Paul Soriano compares critics to antagonists in movies: 'It's impossible to please everybody'

Paul Soriano (Instagram)

Presidential Adviser for Creative Communications and film director Paul Soriano admitted that he and his wife actress-singer Toni Gonzaga have learned to embrace critics, adding that they do not worry about the things they cannot control.

During the media conference for the upcoming film "My Teacher" held at the Winford Hotel in Manila last Monday, Dec. 5, Soriano compared critics to antagonists in the movies.

On moments that challenged their careers and choices in life the past months, Soriano said: “I guess people need to understand what happens to Toni also happens to me. As a husband you need to validate what she’s going through. You just can’t say don’t mind it or let it go because some of the hateful words came from the people she really admired, she really respected and that she really loved.

"I would look at everything like a film. And in every drama, there are protagonists and antagonists. That's what makes life exciting, we have a little bit of conflict or drama. If there's a formula for failure, it's trying to please everybody. You cannot. It's impossible to please everybody. Studying history, showbiz, and politics, even the best directors and the best actors that are respectable have critics.

"What Toni and I have come to realize is their role in our lives. Sila ang antagonists and we just have to embrace it.

“Toni and I believe if the people close to us, the significant people in our lives, can agree and be happy together, that’s more than enough for us. We cannot worry about the things we cannot control. That’s just what it is. We’re just gonna get tired. What we cannot control is our own little world and the people that are really close to us,” said Soriano, director of "My Teacher," an official entry to the 2022 Metro Manila Film Festival.

Director Soriano also said that he and his wife will reach out to critics so that they can work with everybody.

"Toni and I extended our hands. We love everybody. We understand where that's coming from. That's fine. Everyone is entitled to that. That's freedom of speech. Everyone is so excited. If you want to work with me, my doors are open. If you don't want to work with me, I respect that. I think that's the universal rule even without politics. It's just the way the world works.

Presidential Adviser for Creative Communications Paul Soriano, wife Toni Gonzaga and son Seve (Facebook)

"I choose to see the talent of the people. I don't choose to see in their lifestyles. I'd be honest with you guys, nobody is perfect. We all have skeletons in our closet. We all have this and that but I choose to see the talent. It doesn't have to do with political, spiritual or gender beliefs. I want to work with everybody. I really believe the best stories or the best things created come from the people that can disagree but agree on one thing and that's telling the best story possible," he added.

Soriano also said that he has nothing but genuine love and respect for the First Family.

"I genuinely love and respect the First family. I have known the first lady for 20 plus years. She's a family. And of course that also extends to our President who's also a family. That's not a secret. So there's a genuine love for the first family and the loyal trust is something that will never be compromised. I told them that. And I'm here to do my best to serve them both in whatever capacity," he said.

'My Teacher'

The movie "My Teacher" stars Soriano's wife Toni and comedian Joey de Leon. Initially, Soriano wasn’t the original director for the film. But when the schedule for the original director didn’t work out, he decided to fill his shoes.

President Bongbong Marcos Jr. swears into office Paul Soriano as his family looks on

This is the first time that Soriano directed his wife since they got married seven years ago. So what's it like working with Toni as an actress?

"As a married couple, this is the first time I directed her in a movie. That's why this movie is special to me. Working with Toni, she's the ultimate professional. When we get to the set, she treats me as a director. Of course, may konting ganun ganun but our set naman is light. She's prepared and sometimes we ride together to the set. It was a smooth working relationship. And when we went home, we talked about the scenes. Sometimes she would say I think we could do this more. Joey is like a father figure on the set. I learned so much from him. Maraming kuwento si Tito Joey during lunch break," said Soriano.

Asked what he learned from De Leon, Soriano said: "He taught us how to live, love and laugh. At 70-plus years old, for him to say yes to young filmmakers like me and Toni, during the pandemic, he went out of his comfort zone to spend a month shooting with us. He's always early, his call time is 8 am. But he's there at 6 or 7 am inside his car. If I had half the passion of Joey, I think I'll be successful. That's why he's an icon and he's a living legend. I'm so humbled and grateful that he said yes to Toni. Actually he doesn't have to do this film. But he wanted to do it. For me it's like a breath of fresh air. You'll see his great work on Christmas Day."

Produced by Ten17 and TINCAN Productions, "My Teacher" will be shown in cinemas beginning Dec. 25. The mediacon was sponsored by Winford Hotel and Godfather Productions by Joed Serrano.