Dennis proud of 'Ang Sugo'

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Monday, March 16, 2015


HE MAY not be active on television, but Kapuso star Dennis Trillo remains one of the business actors these days.

Consider this: Other than his commitments on out-of-town shows and TV guestings, he's doing three movies at the same time -- the biggest and the most challenging of which is based on a true-to-life story.

Dennis is presently wrapping up the shoot for Ang Sugo: The Last Messenger, a film about the life of Bro. Felix Manalo, founder of Iglesia ni Cristo, one of the biggest religious congregation in the country.

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Dennis considered "Ang Sugo" as his luckiest break, portraying the role of one of the most prominent religious leader whose church he established has already gathered millions of followers all over the world.

The historical biopic, which Dennis described as "pinakamatrabaho," traces Ka Felix's religious journey that culminated in the establishment of INC in 1914. The film tackles the church's growth in the country and its international expansion and how it has been administered by its executive ministers in the past up to the present.

"Ang Sugo" is touted as the "biggest and most expensive movie of the century" with an estimated budget of US$7.5 million.

A devout Roman Catholic, how did Dennis get the lead role in the movie produced by Viva Films and under the helm of topnotch director Joel Lamangan?

"During a meeting with producers and executive ministers of Iglesia ni Cristo, tinanong nila si Direk Joel kung sino ang mas-irekomenda nya to portray the role of Kapatid na Felix Manalo, and ako yong nirekomenda ni direk," Dennis told Davao's entertainment writers in an interview last Saturday.

Dennis was in the city for a Kapuso Mall show at Gaisano Mall of Davao, timed for the celebration of Araw ng Davao.

"Crucial yong role ko sa Sugo. Dahil period movie siya, mahahaba yong linya na dapat talagang maintindihan mo," he said.

"Napakaimportante na maintindihan mo yong mga sinasabi mo. Di lang basta binabanggit mo siya kailangan alam mo yong sinasabi mo. Yong mga linya na binabanggit mo sa pelikula, ito kase 'yong mga dokrina nila," he said.

As preparation for the role, Dennis did a research on Bro. Felix and the origins of the church. He had to lose weight and do away with "muscles" to make his portrayal of the role more realistic. He also attended one of the church's evangelical masses to experience how the INC faithful celebrate mass.

"Although wala na akong nakikitang video ni Kapatid na Felix Manalo, meron silang mga pinaririnig na mga audio niya, lalong-lalo na yong mga early preachings niya," he said.

Dennis said the movie is set to be shown in theaters nationwide in May, timed for the birthday of Bro. Felix on May 10.

At present, Dennis is also shooting for the movie Still The One, a love story with Maja Salvador and Ellen Adarna under the direction of Kris Martinez, and an indie horror film Pedal with Solenn Heusaff.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 17, 2015.

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