Imagine what would've hapened if Phoebe Walker, the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival Best Supporting Actress, saw her role as blasphemous when it was first offered to her.
While one could argue that Direk Erik Matti of award-winning horror thriller Seklusyon could've easily replaced her with another talent, that person might've not been as effective as the FHM April 2017 cover girl in the role of the tight-lipped Madre Cecilia.
"That just crossed my mind when someone commented on Facebook [using the word] blasphemy," Phoebe says. "I was using an image of Cecilia as my profile picture."
It was only then that she realized how the film's subject matter could rub the religious community the wrong way. But personally, she had no problem with it, particularly her character, understanding the fact that "it's fiction."
Phoebe explains, "The only true thing about the plot was before World War II, they really did seclude about-to-be ordained priests—the practice of seclusion. Of course, the individual stories of the deacons, and my character, they're all fiction."
From the very start, Erik Matti was very particular and upfront in discussing the level of nudity playing Cecilia required. Matti wanted the rape scene to appear "violent and shocking," which meant her nun costume needed to be torn to shreds.
Even if she had done nudity for a film before (Quezon City International Film Festival entry Gayuma), Phoebe was aware that Seklusyon was going to be seen by a much bigger audience. For a newcomer such as herself, it was going to be a challenge. Her decision was only made easy by the fact that she was being given the opportunity to collaborate with a decorated filmmaker.
And in the end, as most of you already know, every chance the neophyte thespian took was handsomely rewarded.
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