Apr 18
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Rica Peralejo: Rated Double X

Author: The Philippine Star

There’s no doubt that since she went sexy in Balahibong Pusa and it raked in no less than P80 million at the tills, Rica Peralejo has been Viva Films’ fair-haired girl.

She is really the busiest lead actress in local films this year. After Balaihong Pusa, she was paired with Bernard Palanca in Sa Huling Paghihintay, with Robin Padilla in Buhay Kamao, with Andrew E. in Banyo Queen, and now with Mark Anthony Fernandez in Dos Ekis.

She has also started shooting Viva’s entry in the forthcoming Metro-Manila Filmfest, Tatarin, based on National Artist Nick Joaquin’s Summer Solstice, directed by Tikoy Aguiluz. That’s a total of six releases for the year 2001.

"I really can’t complain with the way Viva is taking very good care of my career," says Rica. "I’ve never been this busy since I started my showbiz career as a young girl in Ang TV. "

This is probably the reason why some of her former colleagues are said to be envious of her and are spreading all sorts of ugly rumors about her, like her taking drugs and being seen with Bernard unabashedly doing PDA (public display of affection. )

"All I can say is mamatay na lang sila sa inggit. I can take a drug test anytime just to prove that I’m no addict. As for Bernard, I admit that if there’s a man who’s not my relative, but who’s closest to me right now, it’s him. He’s really very sweet. Some people are accusing him of being a bad influence on me but he’s really a good and gentle man. "

She’d rather not talk about Bernard at length. "Kasi, before, I made my relationship with my past boyfriend an open one (Bojo Molina), pero ano’ng nangyari? Nahaluan lang ng showbiz and we got adversely affected. So now, I’d like to keep whatever relationship I have with Bernard a private, very personal thing. I just hope maging masaya na lang ang tao for us. "

So how is it working with Mark Anthony in Dos Ekis?

"You know, I was a fan of the Guwapings in the early ’90s and when I guested in their show, Palibhasa Lalake, I was so kilig to work with Mark. But he turned out to be very makulit. He was always making fun of me. So many things happened in our respective lives and careers since then and now, we get to work with each other again when I’m 20 and he’s 22. He’s definitely much more mature now in his outlook in life and he’s more serious with his craft. He’s a very intense actor. We both play challenging roles in the movie. This is my most daring role to date. I’m a stripper here in a cheap club and I had to learn the kind of dancing that strippers do, just like Demi Moore in Striptease. A real stripper coached me. I tell you, it’s very strenuous and I even do cartwheels kaya akala ko mababali ang buto ko. This is also the first time for me to dance naked in front of a live audience. Before kasi, I do the sexy scenes with my leading man in a closed set. But this time, I dance in front of the club customers of about 40 men. My character here is very jaded and callous. She has no time for love. The most important thing for her is only money, until she meets Mark who is willing to die for her, and they fall in love. "

People say she is now the real Queen of Viva, no longer Joyce Jimenez.

"Hoy, hindi ah. Bumalik na si Ate Sharon Cuneta sa movies. I really wish people would stop pitting me against other stars. When I was with ABS-CBN, they also propped up a rival for me (Jolina Magdangal. ) When I went sexy with Viva, they said it’s me versus Joyce. Later, when Assunta de Rossi went sexy, kami na raw ang magkalaban. But here in Dos Ekis, I have a friend from my TGIS days, Raven Villanueva, who’s also going sexy and some writers are now saying she’ll steal the thunder from me. They say I should feel insecure, but I refuse to be affected. If Raven would shine in the movie, that’s just fine with me basta sa ikagaganda ng Dos Ekis. We’re working here as a team, ‘no?"

What was her reaction when Assunta reportedly said she looks like Hong Kong action star Cynthia Luster?

"I’m not even sure if she really said that or some people are just putting words into her mouth. Kung kamukha ko nga, no problem. I don’t think Cynthia Luster naman looks bad and, let’s face it, she’s an international star. I hope that, like her, I can also make movies in other countries. "

Obviously, Rica’s very positive attitude works well for her. No matter what some people say to the contrary, she has no regrets about going sexy.

"I took a risk when I made that career move and it paid off well for me. I don’t think I’d be this busy if I remained a pa-sweet star. "

Source: The Philippine Star