Playing a role in any movie or series requires preparation from the artists, no matter how big or small the part is. But since Maid in Malacañang is a controversial movie that prompts its cast to portray the Marcos family to a tee, conducting research was a step towards efficiency.
The lead role of former President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. went to Cesar Montano. During the grand media conference for the film, he shared that he only had a limited time to prepare for the role and received a different image of the late president from the press. Still, he channeled his energy from his other history-centric films, like José Rizal and El Presidente, to match his character efficiently.
Meanwhile, Ruffa Gutierrez, who plays former First Lady Imelda Marcos, didn’t need to prepare much since she knows Imelda personally. Simply put, Ruffa had a good idea of how Imelda is with her family because of their interactions throughout the years.
Darryl Yap takes the helm as the director of Maid in Malacañang. He shared that the inspiration for the film started from his usual banters with Senator Imee Marcos-Manotoc during the elections.
They worked together during the campaign period to post online satirical content. Now that’s over, Yap wanted to keep working with the senator and came up with creating a film about the lives of the former first family, especially now that another Marcos is back in the Philippine presidency.
Yet the story of the Marcoses’ last day in Malacañang isn’t a warm memory for Imee, as she recalls being traumatized by the chain of events that happened more than three decades ago.
Still, Yap encouraged the senator to share the story through the movie. He believes it’s time for Filipinos across the country and the world to see history through the eyes of the controversial first family. Throughout the film’s production, she became a source of information from the cast on her family’s history and mannerisms.
Diego Loyzaga, who plays incumbent President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., looks to Imee for directions on what her brother was like during his younger years. Eventually, Imee can find similarities between Diego and her younger brother.
Ella Cruz, tasked with the role of Irene Marcos-Araneta, also asks Imee about their youngest sibling. Unlike the rest of the Marcos family, Irene has minimal media exposure and is “very mahiyain,” according to Ella.
The young actress relied on documentaries and interviews with Irene, although the available material is scarce. However, she feels grateful that many of her TikTok followers provided her with some references she can use in portraying Irene.
Among all the significant roles in the film, Yap considers Christine Reyes’s the most challenging because she portrays a young Imee. Christine learned most of Imee’s mannerisms, from her walk and speech to how she flips her hair, and also mentally prepared to take on the role of the eldest Marcos as they navigate a political storm.
Other actors included in the cast are Karla Estrada, Elizabeth Oropeza, Beverly Salviejo, Kiko Estrada, and Kyle Velino.
Maid in Malacañang will premiere on August 3, Wednesday, in local and international theaters.