Filipino star Nadine Lustre, who cemented back-to-back wins as best actress in two of the most prestigious award giving bodies in the Philippines, the Gawad Urian and Famas, for her performance in ‘Never Not Love You’, is back in the silver screen exploring a new genre.
“This is my first musical movie and I play the role of a girl from a small town in the province who gets a taste of life in the big city after someone discovers my dancing skills in a video that goes viral,” Lustre says of her role in ‘Indak’, in an email interview with Gulf News tabloid!.
“This is the first time they’ll see me dancing on the big screen and I hope that they enjoy it — dancing Nadine,” said Lustre.
Dubbed as the Multimedia Princess, Lustre is teaming up with director Paul Alexei Basinillo for the musical drama, her second movie for this year. Indak will screen in UAE cinemas starting August 15.
Lustre portrays Jen, an island girl from Cebu who loves dancing, but never showed her true talent to anyone. Not until a video of her dancing went viral online and Vin, played by Sam Concepcion, invites her to come to Manila and join his dance group.
The 25-year-old actress admits that there’s pressure to surpass whatever she’s achieved in 'Never Not Love You'. “But I try not to be too affected by people’s expectations,” she says. “I just made sure that I gave my best for this movie just like I did in every movie that I’ve done. As an artist, I think that’s really all you can do.”
‘Indak’ is also’s Lustre’s second solo movie without the other half of JaDine — her reel and real life partner James Reid.
Lustre shares more in this Q&A.
Q: In the movie trailer Jen has stage fright. You have been a performer since you were young and even before entering showbiz. Does Nadine Lustre still have stage fright? How do you overcome it?
A: Yes, I still have stage fright especially for performances in front of big audiences like concerts. To overcome it, I just focus on my performance and what I have to do to give the audience a good time.
Q: How did you prepare yourself for this movie? You are portraying the role of a dancer. Did you take any workshops in dancing?
A: Lustre: We did not have workshops but we had a lot of rehearsals for the dance sequences before and during the shooting. I really enjoyed it because I love dancing.
Q: The movie is centred around competitive dancing. Did it take any inspiration from the Hollywood movie Step Up? How similar or different it is with Step Up?
A: I think that movie was an inspiration for [director] Paul [Basinillo] and his team when they conceptualised the story. Of course our movie is not a copy or a remake. It’s an original story that’s very Filipino, especially the part about my character’s family.
Q: This is your first time to work with Sam Concepcion in a movie. How was it working with him? Is it more easier to work with Sam since his one of your close friends in the industry?
A: Sam [Concepcion] is a very nice, cool person, who is definitely very easy to work with. And yes, it helped a lot that we’re good friends in real life. It was even more enjoyable and less stressful despite the physical demands of the movie being a big dance film.
Q: Since you are already close friends, how did you work on your dynamics in this film?
A: The dancing part was very easy because Sam is such a good dancer, too, aside from being a good actor. It was in the romance part of the story that we had to make some adjustments and direk Paul was very helpful to both of us in that aspect.
Q: As an artist, how can you and this movie serve as a voice for dancers and aspiring dancers out there?
A: One of the reasons I made this movie is because of its inspiring message of not being afraid to share your talents and not giving up on one’s dreams no matter what. It’s something that I personally relate to. I’d been in showbiz for a long time before I got the big breaks that made me who I am today. Perseverance and hard work really pay off.
Q: What were the challenges of doing this movie?
A: The main challenges were doing the many dance sequences because they’re not easy to shoot. The fact that direk Paul is already a veteran in doing dance and other performance videos with many talented stars through the years added some pressure on us actors to do well.
Q: Did this movie help you mature as an actor?
A: It gave me new lessons and insights on how to use my entire body to show emotions and tell a story physically. Personally, it makes me want to do more projects with good messages like that of ‘Indak’.
Q: What lessons have you learnt from the movie?
A: To be generous in sharing one’s God-given talents, to not think twice about taking opportunities as they come because they’re not given to everyone, and to not give up on your dreams.
Q: How much of your personality is similar to your character in the movie?
A: We’re similar in our love for family, putting them first before myself.
Q: In a multinational market such as the UAE, how would the film appeal to non-Filipino audiences?
A: As they say, music is a universal language, so I think that Indak will appeal to everyone. I also think that non-Filipino audiences will be surprised to see that Filipinos are not just great singers but also excellent dancers.
Don’t miss it!
Indak releases in the UAE on August 15.