A living legend. This is how local cineastes will describe veteran actor Rez Cortez. We've always known him for portraying the role of the villain, but throughout his long career, he's also dabbled in action, fantasy, and drama. Name the genre and he's probably done it.
At 67, the multi-awarded senior actor looks healthy and back on track after battling the Big C. He admits that he's playing his most daring role in his 50-year career as "Mang Kanor" which will premiere today (Jan. 28) on the AQ Prime streaming app.
On the promotional posters of "Mang Kanor," Rez's name lords it above the movie title.
"I feel elated because I rarely get this kind of billing. Usually I play contravida or support roles so my name is always below the title. It's only now that this has happened so I'm happy," he observed.
Sharing the credits with Rez in the sensual movie are beauteous actresses Nika Madrid, Joni McNab, Emelyn Cruz, with the special participation of Via Veloso. Completing the cast are Roby Sy, Seon Quintos, and Atty. Aldwin Aguirre, to name a few.
Mang Kanor is an old business owner who pays young women for pleasure and has the fetish of recording his sessions with them.
"Masasabi kong makabuluhan ang pelikula. Dahil baguhan si Direk (Greg Colasito), di agad ako nagtiwala. Hanggang napanood ko ang pelikula, may ibubuga pala sya," Rez pointed out.
(I can say that the movie is relevant. Because the director (Greg Colasito) was a newbie, I did not trust him easily. Only when I saw the film did I find out that he has the capability.)
In the movie, Mang Kanor gets embroiled in a scandal and even gets imprisoned after his phone was stolen and his videos went viral. When asked what lesson can be derived from the story, Rez replied: " Alam naman natin ang social media at ang mga gadgets. Pag recorded na yan kahit dinelete mo, andyan pa rin yan. Don't ever make the mistake of recording something at pagsisihan mo," he stated.
(We all know what social media and these gadgets can do. Once you record something, it's still there even if you delete it. Don't ever make the mistake of recording something and then regretting it.)
Outside of work, Rez revealed that he's working with colleagues to lobby in Congress for better pay and working conditions for members of the Philippine movie industry. He noted that the passage of Republic Act 11904 - or the Philippine Creative Industries law - is a step in the right direction. It was primarily sponsored in the Lower House by former child actor, Rep. Christopher De Venecia.
Rez advises the young ones to always keep on learning.
"Just because one stars in a movie does not mean that one will stop learning. There are many aspects to filmmaking that an actor can have knowledge about - lighting, editing, scriptwriting. These things need to be understood by the actor," he explained.
"Mang Kanor is my most daring movie, yes. Unang-una, bawal naman talaga sa mainstream cinema and ganitong movies. But now that we are in the digital age, there are many platforms available. I welcome these platforms because more of these platforms mean more jobs for our actors and local movie workers," he closed.