As Actors – Manila is a hysterically funny web series created by Hugo Chiarella and Tamlyn Henderson, documenting their experiences in Manila as members of Les Miserables’ touring production.
Sometimes it’s difficult to separate actors from their roles, especially when they’re part of something as heavy as Les Miserables (Chiarella plays Grantaire while Henderson plays the Factory Foreman/Brujon), and we expect them to be gloomy in real life too. Well, the duo quickly dispels any such notions in this series with their style of deadpan and improv comedy.
Chiarella and Henderson irreverently poke fun at themselves, starting from the title of their show, “As Actors”: as in “As actors, we must have access to a gym, sauna…” and their self-described “shambolic” documentary.
They’ve already released a teaser video of their interview with Simon Gleeson, who plays Jean Valjean, and I was laughing so hard that I had to pause and rewind a few times. Chiarelli and Henderson are in suits while Gleeson is in shorts, looking appropriately mystified at the two. There are lots of awkward pauses in between long-winded and deliberately pretentious questions about acting that it’s a wonder how Gleeson was able to keep a straight face throughout.
Judging from the preview there will be encounters with the ubiquitous balut, pedicabs, and some questionable ladies, and it will be interesting to see their take on distinctly Filipino traditions like the Passion Play. This is going to be one uproarious ride and we can’t wait!
The series starts in March, but you can check out updates and previews on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/asactors/.