other things on her plate. But she knew that adding a project such as Mystified, and another feather in her cap as producer, would be worthwhile, if it meant giving the fans what they want, and spending time with Iza, Karylle, and Sunshine. “Sobrang nakaka-miss din to work with them,” Diana says. “Nakaka-miss 'yung fight scenes namin at 'yung batuhan ng dialogues. Sobrang fun kasi very comfortable kami with each other.”
"Nakaka-miss 'yung fight scenes namin at batuhan ng dialogues" - Diana
On Karylle: Jumpsuit and corset both by Mark Tamayo | On Sunshine: Dress by Keepsake Label from Rustan's and coat by H&M
Karylle talks about the excitement and nostalgia of working on Mystified: “It’s like when you’re in college and have a lot of group work. You’re more hands-on. There are a lot of things you have to do which are fun, challenging, sometimes stressful, but super fulfilling.”
“We’ve been waiting for a reunion project because we’ve remained close throughout the years,” Karylle explained. “Syempre there were times na we wished we could work together, pero paano? Then we found this space where we could actually do it. Sabi namin, let’s just put this together because it’s hard to wait. Why not put it (our dream) into action, 'di ba? So that’s what happened.”
In the movie, Karylle plays Helena. “Without giving away too much, Helena is a vlogger and a chronomancer. She controls time. If you asked me what kind of power I would want to have, it would be that—and teleportation. Para walang traffic, 'di ba?,” she said, laughing.
One of the scenes that Karylle found challenging to shoot involved horseback riding. The action-fueled fantasy promises some exciting stunts, fight scenes, and special effects. But the best thing about Mystified is that it showcases how Karylle, together with her former co-stars, have grown as actresses and how their chemistry and bond (on-screen and off) remain strong and palpable.
“It’s a labor of love among really good friends,” she shares. “We want to show the world what we can do now, in 2019, together. This is where we are, creatively, and we want to share our journey with you.”
"We want to show show the world what we can do now, in 2019, together" - Karylle
During one Christmas reunion a few years back, Sunshine, Iza, Karylle, and Diana decided it was time for them to do a reunion project, and that dream took shape as Mystified.
Fans of the four are eagerly anticipating the new movie. “There’s a little of our previous fantasy show in this for the original fans. Siguro the main similarity would be the magical aspect. Story-wise though, it’s different,” she explains. “My character, Althea, is the potions girl. I mix potions. Flashforward to 300 years later and I’m a doctor. May past and present lives kami and the past merges with the present.”
Sunshine is excited to present the film to old and new fans alike. “Our original fans have grown up with us at may pamilya na sila ngayon. Sana na-pass down nila sa mga kids nila 'yung love,” she says.
“This is really something for the fans who have been asking us for a reunion for the longest time. Here it is, finally! For me, it’s also a fulfillment of my dreams for a reunion project. And it’s a story about friendship and female empowerment.”
"It's a story about friendship and female empowerment" - Sunshine
As we celebrate International Women's Day today and Women's Month this March through our #FascinatingWomen2019 campaign, Metro.Style brings together actresses Iza Calzado, Sunshine Dizon, Diana Zubiri, and Karylle for a special digital cover feature. Watch out for more articles and videos on them and other inspiring Filipinas. Visit Metro.Style for updates.
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz
Photography by Paolo Pineda
Creative direction by Chookie Cruz
Sittings editor: Geolette Esguerra
Styling by Kat Cruz-Villanueva, John Karunungan, and Hillary Lee of Styledit Group
Makeup by Jigs Mayuga (Karylle), Lala Flores assisted by Emman Magpantay (Iza), Ting Duque (Diana), and Dino Lazaro (Sunshine)
Hairstyling by Ezekiel Otilla (Karylle), Russell Gonzaga of Aveda Philippines (Iza), Mark Ibarrola (Diana), and Kiko Pedaza of Jing Monis Salon (Sunshine)
Video producer: Joan Ko
Videography by Spotlight Creatives
Shoot assistant: Cara Tirona
Shot on location at Marquis Events Place in BGC, Taguig