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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Iza craves for more challenges

ASK Iza Calzado how she feels about people regarding her as an elite and she will promptly parry the praise. “I don’t want to think about it unless I become comfortable where I’m at in my career. There are so many other things I want to do that I can’t afford to sit down and relax. I am happy that I already have a place in the business that no one can take away from me, but I want to show more,” she says without any tinge of false modesty.

Then again, Iza does not need to talk about her achievements. As they say, the work speaks for itself. In 2009, Iza had projects that further solidified her reputation as a multi-faceted talent. Comedy? She has appeared as a guest on “Bubble Gang.” Drama? She plays the lead character in “Kaya Kong Abutin Ang Langit.” As a performer? She sings on “SOP Rules.” Hosting? She emceed for “Bb Pilipinas 2009” and earned rave reviews for being an excellent host. Guiding aspiring stars? She’s part of the “StarStruck V” jury.

And then there’s “The Echo,” the Hollywood version of the Filipino film “Sigaw.” Although she had already won the Urian Best Supporting Actress Award in 2005 for her role in the original version, getting to reprise the same in the international version by auditioning for it speaks of Iza’s caliber as an actress--make that Hollywood actress. “I was elevated to a new height in my career when I got the role in ‘The Echo.’ For me, it’s the kind of feeling that no romantic relationship or money could replace,” says Iza who co-starred with Hollywood actor Jesse Bradford in the film.

Despite the big strides she has made in acting, Iza wants to take on even more challenging roles including playing out the lifestory of heroine Gabriela Silang onscreen, or a character akin to that Glenn Close played in “Fatal Attraction.” “And then after those two, I’d like to do a romantic comedy naman para sobrang iba at para maipakita ko talaga na kaya kong gampanan kahit ano’ng role, kahit na ba a light one,” she said.

The Hollywood actress gets inspiration from revered Filipino actresses Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos and Maricel Soriano. “Si Nora, mata pa lang niya ang gamitin niya, acting na agad. Her eyes speak the language of her soul. Hinahangaan ko naman sila Vilma at Maricel not only for their acting kundi in the way they handle their lives,” she said.

As for the younger set of actresses, Iza counts Jean Garcia, Eula Valdez, Cherry Pie Picache and Judy Ann Santos as among her favorites. The coming 2010 promises to be an even bigger year for Iza. Aside from her ongoing projects, she is set to star in the remake of the Ishmael Bernal movie, “Working Girls,” along with Ruffa Gutierrez, Cristine Reyes and Bianca King.

But not before “Panday” is released on Dec. 25. A Metro Manila Film Festival entry starring Sen. Bong Revilla, Jr. in the title role, “Panday” casts Iza as a mystical character “with lots of beauty shots,” she joked. “It’s a light role but one that shows my versatility if you look at my body of work kasi iba siya sa usual dramatic roles na ginagawa ko. And, anyway, there are no small roles, only small actors.”


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