A sold-out crowd greeted Jericho Rosales and his co-stars in “Subject: I love You” at the world premiere of the young actor’s first international movie.
Filipino-American fans of his ABS-CBN television series "Green Rose" traveled from all over California to see their idol.
It was the first time that Rosales walked a Hollywood red carpet, a feat that he said he would be happy to do again.
"I don't know. Whatever happens, wherever this takes me, I'm game," he said.
Hollywood actress Briana Evigan, who was part of “Step-Up 2: The Streets,” co-starred with Rosales in the romantic thriller based on a Filipino-made computer virus that crashed the worldwide web in 2002.
"I'm just so honored that I got to work with someone like her," Rosales said. "She's a great girl. That's all I can say."
When asked to comment on the Filipino actor’s impression of her, Evigan said: "That makes me really happy. That's really nice... He's such a gentleman and charming and handsome, obviously."
Fans were wondering if, like in the movie, the pair has been bitten by the love bug.
When asked about this, Evigan responded: "You have to figure that out yourselves. (Laughs)."
Rosales was overwhelmed by the warm reception of his film.
"Hindi ko alam kung paano ko ibubuka ang bibig ko kanina, kung titikom ako o ngingiti ng todo-todo. Masaya ako kasi dahil nasa Amerika tayo tapos nandoon lahat ng mga kababayan nating Filipino kahalo ng mga kaibigan nating Amerikano, Tapos they all loved the movie," he said.
His Filipino co-stars, Gary Valenciano and Dante Basco, also attended the premiere and the after-party.
"I think this is one door that was open that I stepped through. My door has been open for the right project and this is a good project," Valenciano said. “I know that people would say na kakaiba ang role mo, and that's what I wanted.”
The organizers of the Newport Beach Film Festival were pleasantly surprised by the number of Filipino filmgoers. They said they plan to bring in more Filipino films next year now that they have seen how big the Fil-Am market is.
“Our goal is to bring the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking here to Southern California, the epicenter for moviemaking. And we felt that 'Subject: I Love You' is an outstanding film and one that resonates with our audience here and in its home country," said chief executive officer Gregg Schwenk.
Tickets sold out days before the premiere so another screening is being planned for those who could not get in.
Both Filipino and Hollywood stars came, including Former Filipino teen star Antoinette Taus and “Sucker Punch” star and Evigan's friend, Jamie Chung.
Though the script was originally written in America and includes a Hollywood cast, the film is proudly Filipino, said director Francis dela Torre.
"We hope to do more, we hope that this is just the first of many films like it that we're doing," dela Torre said.
More than 400 American and international films are screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
"Subject: I love You" is the first Filipino film to be shown in the festival. It is also the first among all of the films to have a sold-out screening.
Its makers are planning to show the film in other parts of the United States.