“Nakaka-two days shoot na ako,” Charice told Funfare in an exclusive phone interview yesterday. “I started shooting last Thursday.”
That was barely 24 hours upon her arrival from Manila with her mom Raquel after Charice performed at a special show at the Shangri-La Plaza.
It was 10:30 Sunday night in L.A. and Charice said she was about to sleep because she was needed on the set at 9 o’clock the following morning. She and her mom are staying at a hotel in Long Beach.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” added Charice who plays herself in the movie to be shown in January next year. “My mom is a big fan of the Chipmunks and that’s how I got to know the group.” Confirmed Raquel, “The Chipmunks were on the cover of my notebooks at that time.”
In the movie, Charice uses her own name.
“It’s not a big role but the fact that it’s a Hollywood movie is already a big deal for me.”
In the scene, Charice represents her school at a singing contest in which she sings the Alicia Keys song No One, competing with other contestants that include The Chipmunks. Asked who wins, Charice laughed a bit, “Secret! Hindi ko raw dapat sabihin, eh.”
Alvin and the Chipmunks is a five-time Grammy winning and one-time American Music Award winning animated music group created by Ross Bagdasarian Sr. in 1958. It is composed of three singing animated chipmunks: Alvin, the mischievous trouble-maker who quickly became the star of the group; Simon, the tall, bespectacled intellectual; and Theodore, the chubby, impressionable sweetheart. The trio is managed by their human father and confidant, David Seville, and were named after the executives of their original record label, Liberty Records: Alvin Bennett (the president), Simon Waronker (the founder and owner) and Theodore Keep (the chief engineer).
Since then, the Chipmunks have recorded several albums, one of them consisting of Beatles songs which should be familiar to baby boomers. They have also done TV shows and a few movies, the last having been Alvin and the Chipmunks in 2007 with Justin Long (former boyfriend of Drew Barrymore) as Alvin.
“I auditioned for the role, kasi nga fan ako ng Chipmunks, eh,” said Charice who kept it a secret even to her friends, although some of them (including her neighbor in Canlubang, Laguna, Bum Tenorio of The STAR’s Allure section) noticed that Charice was speaking in a quaint manner. It turned out that she was already “internalizing” for the Chipmunks movie.
It was the Gurfinkel couple Michael and Millie who asked Charice to audition and who informed her that she passed it. (The Gurfinkels have been facilitating the issuance of Charice and her mom’s visas, and their mobility around the US.) It was also the couple who arranged this phone interview with Charice.
It was smooth sailing for Charice. The Chipmunks director saw Charice in Oprah and he liked her performance.
“That’s why he said he wanted me to be in his movie.”
During the audition, Charice was made to read the script and speak like a Chipmunk, and to sing.
“I sang two songs, Listen and Irreplaceable, both by Beyoncé.”
After her last shooting schedule on Tuesday (today, Manila time), Charice and Raquel will fly to Phoenix, Arizona, to perform at a tribute to Muhammad Ali on Saturday, March 28, together with A-list artists that include Bon Jovi. She will sing a Bodyguard medley (songs by Whitney Houston including I Will Always Love You).