James Reid Image Credit: Supplied

The Philippine adaptation of the hit Korean movie Miss Granny starring pop royalty Sarah Geronimo, veteran actress Nova Villa, James Reid and Xian Lim hits UAE cinemas on August 30.

The remake of the 2014 South Korean blockbuster sees Geronimo playing the role of Audrey de Leon, the younger version of aged woman Feliza “Fely” Malabano (played by Nova Villa). Fely goes back to her 20s after being photographed at a mysterious studio called Forever Young and finds her transformation as a means of escaping her problems, particularly a rift with her children and grandchildren.

Actor Xian Lim stars in ‘Miss Granny’.

The comedy-drama by award-winning director Joyce Bernal also marks Geronimo’s first movie pairing with Reid and Lim, both of whom have their own onscreen ‘love teams’, a term for Filipino stars who are often paired together.

The Philippine’s version of Miss Granny tackles issues about love for the family and love for oneself.

“[The audience] can expect a lot of comedy, but of course also life lessons to be learned. It’s about second chances, realising your dreams and a lot about love,” Reid tells Gulf News tabloid!.

It’s the first time the 25-year-old singer and actor will do a movie without his reel and real-life partner Nadine Lustre. Reid, who plays the character of Jeboy Malabano, describes Geronimo as the perfect fit for the role of Audrey de Leon.

“Sarah is an amazing performer and amazing actress,” says Reid, whose Jeboy falls in love with his own grandmother who, unbeknownst to him, has magically regained her youthful looks and assumed the name Audrey de Leon. “She did it so well and I’m happy to be in the same movie.”

While it’s not the first time that Reid will work on a project with Geronimo, he says that he learned a lot from his co-star. Reid and Geronimo have worked together in concerts, and Reid was a guest performer at Geronimo’s 2014 UAE concert.

“What I’ve learned from her while doing the movie was hard work, dedication and professionalism,” Reid says.

 [Miss Granny] is about second chances, realising your dreams and a lot about love.”

 - JAMES REID | Actor 


For Reid, the main challenge of doing the movie and playing the role of Jeboy was getting across the character and his message.

“Personality wise we’re very different. I guess we are the same when it comes to his dream. We are both composers and he’s very musical so I can relate to him,” explains Reid.

The multi-faceted star, who’s into singing and composing, has faced some hurdles as an actor.

“It’s hard to say what the hardest part of acting is. I mean the whole thing takes a lot of effort when it comes to working hours, how heavy the scenes are, to being natural,” explains Reid. “There’s not one single thing that’s not hard [in] acting — you have to divide your energy with so many things.”

After Miss Granny, the star says he is busy with other projects, including a movie about a Filipino comic book character styled as a folk superhero.

“This year I’ll also be starting filming Pedro Penduko and a lot more music,” he says.

Before the Filipino version of Miss Granny hits UAE theatres, here are some things you need to know about it:

Blockbuster

Miss Granny is a blockbuster South Korean movie starring Shim Eun-kyung and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk. Its original title was Suspicious Girl (Susanghan Geunyeo). After opening in cinemas in January 2014, it became a huge box office hit, with 8.65 million tickets sold. It grossed a total of $59.6 million (Dh218.8 million) internationally. Geronimo’s Miss Granny, according to the figures released by Viva Films on its social media accounts, has grossed 77 million pesos (Dh5.3 million) to date. It started screening in the Philippines on August 22.

Incredible music

Sarah Geronimo (right) in ‘Miss Granny’

Geronimo sings most of the songs from the movie such as Isa Pang Araw, Rain, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and Forbidden. Shim Eun-kyung also sang most of the tracks for the original Korean movie such as Raindrop, If You Go To Los Angeles, White Butterfly and Once More.

Multi-lingual

Aside from the recent Philippine adaptation, the movie has also Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Chinese versions. According to reports, there might be more remakes of the movie set for Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Mexico and India.

Awards galore

Sarah Geronimo in the film.

The original Miss Granny won a number of awards such as Best Actress for Shim Eun-kyung at the Chunsa Film Art Awards and 50th Baeksang Art Awards, 14th Director’s Cut Awards and 1st Korean Film Producers Association Awards. It also won Best Screenplay at the Chunsa Film Art Awards and Critics’ Top 10 at the 34th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards.

Filipino touch

Boboy Garovillo and Geronimo.

In one of Geronimo’s interviews in the Philippines, she says that the Pinoy remake of Miss Granny has more heart and a Filipino touch. Filipinos are known to be family-oriented and they can relate to the film. It’s also a tribute to grandparents and how one should value the elderly. It’s also a story about second chances and living life to its fullest.

In an interview with the Filipino press, Bernal said she would have hesitated doing the movie if Geronimo had not played the character of Audrey de Leon. For Bernal, the role, which required a combination of acting and musical artistry, perfectly fits the singer-actress.

Don’t miss it!

Miss Granny releases in the UAE on August 30.