Talent manager defends Bea Alonzo over ‘1521’ controversy: ‘Modus operandi’

October 11, 2023 - 2:00 PM
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Bea Alonzo (beaalonzo/Instagram, Screengrab from inspireonewithfrancisho7307/YouTube)

Unreasonable demands? No such thing!

Thus said Shirley Kuan, manager of Bea Alonzo, following the allegations of the producers of “1521: The Quest for Love and Freedom” against the actress. 

“1521” is a romantic period film reimagining the Battle of Mactan with a love story between a diwata and a Portuguese translator named Enrique. Aside from Bea, it stars Hector David Jr., acclaimed actor Danny Trejo and Michael Copon.

The allegations against Bea began after Ogie Diaz in his blog last month claimed that a member of Bea’s team said that the actress was disinclined to promote “1521.” This is due to the supposed disappointing experiences Bea had during its production.

READBea Alonzo’s ‘1521’ wins at Sweden Film Awards 2023 amid issues hounding movie

The staff member claimed that Bea paid for her staff’s accommodations while filming the movie in Palawan and that the actress paid for her own movie costume.

A representative of “1521” producer Francis Lara Ho refuted the claims in statements previously sent to Inquirer.net, claiming that Bea brought additional staff members who were not part of her signed contract. Hence, the producer not paying for the “additional rooms.”

The statement also alleged that Bea did not show up during her costume fitting schedule, and then later sought a “redesign” of her costume.

“Bea had unreasonable demands and expectations not stated in the contract that the producer did not accommodate because it was not agreed upon and/or they were unreasonable,” the movie producer’s camp said in the statement 

‘Modus Operandi’

In an interview with entertainment news site PEP,  Kuan said the allegations are false. 

She was quoted as saying that the issue is the producer’s “modus operandi” to promote the film. 

According to Kuan, Bea was fitted for the costume just days before her flight to Palawan to film “1521” — not a month before filming as the movie’s camp said. 

The talent manager said they received photos of Bea’s costume on July 25, 2022, six days before Palawan flight.

The following day, Bea received three pieces of the costume she was supposed to wear in the film. But Kuan added that the costume had many issues. 

“Hindi kasya. Maraming diperensiya. Because nakikita yung likod ni Bea, nakikita yung side niya, hindi maitaas yung zipper,” Kuan said. 

The report noted that Bea’s original babaylan costume featured a one-shoulder bra top and a matching skirt. The bra top, the report added, seems loose based on the photos presented by Kuan.

According to the report, the two other sets of attire that Bea was supposed to wear for “1521” include a pink formal gown princess costume that had issues with its length and its back zipper and a white crop top and white shorts.

Kuan said they told the film production that the costumes did not fit well. 

“So, Bea will just have it repaired,” she said. Bea;s team also requested a Zoom meeting with “1521” production team to discuss the issues with the costume.

READTeam of ‘1521’ movie expresses gratitude amid criticisms vs viral trailer

Kuan said the production team suggested that the repairs be done in Palawan. But the talent manager said they opted to do the repairs on Bea’s costumes in Manila.

“Kami nang gagawa ng paraan to protect Bea. Hindi namin trabaho yan. Pero ginawa namin.”

Kuan confirmed that Bea did pay for the alterations made to the costume.

“We did not demand. We told them, ‘What are we supposed to do?’,” she told PEP. “Kami nang gagawa ng paraan to protect Bea. Hindi namin trabaho yan. Pero ginawa namin. Sige na lang. Let’s be a team player. Is that unreasonable?”

Kuan said Bea also paid the fees of the fashion designer who made the original costumes. 

The talent manager said Bea found out that the costume was made by a young fashion designer from Bicol via an ex-deal 

Kuan said: ”Sino ngayon ang unreasonable? At sino ngayon ang hindi nagdi-deliver ng kanilang very basic requirement Unreasonable mag-expect ng costume? Trabaho ng PD [production designer] yan, ha. Trabaho niya dapat make sure ang costume may duplicate.

She added the costume alterations were made not for Bea’s comfort but for her “safety and security.”

“1521” opened in theaters in the United States via limited release on October 2. Producers are yet to announce a local theatrical release for the film. — Chuck Smith