At 58, actor Soliman Cruz bags his first lead role, yet in an international movie

At 58, actor Soliman Cruz bags his first lead role, yet in an international movie

MANILA—Character actor Soliman Cruz failed to catch the plane that would bring him to Romania last March 15. He got a problem with his visa so he was left behind.

He was gripped with tension because he did not expect that there would be a hindrance in his flight to Romania, his shooting location for the international movie “To The North” where he is the lead actor.

“Hindi ako nakasakay ng Monday, March 15. Naiwan ako ng eroplano,” Soliman said in a messenger video call on Fafebook.

“May problema sa visa ko, ‘tapos tumawag pa yung producer namin sa airline office, tumawag pa sa embassy, kailangan tawagan ‘yung patrol borders sa Romania. Kumain nang kumain ng oras.

“Pagdating ko sa immigration, dalawang beses ako na ininterbyu pero kung isang beses lang ako ininterbyu, makakasakay ako ng eroplano.

“Grabeng stress, tumaas na ‘yung boses ko,” ang kuwento ni Soliman na hindi napigilan na matawa dahil sa kanyang stressful experience.

He will start shooting on April 5 for the filmTo The North” but he has started his two-week rehearsals with his co-actors in a hotel where they are staying at Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

“Yung mga tao dito, nagsusuot din ng facemask. Yung bars at restaurants, walang kumakain o umiinom sa loob. Lahat, sa labas,” observed Soliman on his first trip to the country, before he related what he would do in the film.

“Broken English, merong Español ‘tsaka Tagalog ang dialogue ko sa “To The North.”

“Ang location namin, barko lang talaga. Ngayon kasi, napakamahal na magrenta ng isang barko kaya pupunta kami sa ibang bayan ngayong Monday, March 29.

“Nag-set up sila ng set at dito kukunan ang lahat ng mga eksena sa ilalim ng barko. Yung mga eksena sa ibabaw ng barko, sa Greece ang shooting.

“Magsisimula ang shooting namin sa  April 5, after Holy Week dahil nirerespeto nila yung pagiging Katoliko namin.”

 

Lead star at 58

Asked on his reaction and what he expects from his lead role in an international movie at the age of 58?

“Siyempre masaya, pero may isa pang pakiramdam na walang salita na puwede kong sabihin. Higit pa sa saya. Hindi ko alam kung paano ko sasabihin.

“Kailan ko lang nalaman na ako ang magbibida sa pelikulang ito. Alam mo naman, supporting actor ako, palaging bahagi ng ensemble, support ng lead.

“Nung nasa airport ako sa Manila, may lumapit sa akin na seaman, papunta siya sa Germany.

“Sabi niya, ‘Nabasa ko po na may gagawin kayong pelikula at kayo ang magbibida. Ire-represent mo kami sa pelikulang ‘yan, maraming salamat.’

“Kung kakausapin ko ang bayan, ako’y naririto para magrepresenta ng mga marinero ng ating bansa at ako’y nagpapasalamat na ako yung napili na bida.

“Nagkaroon ng lockdown pero nandito pa rin ako, nandito pa rin yung responsibilidad na i-represent ko ang mga marinero ng ating bayan.

“Wala sa utak ko na magbibida ako. Bahagi ako ng ensemble, yun palagi ang mindset ko. Kasi kung ilalagay ko sa isip ko na ako ang bida, magiging bagahe sa utak ko. Baka maapektuhan yung aking pagganap.

“Kung bahagi ako ng ensemble, madali kong magagampanan na walang bagahe sa utak ko.

“Ang ginagawa ko, one day at a time. Ang preparation ko, one sequence at a time.

“Ang expectation ko, kaming mga aktor, magkaroon na ng cohesiveness, meron kasi sa cast na French, Bulgarian, Romanian, Taiwanese, Filipino.

“Almost eighty percent of the film, kasama ako. So ako rin yung inaasahan ng direktor. May mga bulong siya sa akin, lalo na sa mga batang aktor. Sabi niya, do these things for this actor to react.”

 

Surviving his “sickness”

In March 2014, Soliman was in the news when he became homeless and roamed along Roxas Boulevard. It was a big trial that he was able to get through and then triumphed over it.

Sol does not keep that very dark moment of his life as a result of his drug addiction which he regarded as sickness.

“Nagkasakit ako, yung tinatawag ko na addiction. Yung struggle ko, winawasak niya ako.

“Yung pagiging homeless ko noon, it was drug-induced. Nakakarinig na ako ng mga boses pero hindi ako binitawan ng mga kaibigan.

“Hindi sila bumitaw sa paniniwala sa akin, yung aking mga kaibigan, magulang, mga kapatid ko. Para sa akin, sila yung highlight ng buhay ko.

“Grabe yung hirap noon ng mga tao na nakapaligid sa akin,”  Soliman related and regretted those mistakes in the past.

“Maraming pagsisisi. Kailangan mong sabihin kaagad ang mga nasa isip mo sa mga tao, bago ka matulog, hindi mo babaunin… Bakit hindi ko nasabi? Bakit hindi ko nagawa?

Sa ngayon sa edad ko, sinesentro ko na yung aking mga gawain sa pagpapasaya ng aking pamilya, ng aking nanay na sobrang hirap ang dinanas sa akin.”

Soliman will stay quite long in Romania for the shooting of the film “To The North.”  He is scheduled to come back to Manila on June 12 and though he is far from his family, he said he doesn’t experience homesickness at all.

The character actor now lead star is grateful for the modern technology that we have at present, because he can communicate regularly with his two daughters and with his beloved 88-year old mother through video calls.

(ECDiao/MTVN)

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