TV host and comedienne Melai Cantiveros-Francisco embarked on a new mission as she bannered the Filipino-Korean action-comedy movie, Ma’am Chief: Shakedown in Seoul.
Taking on the titular role, Melai is playing the role of SPO4 Crisselda “Selda” Kaptan, the “fangirl pulis ng bayan” who disguised as a tourist guide in South Korea to do a secret mission to apprehend a dangerous fugitive.
During the film’s press conference, the Magandang Buhay host shared how nervous she was to play the character of a fangirl policewoman.
“I’m so nervous. I really felt very nervous because I didn’t even know why I was chosen and given this character. I feel so nervous and so flattered,” said Melai.
When asked by Manila Standard Entertainment about her preparations for playing Selda, Melai shared that she underwent a series of workshops and training both as a fangirl and as a policewoman.
“We had a series of workshops on how we can play the character of being a K-pop fan because K-pop fans know exactly if you’re just pretending to be a fan,” stated Melai.
“And then, we also had fight scenes—me, Jennica, and Karylle. We had training for our action scenes. However, they provided us Korean stunt director,” she added.
The comedienne also shared that she had struggled in a particular scene that required her to cry.
“It’s so hard for me to cry. Sobrang maloko talaga kasi ‘yung mukha ko, when it’s time to be sad, I started to imagine funny things. So, ‘yung nag-iyakan, I need to become serious because the scene needs to show the heart of the movie,” Melai explained.
Melai then became emotional as she expressed her gratitude for entrusting her with the lead role.
“I am so amazed. I can tell that God really moves in mysterious ways. We just need to believe and trust in God’s plan for our lives. I will not forget this moment. This is one of the things that God moved in mysterious ways in my life,” she continued.
Melai has been in the entertainment industry for 14 years after winning the reality show Pinoy Big Brother: Double Up in 2009. Since then, the actress has been active in doing roles both in small and big screens. This time, she’s taking on a new challenge as the lead role.
“The Lord made this possible. To Inang Reyna, I will forever pray for you and for your family,” she added.
Shot in South Korea, the movie also marked Pulp Studios’ debut film produced by Pulp Live World COO Happee Sy-Go and directed by her best friend, Kring Kim. Ma’am Chief: Shakedown in Seoul is written by Sofia Hazel Calayag.
Sy-Go explained how she wanted Ma’am Chief to represent the entire K-pop community—full of energy, excitement, and humor.
“I’ve been exposed to different fans, different [communities], and this time I wanna tell their story through my eyes. And at the same time, I wanted a Filipino character enjoying K-pop and K-drama, that’s why she’s a police,” Sy-Go reiterated.
She also stated that the movie aimed to let K-pop fans understand that it’s okay to find joy in different things.
“The movie is not about anything else but to show that we could all be serious in life, but at the same time, we all have our crazy side and it’s okay. It’s okay to be fun. It’s okay to go crazy and be crazy but it’s also okay to be real,” she added.
On the other hand, Sy-Go applauded Melai for accepting the role of Crisselda “Selda” Kaptan.
“I know she’s very funny because you can notice how funny she is. But I know inside her, there’s a very, very soft spot of Melai that’s why she can make people happy but deep inside her, she’s a very sensitive person. Makikita niyo doon kung sino ang totoong Melai,” Sy-Go said.
“Thank you so much, Ma’am Chief, for your trust with us at Pulp Studios. You know that Ma’am Chief character is really you. And you really, really never failed us. Thank you so much,” she added.
“Pasabog ang Melai Cantiveros-Francisco dito. I think, generation niya ‘to. It’s her time to shine,” said the film’s director, Kring Kim.
Meanwhile, Melai also extended her thanks and gave credit to his co-star for doing the film with her.
“Hindi lang ako ‘to, sila rin ‘to. Gusto kong ibigay ang honor sa kanila. Hindi magiging Ma’am Chief kung ako lang. Sobrang honored ako sa mga kasama kong cast dahil ginawa nila ang best nila,” Melai stated,
The film also features Alora Sasam, Bernadette Allyson Estrada, Dustine Mayores, Enzo Almario, Jennica Garcia, Karylle Tatlonghari, Manel Sevidal, Pepe Herrera, Sela Guia, and Al Tantay.
Korean superstars such as Lee Seung-gi, Do Ji-han, Rolling Quartz, and Yuju have also some special cameos.
Ma’am Chief: Shakedown is now cinemas nationwide.