Movies & TV

Iza Calzado Thinks You're a Pervert if You Enjoyed 'Bliss'

The actress talks to us about Bliss's R-18 rating, bomba films, and the joy of getting really bloody.

Finally, everything is bliss again. After the very real threat of an impending X rating, the filmmakers behind the award-winning thriller can now rest assured that their film will arrive in cinemas unchanged. While it took the MTRCB a second review to make a determination, in the end the five-person board was unanimous in its decision to allow the film to be shown as intended by its director, Jerrold Tarog.

Perhaps, the first time around the review board was perplexed by the graphic images and adult themes explored in this local production, but, catching up with the film’s lead actress Iza Calzado, we tried to find out what she believes to be the reason behind the controversy, and what it was like to make Bliss.

On why Hollywood films receive a different treatment.

I saw 50 Shades of Grey. That film has no social commentary whatsoever. It’s just lust, some love, and a lot of S&M. I just found that they’re more lenient with foreign films versus local films. It’s hard for films like ours. How come these foreign films are shown here, and given an R-18 when they also could’ve been given an X rating.


Obviously they’re doing this for the kids in the audience. They don’t want them to be corrupted by these images, these ideas that will be put in their heads. But I think 18, 16-year-olds in this generation are mature enough to comprehend these kinds of movies, because I feel that this generation is way more mature, educated, and perhaps more exposed to these kinds of images and themes in Bliss. We want to keep them the way they were before, but we cannot stop them.

On the difference between bomba and thriller.

You are a pervert if you get aroused by Bliss. It’s a very serious subject matter. And the images are really meant to shock more than arouse. I feel people need to re-watch the bomba films of yesteryear to refresh their memories of what bomba was, because clearly this is not one.

You are a pervert if you get aroused by Bliss. It’s a very serious subject matter.

But yes, there is nudity, so I understand where they [the MTRCB] are coming from. Maybe they were thinking that they images would be too graphic for the youth to handle. Then, that’s why I say, look at the internet, it’s so accessible even to 12-year-olds.

With proper adult supervision and a discussion after the film, they will not even be remotely aroused. I believe we need to trust them to make these kinds of decisions.

On getting bloody while filming a stabbing scene.

Ah! There’s a scene where I get really bloody. I don’t know why I enjoyed it but I did. I thought it was just so badass, but it was also painful because the blood would get in my eyes. And it was a bitch, it was painful.

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I also clearly remember, we had a lot of bed scenes, which we would do one after the other. With these bed scenes, not sex scenes, but me lying on a bed waking up, it’s kind of like Groundhog Day, where you’re keep waking up and experiencing the same thing over and over again. So, at the end of the day I got home and when I went to bed, I felt like I was still doing a scene, because I was doing bed scenes over and over again, the whole day

On keeping her privacy and her first experience with controversy.

I’ve been in the business for 15 years, and this is the most controversial project I’ve been a part of. I’m normally kind of under the radar-of course I’m there-but I don’t cause controversies. Let’s put it that way, I don’t like being talked about. I’m pretty private, I’d like to think, even if I talk about my boyfriend.


Normally you’re in the news if you date a fellow celebrity or if you’ve done something crazy, which I have, but they [the media] just don’t know about it [laughs]. Now, there’s something controversial, but at least it’s about my film, and it’s a film I’m proud of.

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On what you can expect from her new film.

You know hugot right? It’s not that kind of film. It’s not a film that latches onto your heart, it’s a film that latches onto your head, your brain. It’s really a mindfuck. It’s not Bridges of Madison County. It’s not Tadhana. It’s not one of those.

I think there’s a big group of people who are ready for this, who are ready to be awakened, because that’s the film. It’s wake up, wake up from this!

There’s nothing dramatic about my lines. People won’t leave the theater saying the lines over and over again in a sentimental manner.

With the response from our last film screening, I think there’s a big group of people who are ready for this, who are ready to be awakened, because that’s the film. It’s wake up, wake up from this! It’s the cycle of abuse that messes us up as people.

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Christopher Puhm
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