HBO Asia Originals unveiled Filipino actor Bianca Umali as the new lead star of its longest-running series, Halfworlds.
HBO Asia officially welcomed Bianca Umali as part of the HBO Asia series in their announcement on November 29.
After her successful stint as Sama Dilaut in Kapuso epic-drama, Sahaya, the 19-year-old actress is set to play the role of Alex in the fantasy/thriller series’ Season 3 to be directed by Filipino filmmaker, Mikhail Red.
In Halfworlds, Bianca Umali’s Alex is a half-human and half-engkanto whose mission is “to find the original source of a dwindling haven plant to heal Engkantos’ thirst for human flesh.”
Internationally-acclaimed filmmaker Mikhail Red recounted at the HBO press conference in Singapore how Umali snagged the lead role.
Mikhail Red, whose “Dead Kids” premiered as a Netflix Original film on Sunday, revealed that Bianca was recommended as the perfect choice for the lead role. “We called her in for an audition,” said Mikhail Red.
“And this was the latter part already and she came in, she was not even aware there’s gonna be an audition. She didn’t know anything about the project. ‘Cause it’s still top secret at that time and we met her, talked to her, and we saw that she has so many parallels and similarities with the character, the lead of Halfworlds.
“And on the spot, she did an audition and I think she even cried and she was super emotional in that audition. She blew us away.”
The GMA-7 star went on social media to say she was happy for unexpectedly scoring the lead character for the upcoming third season of Halfworlds.
The Pinay actress also shared how was her experience during the audition.
“They told me then and there that I was going to audition and I said ‘Oh! So I’m gonna act today?”
“So I didn’t know, I really don’t know anything about it, but then so the audition was more of an improv… thankfully it paid off and I’m very happy that I got in.”
The first two seasons of Halfworlds were inspired by the diverse Southeast Asian mythologies and were filmed in Jakarta in Indonesia, and Bangkok in Thailand.
The upcoming third season will reportedly be filmed entirely in the Philippines starting January 2020.
Filipino talent has been reemerging and gaining the world’s attention, from singing, acting, fashion designing, and filmmaking.
Filipino actors who captured the hearts of the worldwide audience in foreign TV series include Ejay Falcon and Lauren Young in the Korean hit drama, Where Stars Land (Fox Bride Star).
SEND congratulations in the comments below to Bianca Umali and Mikhail Red for their upcoming work with HBO Asia!
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