Dennis Trillo always researches on his roles and this time, work has prompted him to see killers.
The actor claims to have spoken with members of a hit squad for them to serve as study for his role in the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival official entry “The Janitor” where he plays Crisanto Espina, an ex-cop who hunts down suspects of a bank robbery. The story was inspired by the Cabuyao bank robbery-massacre in 2008, touted as the “Philippines’ bloodiest bank robbery.”
“Surreal ’yung pakiramdam dahil kaharap mo, marami nang napatay na mga tao. Suwerte lang at naka-tiyempo kami ng mga taong ganon dahil hindi ko akalain na mangyayari na makakakapag-usap ako sa mga nakawala,” he said.
Dennis and director Mike Tuviera met with the men in an empty, dark room where no communication device was allowed. He was surprised to see that not all assassins are physically threatening guys.
“Nu’ng umpisa medyo kinakabahan kami ni direk pero nu’ng nakaharap na namin sila, para lang silang normal na tao na hindi mo aakalin na ganon ’yung trabaho na ginagawa nila. Maayos silang kausap, edukado sila.”
The actor was told that the hit men only kill people involved in heinous crimes. To them, Dennis said, it’s simply a job.
Dennis was eager to do “The Janitor” because he wanted a role far different from the sweet gay character he played on hit series “My Husband’s Lover.”
“Gusto ko iba-iba ’yung nakikita sa akin every project,” he said.
In order to get into the skin of any of his roles, Dennis temporarily alters his lifestyle and looks as needed.
“The Janitor” is Dennis’ third foray into Cinemalaya after “Astig” in 2009 and “Ang Katiwala” in 2012. He finds fulfillment in doing indie films.
“Ako kasi mismong artista, nagsasawa na ako sa mga nakikita ko at mga ginagawa ko. Ano pa kaya ’yung mga nakakapanood?” he pointed out. “Ang mga ganitong klaseng pelikula, mas may tapang ng konti ’yung tema, ibang klase ang kuwento at hindi ka masyadong limitado sa mga puwede mong gawin.” (MNS)