TONI GONZAGA Costarring with DANTE BASCO for Film “ASIAN PERSUASION”

It is always a dream opportunity whenever an actor or actress here in the Philippines gets the chance to be part of a Hollywood film production. Such an instance does not come often, and some of the times when it does, the project is not even that major. But Hollywood stars as cast-mates is always a great draw, and Pinoy talent is no slouch as many legendary stars have already proven for years. So, here comes a new upcoming project from the US that has cast Toni Gonzaga for the lead, and pairing him with one of the most recognizable Filipino-American actors around: Dante Basco.

As Inquirer.net has it, Toni Gonzaga and Dante Basco will be starring together in “Asian Persuasion,” a romantic comedy film that shines a spotlight on Asian-American life. The movie’s official Instagram page unveiled the main leads in a post dated July 20. Next to the stars’ respective photos are a rundown of their past film credits, with Basco being in “Take the Lead,” “But I’m A Cheerleader” and most importantly Steven Spielberg’s “Hook.” Gonzaga for her part wears her proud Kapamilya heart on her sleeve with her filmography selections: “Starting All Over Again,” “You’re My Boss” and “You Got Me.”

But we return to their upcoming project. “Asian Persuasion” sees Dante and Toni respectively as Mickey and Avery, an Asian-American couple in New York City who have been through a divorce. Mickey, a would-be high-class chef, is tired of giving financial payments to his ex-wife, especially since Avery does not really need it as a fashion business owner. So he hatches a plan to get Avery remarried to somebody else to terminate the financial support requirement. But what if his plotting only serves to bring them back together again, with the prospect of another chance?

Dante Basco has been in the showbiz industry since childhood in the 1980s, but he is especially memorable in Spielberg’s 1991 epic “Hook,” where he played Rufio opposite the late Robin Williams’ Peter Pan. More recent fans would identify him as the voice of Prince Zuko from Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” with both productions demonstrative of his wide acting range. Tony Gonzaga is of course a go-to actress for ABS-CBN and Star Cinema’s own local rom-com hits. Their pairing for “Asian Persuasion” is looking to be some heartwarming hilarity.

The film is to be directed by Jhett Tolentino, a Tony Award winner, from a script by Mike Ang, and will feature a soundtrack of songs from Asian-American recording artists. Filming is set to begin in NYC this coming 2022. No release date was revealed.

Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News

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