Why Katrina Halili accepted the lead role in dystopian flick 'Mga Anak ng Kamote'

MANILA, Philippines – After 10 years, Katrina Halili returns to the big screen with Mga Anak ng Kamote, an official entry to the TOFARM Film Festival 2018.

In an interview with Katrina at the TOFARM press conference Monday, September 3, the actress shared that the movie’s unique story was what ultimately drew her in.

May mga [movie] offers naman before and may mga ginawa naman ako pero ito ‘yung lead talaga. Hindi ako naka-hindi kasi maganda ‘yung story. Kakaiba. Hindi ko pa siya nagagawa,” she shared.

(There are offers before and I did some movies, but this one is the lead. I could not say no to hte project because it was a beautiful story. It's different. I've never done anything like it.)

Mga Anak ng Kamote tells the story of Iyong (Katrina) a woman forced to leave the mountains in search for her husband who was held by the police for selling illegal kamote. The movie is set in a fictional Philippines in the year 2048, a time where the humble sweet potato is "regularized" as part of government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

According to Katrina, the character is unlike anything she has done in the past.

“‘Yung role ko dito medyo mas mahirap siyang gawin kasi ‘yung struggle niya internal. Mas ‘madali kasing magalit pag sumisigaw ka or ipapakita mo. Ito kasi sa loob eh. Mas masakit. Ano kasi siya, makimkim, hindi masalita, tahimik lang. Ipapakita dito sa movie kung ano talaga ‘yung iniisip niya or ano bang meron sa katahimikan na ‘yun.

(My role is a bit hard to do because her struggle is internal. It's easy to get mad when you shout or show it. This one is within. It hurts a lot. She keeps things to herself and doesn't speak up. She's just quiet. In this movie, it will show what she's really feeling or that quietness in her.) 

MGA ANAK NG KAMOTE. Katrina Halili poses with the cast of the movie and organizers of the ToFarm Festival.

MGA ANAK NG KAMOTE. Katrina Halili poses with the cast of the movie and organizers of the ToFarm Festival.

For two straight weeks, Katrina only slept for roughly two hours a day juggling Mga Anak ng Kamote and her afternoon series The Stepdaughters. Nonetheless, the actress shared that she’s grateful to have landed her first lead role in an independent film.

Nag-enjoy ako nung ginawa namin ito. Bukod sa kakaiba ‘yung character na ginampanan ko, namiss ko na nga ‘yung character ko dito eh, masaya yung production. Kaya kahit pagod ako, walang tulog, ‘di ko naman naramdaman.”

(I enjoyed doing this. Aside from doing a different character, I actually miss doing this character, i had a good time with the production team. So even if I was tired and lacked sleep, I did not feel the exhaustion.)

Mga Anak ng Kamote runs from September 12- 18, 2018 at select cinemas nationwide. –  Rappler.com