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Aga Muhlach on actors’ exclusive contracts: ‘Tigilan na yan!’

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Nov 26, 2020 4:37 am Updated Nov 26, 2020 5:08 am

Veteran actor Aga Muhlach says that when actors can freely choose their film projects and work with actors from different studios and networks, it creates for a better film industry.

Muhlach said this last week during the online press conference of WeTV, which kicks off its streaming service with his 2019 film Miracle in Cell No. 7 tomorrow.

“The country’s so small, the film industry’s so small, pero grabe ang divisiveness. Parang hiwa-hiwalay, naglalaban-laban. Sana mangyari yung dating industriya natin. Of course we all need to move forward, pero dapat sama-sama. Hindi yung kapag taga ABS, ABS ka lang o taga GMA-7 dun ka lang, pag taga Viva, Viva ka lang.”

He added that the entire showbiz industry should be open. “Kapag nagkasama-sama mas maganda ang nagagawa nating pelikula.”

Aga Muhlach promoting Miracle in Cell No. 7 in 2019

Muhlach lamented that because of exclusive contracts, actors lose opportunities to work with the best, but he’s hopeful that with new streaming platforms and independent producers, actors will have more avenues open to them to do good movies.

“The opportunities are there now. Sana mawala na yung exclusivity. Tigilan na yan! From writers to actors, dapat sama-sama. If you get the best writers, actors from different studios and assemble them, that’s the only way we can show how good we can really be in the film industry. Kung walang agawan, walang nag-aangkin mas masaya, mas maganda. Ang tagal na sana nating naka-angat, noon pa. ”

If you get the best writers, actors from different studios and assemble them, that’s the only way we can show how good we can really be in the film industry.

As an ABS-CBN actor for many years doing sitcoms, he saw “how it all happened.”

“We were doing shows on Channels 7, 2, and 13; we were doing movies for Regal and Viva. . Lahat nagkakasama, buhay na buhay ang industriya. And then slowly, you realize even the shows on ABS—I am from ABS, ang puso ko naman nandoon—there was a time na kahit yung mga shows namin naglalaban laban. May mga ‘Sinong mas lamang sa ratings?’ na naririnig ako.

“I was really bothered, even in the ‘90s and early 2000s. I was really bothered by the network wars. Di pwedeng kunin si ganyan, si ganoon. Tama na yung hiwa-hiwalay, magsama-sama na lang, magtulungan na, wag lang sa salita pero dapat sa gawa.”

Aga Muhlach and wife Charlene Gonzalez

With new streaming platforms like WeTV, he said, their work becomes more accessible to people and takes away the pressures of making box-office hits.

“Before, actors would think, will people watch this in theaters, do they have the money for movies? Now they can access movies on new platforms—it’s a global thing happening now. As an actor, now you’re more open, happier to do movies. But of course I will miss the silver screen. Let’s see what happens in the years to come.”

Iza Calzado
Bela Padilla

Iza Calzado, who stars in B&B: The Story of Battle of Brody & Brandy (streaming in February 2021), agreed. “As an actor it gives you more freedom, a little less pressure. It will actually excite you more if you’re not having to cater to what everyone wants. It will feed your artistic soul.”

Actress, writer and director Bela Padilla said she’s excited to see more original local content on streaming platforms. “I grew up watching VHS, VCDs and DVDs…things will always change. I’m an actress today because I grew up watching movies with my grandfather in cinemas, but that can change for my grandchildren. I feel that we have to be always open to what’s new.”

Even in the ‘90s and early 2000s, I was really bothered by the network wars.

WeTV’s monthly subscription is P59, quarterly at P159, and annually at P599. It will stream content from all over Asia starting tomorrow, Nov. 27.

Speaking of contracts, Aga’s leading lady in First Love Bea Alonzo is has left Star Magic, ABS-CBN announced today. Alonzo is leaving after 19 years with the network’s talent and management center.

Aga Muhlach and Bea Alonzo in 2018’s First Love

In a statement on Twitter, ABS-CBN said, “After a series of consultations, Bea Alonzo has decided to pursue her professional goals under a new talent management. Bea has subsequently advised ABS-CBN that she has appointed Ms. Shirley Kuan to represent her as manager. We respect her decision.

ABS-CBN continued that it was confident industry veteran Kuan “will manage Bea with the same attention and care that Star Magic has devoted” to the actress’ career and that it was coordinating with her “to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.”

“Even if Bea is no longer with Star Magic, she will always remain a Kapamilya.”

Alonzo started her career with Star Magic in 2001. She has appeared in several popular TV series including Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay, and It Might Be You.

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