Slumber Party: Now Showing!

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One of the most difficult assignments an actor can get is to play a gay role; only a few Filipino actors have accepted the challenge and passed with flying colors.

Singer-actor Markki Stroem, actor-commercial model RK Bagatsing and character actor Archie Alemania bravely took on gay roles in "Slumber Party," a comedy film that opens in theaters nationwide on November 27.

"Slumber Party" tells the story of three gay friends: the fashion forward Elle played by Markki, the vulgar but funny Jhana played by Archie, and the refined Phi played by RK. The three organize a get-together on the night before the Ms. Universe pageant. Their party—and even their friendship— is disrupted with the sudden arrival of a frat boy portrayed by Sef Cadayona.

One thing that sets “Slumber Party” apart from other gay comedies is that all the gay characters in the film are played by straight actors, including a delightful cameo from former child superstar Niño Muhlach.

“Casting straight actors in gay roles was not intentional. In fact, I casted blind,” “We were open to casting anyone. Yung mga unang nagpunta sa audition, mga cross dressers, gays from the theater. And then marami ring male actors na pumunta sa auditions, who were going for the roles. I was not much concerned whether the actor was gay or straight. What was more important to me was that the actor fits the role, and that the three leads that we will choose will have the right chemistry”.

In summing up his film, Direk Emman hopes that “Slumber Party” is able to show a different side of gays not always portrayed in media. “It’s a chance not to laugh at gay characters but to laugh with them, to enter their world with lesser judgment and preconceptions,” he noted.

Director Emman dela Cruz, who co-wrote the screenplay with Troy Espiritu and Philippe Salvador Palmos, reveals that the actors went on an "immersion" and met the real gays whose lives provided inspiration for the characters. "Nag-set up kami ng get-together sa videoke lounge in Nakpil.Malate," says Direk Emman. "The actors saw how much they can glean from the real Phi, El le and Jhana... There and then they saw where the real and fictional selves melded. Each interaction was surprising."

RK also got some pointers from a gay friend living in the US who is close to their family. "Nagtanong-tanong ako sa kanya," RK says of his friend. Markki talked to fashion designers such as Joey Samson to define his stylish character Elle. Meanwhile, Archie was inspired by the Philippines' Comedy King Dolphy who played many iconic gay characters on the big screen.

Another revelation in "Slumber Party" is Nino Muhlach who plays a very unique role as "gay mother" who is a leader in the community. Nino's "outing" is a standout; one viewer boldly declares that it is one of the former child actor's most memorable roles—ever.

Produced by Emman dela Cruz, HUBO Productions, Cinema One, Christian Diamzon Pictures and distributed by Origin8 Media, “Slumber Party” also stars Sef Cadayona, Niño Muhlach, Maey Bautista, Betong Sumaya and Venus Raj.

The film opens November 27 at SM cinemas in North EDSA, Megamall, Mall of Asia, Marikina, Fairview, Manila and Sta. Mesa as well as Robinsons Galleria, Metro East and Gaisano Davao.

For more information, check out Slumber Party - the Movie on Facebook 

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