ANNE CURTIS Smith-Heussaff is returning to her roots as a sexy, romantic drama actress in Jason Paul Laxamana’s Just a Stranger, a film about infidelity and its consequences. The film hits theaters nationwide on Aug. 21.

“I’m very excited to be back to sexy-drama. It’s a beautiful story,” Ms. Smith-Heussaff said during a press conference on July 31 at the La Reve Events Place in Quezon City.

Ms. Smith-Heusaff plays Mae, a woman in her mid-30s who lives her life on her own terms and is married to a wealthy businessman played by Edu Manzano. Such is her life that she can jetset to anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice and she chose to go to Lisbon, Portugal for a vacation.

In the city she meets Jericho (played by Marco Gumabao), the 19-year-old son of a Philippine Ambassador who is forced by his father to earn his keep to teach him about responsibility. The two embark on an affair that Mae thinks would end after her vacation but then the two meet again in the Philippines where they continue the affair.

Also included in the cast are Isay Alvarez, Robert Seña, and Jas Rodriguez.

“They know it’s wrong but they can’t help it… [it shows] how far they can hide [their affair,] Mr. Laxamana said during the press conference.

The director said that they initially submitted the film for consideration for this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino in September but it wasn’t chosen. This is the first time that Mr. Laxamana does not have an entry in the festival organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

He entered the festival with The Day After Valentine’s in 2018, and 100 Tula Para Kay Stella in 2017.

Ms. Smith-Heusaff is no stranger to sexy dramas, with films like No Other Woman (2011) by Ruel S. Bayani and A Secret Affair (2012) by Nuel Naval, but she admitted that this is the first time she is doing a film focused on a May-December love affair.

Ms. Smith-Heussaff’s most recent film projects have been in varied genres including the action film Buy Bust by Erik Matti, Yam Laranas’ mystery-thrillers Aurora, and Irene Villamor’s romantic drama Sid & Aya: Not a Love Story, all of which came out in 2018.

This year, she is part of the cast of the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry Momalland by Barry Gonzalez, a comedy where she co-stars with MMFF veteran Jose Marie “Vice Ganda” Viceral.

Just A Stranger opens in cinemas nationwide on Aug. 21. — ZB Chua