In the romantic comedy Asian Persuasion, the actress takes on the role of a divorcee in New York City, in the aftermath of her falling out of love with her luckless ex-husband. Soon, he hatches a matchmaking plan to break out of his alimony–cue hijinks, with a touch of Filipino drama sensibilities.
Before it hits local screens this November, here are the essentials that you need to know about the film.
Mickey De Los Santos (played by Dante Basco), a chef down on his luck, is on the brink of divorce from Avery Chua (KC Concepcion), a fashion executive based in the Big Apple. After unwisely signing divorce papers without a lawyer present, Mickey cooks up a harebrained scheme to marry off his ex-wife to avoid facing his hefty alimony.
To do so, he sets up a fake dating profile, where he recruits the handsome bachelor Lee (Paolo Montalban), who he feeds information to become her perfect new husband. The catch? Along the way, Mickey starts to develop feelings once again—much to everyone’s chagrin.
While it boasts a Filipino-American-centric story, Asian Persuasion will be in English throughout its run. “It’s in English from beginning to end. It’s an American movie. But it’s still a story of a Filipino family, just brought up in the States,” KC said during a press conference. “Filipino-Americans are also part of us homegrown Filipinos, because they are still our people even though they’re in America. It’s a nice way to bring the two worlds together.”
In what is touted as an “empowered” role, KC Concepcion portrays Avery Chua, a successful Filipino-American fashion professional. The character—originally slated for Toni Gonzaga who bowed out due to scheduling conflicts—eventually went to KC after she met director Jhett Tolentino at a fashion event. The actress expressed that she related to Avery, being “kikay” herself, alongside her background in business with her jewelry brand.
Meanwhile, playing Avery’s troubled ex-husband Mickey is Dante Basco, the Filipino-American actor who has made his name across Hollywood and TV for roles in 1991’s Hook, 1999’s But I’m a Cheerleader, 2000’s The Debut, 2021’s The Fabulous Filipino Brothers, and for lending his voice as Prince Zuko in Avatar: The Last Airbender and to the titular character in American Dragon: Jake Long.
Mickey sets his ex-wife up with Lee, played by Filipino-American actor Paolo Montalban. The 50-year-old is best known for the 1997 adaptation of Cinderella, where he played Prince Christopher.
Among the rest of the cast include Kevin Kreider (Bling Empire), Scarlett Sher (Hustlers), Geneva Carr, and Jax Bacani. Expect appearances from Filipino-American stars like Black Eyed Peas’ Apl.de.ap and Rex Navarrete, along with homegrown names like Yam Concepcion and Tony Labrusca.
The three-time Tony Award and Grammy-winning Filipino film producer Jhett Tolentino takes the helm as Asian Persuasion’s director, making it his first feature film. Previously, the creative has built up heavyweight credentials across theater and film including Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike starring Sigourney Weaver, A Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington, and Isabel Sandoval’s Lingua Franca.
Mike Ang, another Filipino among the film’s creatives, takes the spot as its screenwriter. Cinematography, on the other hand, is by Andrea Walter (The Fabulous Filipino Brothers), while production and costume design is helmed by Sheena Alexis (Caretakers).
When Is “Asian Persuasion” Showing in the Philippines?
After making its world premiere at the SOHO International Film Festival in New York City on Sept. 16, Asian Persuasion is set to hit Philippine cinemas on November 29.