Aquino to star in Hollywood film

Jujemay G. Awit

KRIS Aquino revealed on Easter Sunday that she will be in Los Angeles, California today to sign a contract for a Hollywood film. The contract will be signed on Monday, L.A. time. Until then, Aquino refused to share more details.

But last Sunday, she shared a photo of a cross with a heart on it on Instagram with a bible passage from Corinthians about power in weakness. She started her lengthy caption with: “For a year, I experienced rejections. A part of my spirit broke. There were two shows I lost because hiring an Aquino for TV was a political risk not worth taking.”

Aquino revealed that Tony- and Grammy-winning Broadway producer Jhett Tolentino reached out to her through her Philippines-based friends.

“He was helping a Filipino-Chinese-American agent friend of his reach me to ask if I’d want to audition for a big Hollywood studio movie about to start filming,” the actress and TV show host also said in the post.

Despite being a big star in the country, Aquino had to audition for the Hollywood film in 72 hours. The 46-year-old was contacted on March 23. Two days later, she had her audition reel shot at the Manila Peninsula.

“We shot, they immediately edited and color graded both my audition scenes and video (biography). Sunday we sent the high-definition material. And we waited. And PRAYED,” her Easter post also read.

“Tonight I fly to Los Angeles to meet Chris Lee, my agent, to sign my contract. I passed five levels of intense scrutiny and was offered a role. It is surreal to be reading the script from a major Hollywood studio watermarked on every page with my name.”

As of her last post yesterday (Sunday night in LA), she was already checked in at The Peninsula in Beverly Hills.

Aquino, though, signed a non-disclosure agreement. She can’t reveal details of the film until the production team itself announces it.

However, many are guessing that Aquino will be part of the film adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s best-seller Crazy Rich Asians.

Aquino herself posted the many clues that pointed to Crazy Rich Asians as her next project.

For one, she said that she was contacted last month to audition for a film that was about to start filming. According to reports, Crazy Rich Asians will start filming this month.

Aquino also posted several photos that involve Kwan, the latest of which was a snap of the author following her on social media. Aquino posted the snap capture on Instagram five days ago with the caption: “#Fangirl mode. Sorry. Just had to post because I WAS SO THRILLED! 1 of my favorite authors, @kevinkwanbooks, is now following me.”

Days before, she also posted how much she loves Kwan’s books.

In one post, she shared nine books she would love to finish reading while on vacation. Three of those were Kwan’s trilogy: Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend and the upcoming Rich People Problems.

“What an awesome, thoroughly researched trilogy and sobrang nakaka-proud (it makes me really proud) because the beauty of our Palawan is highlighted in the third installment,” said Aquino.

While Rich People Problems won’t be available until May, Aquino was able to borrow an advance copy of the book. She also posted a copy of the book over a week ago on Instagram.

Crazy Rich Asians is the story of Amerasian couple Rachel Chu and Nick Young. When Nick’s best friend gets married in Singapore, he brings Rachel with him. Unbeknownst to Rachel, Nick belongs to one of the richest families in Asia.

But Nick’s family wants to keep the wealth within and are instantly suspicious of Rachel.

Fresh Off the Boat’s Constance Wu has been cast as Rachel while newcomer Henry Goulding will play Nick.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s Michelle Yeoh will play Nick’s disapproving mother Eleanor while Gemma Chan will play Nick’s gorgeous cousin Astrid. The latest addition to the cast is Ex Machina’s Sonoya Mizuno.

While Kwan’s books are focused on the rich people in Singapore and Hong Kong, he did mention some rich people from the Philippines. But Aquino doesn’t have to be limited to a Filipino role since she has Chinese ancestry.

If indeed Aquino will star in Crazy Rich Asians, this will not be her first foray into international films. She starred in the 1991 Hong Kong comedy Happy Ghost V, which was released in the Philippines as Magic to Win. The film was shot in Cantonese.