Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez have reunited in the Amazon Original Movie Walang KaParis, a romantic drama helmed by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, the same director of the 2017 rom-com Kita Kita, where their hit tandem was born.

Walang KaParis starts streaming alongside Kita Kita on Prime Video come March 23 in 240 countries and territories worldwide.

While we never got a clear or straight answer as to why it took almost six years for them to revive their movie tandem, christened as Alempoy, it would be interesting to watch if the magic is still there — and what has changed since then.

Nevertheless, what appears to have not changed is that they can be both dynamic duo and chaotic duo on and off screen. They like teasing and messing with each other… even in interviews.

Alessandra is Marie, who suddenly appears and claims to be the subject of the paintings

The STAR was able to chat with the two at Seda Hotel as part of promotional activities for Walang KaParis, and they started things off by revealing their first impressions of each other.

Alessandra said that right from the onset, she found Empoy hilarious. She also thought that her leading man had a negative first impression of her.

“Wala, tawang-tawa lang ako sa kanya eh,” she began. “But si Empoy, he already had this notion masama ugali ko (that I wasn’t nice) because he’d always see me as a…”

Empoy plays a visual artist who has had many lovers, but is pining for the mysterious muse of his paintings.

“Super villain,” Empoy finished off Alessandra’s sentence.

“But with me, I had no issue with him whatsoever. I just wanted to find out for myself if he was funny in person or not,” Alessandra continued.

“It turns out I’m funnier than him (laughs).”

“Alam ko naman yun,” Empoy was quick to counter.

But he easily agreed with Alessandra that he initially thought of his leading lady as “mataray (mean)” and “parang ‘di ko makakasundo” or that they wouldn’t have rapport.

“Feeling niya,” said Alessandra.

A behind-the-scenes shot of the 'Alempoy' tandem.

“Yes, that was before,” Empoy said, adding that when he finally met Alessandra, he saw that “she was different pala. Kakaiba.”

Different and unconventional could also best describe Alempoy. And whatever “magic” their pairing has, it made Kita Kita one of the highest-grossing independent films of all time, even spawning a remake in Indonesia. Their breakout tandem no less deserves a follow-up project even if it meant more than five years later.

Looking back though, what’s even more interesting about the Alempoy loveteam is that they didn’t have to do screen tests or auditions for their Kita Kita roles to check if they had any onscreen chemistry. Both felt that it just came out naturally.

“Organic yung love team namin,” said Empoy.

“Organic yung chemistry namin,” added Alessandra.

“(Maybe because) wala kaming gustong patunayan sa isa’t isa. Wala kaming kailangan from each other. (We have nothing to prove to each other. We don’t need anything from each other). We just really care about each other.

“That’s it. Yuck!” quipped Alessandra, drawing guffaws from Empoy. “I mean it when I said that I care, but I also mean it — yung yuck (laughs).”

Can we expect this same energy of banter in Walang KaParis? That remains to be seen. But we had to ask them: How was it working with each other again?

“Pinagsisihan ko siya (laughs), pero natanggap ko naman siya eventually…,” Alessandra joked again before turning a bit serious: “Hindi nga, nakaka-miss si Empoy, nakaka-miss yung eksena.

“But for this film… this is not Kita Kita, it’s not comedy. It’s a bit of a drama. ‘Di kami masyado nakapaglaro as ourselves because we had roles to portray.”

Alessandra noted that her role in Walang KaParis is “very far” from who she is in real life. Same with Empoy, she also pointed out.

“At ang role ni Empoy ay talaga naman hindi aabot kahit sa panaginip (laughs)...

“Ang dami niyang alam dito (he knows a lot), daming kwento (he has many stories) about history, everything… hindi ganyan si Empoy, he’s just quiet,” Alessandra said.

“Well, kahit sa movie man lang ay naging Albert Einstein ako,” Empoy joked.

If Kita Kita was a “meet-cute story” where the characters were supposed to end up with each other but it didn’t happen, in Walang KaParis, “it’s like a five-to-seven year love affair (between the main characters), it’s supposed to be deep,” said Alessandra.

“Medyo nahirapan ako dun because I needed to show na mahal ko siya eh. I had to get an acting coach,” she joked.

“More so with him (Empoy) kasi diring-diri siya sa akin.”

Alessandra also divulged that Empoy even tried going for a “direk Lav Diaz” look. Whatever that means exactly, the publicity stills showed him with “side-swept hair” for a change. “He was able to achieve the look on the last day,” Alessandra said.

After the success of Kita Kita, they said they stayed close as friends. Empoy said he would “occasionally get lost” and show up in Alessandra’s house to enjoy her cooking.

When asked if he ever got pikon or hurt by Alessandra’s teasing, Empoy deadpanned, “Naaawa lang ako.”

“No, hindi siya naaasar pero ‘pag nalalasing siya…”

“Lex,” Empoy jokingly warned her against proceeding with her story, before adding: “People change.”

Amidst that playful banter and huge doses of levity during the interview, the lead stars turned serious when asked for Walang KaParis’ key lessons on love.

Said Empoy, “Walang sukuan kahit ganun ang pagkakakataon (circumstance in life).

Said Alessandra, “For me, it’s more like letting things flow. You can’t force them. At the right moment, if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. But you cannot manipulate any ambition or love story.”

Then it was back to joking with and about each other, and then keeping it “cryptic” when prodded for the real reason it took six years before another Alempoy movie.

“Oh, that question!” Alessandra reacted and then joked of being thankful that this writer’s turn was up before she could answer.

As per synopsis, Walang KaParis revolves around Jojo (Empoy), a Paris-based Filipino visual artist who is quite the playboy. But despite this, he’s also desperate to fill a void in his life once occupied by a mysterious muse for his paintings.

“For years, his heart was held captive by a woman with no name and no history. Like a compass, he looks for her in every girl he meets, hoping she will be ‘the one,’” the synopsis reads.

One day, a woman named Marie (Alessandra) appears before him and claims to be the subject of his paintings.

Walang KaParis — a wordplay on the film setting, which also translates to “no match” in Filipino — is jointly produced by Spring Films and Viva Films.

David Simonsen, director of Prime Video, Southeast Asia, said in a media statement: “A few weeks after Prime Video debuted its first Filipino Amazon Original 10 Little Mistresses, we are thrilled to bring another quality Filipino movie to global audiences with Walang KaParis.”

He further said, “We’re always on the lookout for great stories that are uniquely local and highly enjoyable, and we’re excited to work with more Filipino talents to bring diverse stories to Prime Video members in the Philippines and across the globe.”

2023-03-18T16:40:52Z dg43tfdfdgfd