Baron Geisler reveals more about “Doll House”

“Gisingin n’yo nga ako,” Baron Geisler tells Kapamilya Chat, quite speechless as he reflected on the recent weeks in his life where everything is just coming together. It sure feels like a dream, and almost like a miracle.

Baron, these days, is lionized by movie fans and netizens, thanks to his magnificent portrayal in the Netflix production “Doll House.” He might be unprepared for the movie’s success and the praises he’s been receiving left and right but, clearly, taking the Netflix world by storm and all the blessings in tow have not gotten into his head. He knows how to acknowledge the team effort that made “Doll House” this big, and of course, give back the glory to God.

“I’m just very grateful na well-received ng mga kababayan natin, napamahal sila sa characters at pelikula, nabuksan ang mga puso nila. I think God used this movie to open heartstrings nga and touch the lives of many,” he said, making it sound like a miraculous feat.

“Halleluiah! Thank you, God!” was his first reaction when “Doll House” swiftly moved from Number 2 to Number 1 on Netflix right after their team’s viewing party. “Nakakatuwa kasi, for me, unprecedented ‘to para sa isang Filipino movie na naging phenomenal siya worldwide. To tell you honestly, ilang beses ko na rin sinabi ‘to, hindi siya nakakalaki ng ulo kundi nakakataba ng puso, nakakatunaw siya ng puso. My heart is filled with gratitude and thank you talaga,” he smiled, adding that even the filming location, in the Netherlands, was magical. They went there and everything just fell into place.

Going back to how it all started, Baron vividly recalls the jitters when handed the script. He was being asked to play the lead character, a rockstar with a troubled past reconnecting with his daughter, paving the way for redemption and a sentimental relationship, a stark contrast to Baron’s previous bad guy personas on screen. He knew it was going to be different. He wanted it to be different, so he had to prepare for the role.

With the script on hand, he tapped his friends in Cebu City, where he’s currently based, to help him build the character.  He underwent workshops and strategically chose his method of acting, which is a combination of external or intellectual preparation (Meisner technique) and emotional sources for inspiration. Since a part of Rustin resonates with Baron himself, he infused a bit of his past self into the character.

“Open book naman ‘yung buhay ko. Alam naman ng mga tao na may mga sablay ako. Yes, may similarities, nakaka-identify ako… Meron akong mga in-inject na personal grievances and experiences doon sa character ko na si Rustin and how I deal with the other characters.” He clarified, though, that the Baron now is a new person. He is a happy, ‘grown-up’ family man unlike the still lost and hurting Rustin.

The cast members’ natural chemistry played a huge part in the movie’s overall charm. Everyone’s perfect for the role. Baron talked about Phi Palmos, who portrayed Bok in the story, saying they have worked with each other in a theater production in 2017, hence, the level of on- and off-cam camaraderie. Besides, Phi is an amazing actor and producer.

Of course, he only had sweet words to say about child star Althea Ruedas, who was superb in her portrayal of Rustin’s daughter Yumi. In building their believable father-daughter chemistry, director Marla Ancheta’s technique was to film all the happy scenes first. Even the actors were clueless how the final output would turn out, Direk Marla just wanted them to trust her process. Obviously, it worked.

It also helped that Althea is naturally adorable, a child prodigy as Baron puts it. “She can play the piano, drums, sings very well, plays the guitar. So, it’s very easy to love Althea Ruedas. So, napaka-easy rin katrabaho.”

The tandem of Baron and Althea is made for the happy, tender, and sentimental moments in the film. He would look into Althea’s eyes as if she is Talitha, his daughter with wife Jamie Geisler. “Kung si Rustin, gusto niya bumawi [as a father]. Ako naman as Baron, gusto kong bumawi sa lahat ng pagkukulang ko sa industriya at saka sa mga projects pang darating para maibigay ko ‘yung best education, best life sa anak ko and sa wife ko.”

Perhaps it’s all of that and more – the script, perfect casting, magical location, and Baron simply wanting to give his best as an actor and a man.

Kapamilya Chat asked Baron his favorite scene from the movie, and he offered the phone call scene at the hotel lobby. Unknown to the audience, the actors used improvisation, or unscripted performances, in some of their scenes.

One specific moment that made viewers put their hands on their chest is that of Baron telling Althea, “Someday, you’ll hear nasty things about me. But I hope you’ll always remember our happy days.“ Borrowing this line, we asked Baron how he’d like to be remembered, and his response conveyed honesty and, yes, the ‘renaissance’ thing everyone is knitting to his name these days.

“The good and bad, na even a bad person could change. There’s always hope as long as you show up, as long as you have an open heart, an open mind, and you are willing to change and accept your character defects. Then, you will always have a second, third, or fourth chance,” he answered, relating it as well to the whole point of the film’s narrative. He further mused, “Some memories might fade but the memories of the heart will not forget.”

In less than a month since its premiere, “Doll House” has already opened a lot of new doors for Baron. He’s everywhere, basking in unprecedented success, a new lease on his career, and the praises from fans and even veterans he wishes to work with someday. All these, he believes, are evidence of God’s goodness and intervention.

And on his part, the only thing he can promise is to take care of this abundance of blessings, and continue to grow. “Ang pwede ko lang gawin is to continuously strive to become a better person, a better me from yesterday. Also, to always connect with my Higher Power, God.”

“Everyday is a continuous battle because, you know, nothing is certain in this world. By tomorrow or by next week, we don’t know what will happen. So, with everything great that is happening with my life, with this movie, it’s all by God’s grace.”