More than two decades since launching her career in show business, Alessandra “Alex” de Rossi continues to make strides as actress not only here but abroad.
Her latest work is drama-action movie “Watch List,” helmed by Indian-American filmmaker Ben Rekhi. In an interview, she said that the making of the international movie was so meticulous that there were times one scene would take them six hours to finish.
How did she bag the project?
“May tumawag sa akin na gusto daw ako i-meet ng isang Hollywood director,” she said in an interview. “Tapos parang ako daw ‘yung pinaka-fit sa character—siguro kasi sobrang payat, madaling patumbahin in short (laughs).”
Alex plays Maria, a woman whose husband is killed under mysterious circumstances. To protect her family form the people who are responsible for her husband’s death, she joins a vigilante group — a decision that puts Maria and her three children in greater danger.
In a press statement, Ben was quoted to have said good things about Alex.
“I knew it was going to be difficult to find the right actress to play Maria. It’s an incredible emotional role, and if it was not performed with raw humanity, the entire film would fall apart,” Ben said. “When I saw Alessandra’s work, I knew she was the only one who could play Maria.”
He added: “I couldn’t have been more fortunate. I’ve worked with a lot of actors over the years, In Hollywood, in Bollywood, even some Academy Award winners, and Alessandra’s talent is something I’ve never seen before. I think fans of hers are going to be blown away as her performance in the film. It’s one of the best of her career.”
The reason Alex was drawn to the project was simply that it is inspired by true events.
Aside from the numerous dramatic highlights, Alex rode a motorcycle and even wielded a gun in certain scenes. These, she promised, will be gripping to viewers and will have them at the edge of their seats.
Alex also liked it that the project proved to be collaborative in that she was given the chance to voice her opinion on the script.
“In-explain niya (Ben) sa akin na na-inspire siya sa isang article na nakita niya online na tungkol sa, I think, mag-asawa ata sila na pinatay ‘yung asawa niya,” she said. “And then du’n nag-start siya mag research kung paano mag-build ang story around it…”
“So naging kwento siya ng isang nanay na widow na wants to find answer kung ano ‘yung totoong nangyari sa asawa niya, kung bakit siya pinatay,” she added.
Though the movie tackles a timely albeit touchy subject, Alex stressed she’s apolitical and that the film is not making at stand about anything, just merely telling a story.
“Baka sabihin anti or pro ako pero ang totoo, hindi ako sumasawsaw sa political issues although I have my own thoughts about it and these I keep to myself,” she said. “Ang ganda kasi ng kwento na based true events. So, hindi naman siya inimbento lang.”
She hopes moviegoers would give “Watch List” a chance.
“Sana ‘wag tayo mag-focus sa political side,” Alex said. “Mag-focus tayo sa istorya ng isang ina at sa ano ‘yung kaya niyang gawin para protektahan ‘yung naiwan sa kanya.”
After earning raves in the film festival circuit, including the US, Europe, and parts of Asia, “Watch List” opens in local cinemas on Feb. 9.
Distributed by Reality Entertainment, the cast also has Art Acuna, Jake Macapagal, Lou Veloso, Micko Laurente, Timothy Mabalot, Jess Mendoza, and Angeli Bayani.