Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 September 2019

Focus on the Philippines: Kris Aquino shoots Hollywood film wearing Michael Cinco

Plus: Lea Salonga wears Rajo Laurel tuxedo to Tony Awards and Billboard launches Philippine pop charts.
Kris Aquino. Courtesy ABS-CBN Entertainment
Kris Aquino. Courtesy ABS-CBN Entertainment

Filipino actress Kris Aquino flew to Singapore earlier this week to begin shooting a Hollywood project that she is keeping mum about. In a post on social media, she revealed that her costumes for the film were created by Filipino designers Michael Leyva and Michael Cinco, the Dubai-based couturier.

“Hand-carrying my costumes with me. Thank you Michael Leyva and THE Michael Cinco for making me gowns truly befitting a ‘princess’,” Aquino wrote. “Yes, flying to fulfil a dream. Shooting this week in Singapore.”

Rumours are that Aquino, one of the biggest names in the Philippine entertainment industry, has been cast in a supporting role in the Hollywood adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel Crazy Rich Asians. The book, published in 2013, is a multi-generational satire about a clan of wealthy Singaporeans.

The film’s lead stars Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, Sonoya Mizuno and Gemma Chan started filming the movie in Singapore last month.

While Aquino has yet to reveal whether she is filming for Crazy Rich Asians, on Wednesday she posted on social media a photograph with Wu, the star of the American television comedy Fresh Off the Boat. “Fan girl moment. Thank you Constance Wu for being so gracious. I know how exhausted she was but she still made the effort to pleasantly converse with me,” Aquino wrote.

Wu, replying to the post, seemed to confirm that Aquino was indeed part of the film. “So great to meet you! See ya tomorrow,” she said.

In April, Aquino, 46, signed a contract with the international talent management and production company East West Artists, which is based in Los Angeles, California. She is dubbed the “Queen of All Media” in the Philippines, having appeared in multiple film, television and advertising projects since 1990. Aquino is the daughter of the late President Corazon Aquino and Senator Ninoy Aquino, and the sister of President Noynoy Aquino, who led the country from 2010 until 2016.

Warner Brothers acquired the film rights to Crazy Rich Asians on October 2016, with the filmmaker Jon M Chu (Step Up 3D, G I Joe: Retaliation, Now You See Me 2) hired to helm the movie. Chu recently posted on Twitter that the film will feature “amazing Asian actors cast in every single role. It’s time.”

Lea Salonga wears Rajo Laurel tuxedo to Tony Awards

Wearing a grey beaded tuxedo by Filipino designer Rajo Laurel, Lea Salonga represented the Philippines at the 71st Annual Tony Awards, held on Sunday at the Radio Music Hall in New York City.

Salonga, who won the Tony for Best Actress in Musical in 1991 for her performance in Miss Saigon, was invited to the ceremony to introduce a performance from the musical’s current Broadway revival headlined by Filipino actors Eva Noblezada, Jon Jon Briones and Rachelle Ann Go.

On social media, Salonga posted her pictures at the Tonys with several Broadway stars and Hollywood actors, including Mark Hamill, Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Lithgow, Cobie Smulders, Josh Groban and Ben Platt, the Dear Evan Hansen star who won the Tony for Best Actor. Salonga also posed with Joe Biden, the former vice president of the United States, who sat one row behind her.

Dear Evan Hansen was the night’s biggest winner, bagging six awards including Best Musical. The revival of Hello, Dolly! won four awards, including Best Actress in a Musical for lead star Bette Midler.

Salonga, 46, is currently a judge on the Philippine edition of the reality singing programme The Voice. She debuts at the Dubai Opera on September 22 and 23. Tickets are available at www.dubaiopera.com.

Billboard launches Philippine pop charts

Billboard’s long-running music charts launched this week a chart dedicated exclusively to Philippine music. Dubbed “Philippine Top 20” , Billboard — along with partner Nielsen Music — ranks songs based on streaming, digital downloads and video plays on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube.

Pop heartthrob Iñigo Pascual’s Dahil Sa ‘Yo (Because of You) currently tops the chart, followed by Sila (Them) by the rock/jazz band Sud.

Jona Viray’s Pusong Ligaw (Lost Heart), Silent Sanctuary’s Pasensya Ka Na (I’m Sorry) and Mark Carpio’s Hiling (Request) round out the week’s top five.

artslife@thenational.ae

Updated: June 15, 2017 04:00 AM

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