MAUI TAYLOR: A SWEET GIRL GONE VERY BOLD
Quezon City, August 11, 2002 (STAR) By Maridol Rañoa-Bismark - What happens to wholesome stars when they fail to create that much-needed spark among the audience? Some give up and fade away from the scene. Others, like Maui Taylor, stick it out and change battle plan: they turn bold.
The innocent-looking Maui joined Anna Karenina at 12, then went to the youth-oriented TV show TGIS. She even appeared in the GMA-7 soap May Bukas Pa. Maui had everything: looks, gung-ho spirit, a body to die for.
But strangely, something was missing. The magic was not there.
Enter Viva Filmsí top honcho Vic del Rosario, who offered to overhaul Mauiís image. He offered her a role she couldnít resist, that of a student who turns wild after spending one night with basketball star Nick (Wendell Ramos).
Gamitan, directed by Quark Henares, a graduate of filmmaking at New York University, is calculated to launch Maui to stardom. It is Mauiís acid test as lead star, and the petite bombshell (height: 5í2") is pulling all the stops for Gamitan.
Co-star Jordan Herrera was stunned when Maui as Jenny, thirsty for revenge against the man who fooled her, transformed into a sexual animal, initiating all the moves without seeming rhyme or reason.
Maui bared her well-endowed bumpers, her back and the side of her body, but rejected frontal nudity.
"Thatís the clause my father (a British landscape artist who was contracted to do Punta Fuego, Batangas, among other places in the country) told me to include in my (movie) contract," reveals Maui.
Dear old dad was at first shocked at his youngest childís decision to go bold. He refused to give his blessings. But Maui was persistent. She made several long distance phone calls until he finally relented.
If you think there was peace in the family after that, youíre wrong. With the issue settled between her and her dad, Maui now has to contend with elder brother Mike. He canít understand why his kid sister posed seductively for the cover of FHM Magazine, which named Maui the sixth sexiest woman in a poll conducted for its international edition (Maui ranked second in the magazineís local edition).
"Since my dad is not here, my elder brother acts as my father," adds Maui.
Her Kuya Mike admitted in a TV interview though that "I might learn to accept everything in time."
But when youíre bent on making a go of your showbiz career and going big-time, not even a disapproving big brother can stop you.
"I love my career. Iím even willing to put my love life on hold so I can concentrate on it," says Maui with gritted teeth.
Experience has been her best teacher. Three years ago when she fell in love, Maui saw her career go pfft right before her very eyes. She let the guy Ė the hip-hop kind her parents disapproved of Ė rule her work schedule.
"I was not showing up for tapings," Maui admits.
Dad and Mom were right. The guy, her boyfriend of two years, turned out to be a cad. He was going steady with another girl while Maui was turning her life upside down because of him.
After junking him, Maui decided to remain fancy-free.
"Iíve been hurt too much. Now, Iíve recovered and learned my lesson," she explains.
There are suitors, of course. And indecent proposals. One came from a 46-year-old businessman who offered her the moon and the stars, and more.
"I told him I can provide the things he is offering me," Maui reveals.
Besides, her family is comfortable enough to give her the luxuries others only dream of. Her mother used to run a family business until Maui herself told her to rest and take easy.
Her father works in Britain and can very well provide for his brood.
Then why does Maui have to work that hard?
"My parents wonít be around forever," she answers.
Her eyes light up while talking about her plans of living on her own. "My mom already looked at this condo unit in Makati Oriental Garden that Iím planning to buy in three years," reveals Maui.
She can get by on food from the turo-turo or a humble carinderia, but Maui canít live without feeling independent. At 17, she lived on her own for two months in Britain.
She was on vacation then (she shuttles between Manila and London twice or thrice a year), and Maui actually loved the freedom to come and go as she wanted. Never mind if she had to wash her own clothes and cook her own food, "tasteless though they may be."
In London, Maui thought nothing of walking down the streets in spaghetti straps or a pair of shorts. The Britons didnít mind.
But in the Philippines with her mom, even "Boss Vic" advised her to dress up more conservatively in public.
"He told me appearing in sexy attire in public may make people think my screen persona and real-life personality are one," says Maui.
But let men with nasty intentions beware. Maui can pull off a mean punch on the stomach if someone harasses her.
It happened one afternoon at Landmark, while Maui was waiting for a friend. She was wearing a jacket over her spaghetti-strapped shirt.
This 50-year-old man came from nowhere and started circling her. He attempted to touch her breasts, but Maui was able to shield herself. Unsatisfied, he circled her again and tried repeating his indecent act.
Maui took matters into her own hands. She clenched her dainty fists and punched her assailant hard. That did it. He was gone in the wink of an eye.
"I can be boyish at times. Iím a sharpshooter. I didnít like my real name Ė Maureen Anne Ė because itís too feminine. I wanted something like Joey. Or even Bubbly because well, Iím bubbling with energy!" relates Maui.
She can also be childlike despite all the mature woman roles sheís playing (next up is Hibla with Assunta de Rossi, her idol, Pinoy Pie, a sex-comedy with Salbakuta, and a movie with Bong Revilla).
"Ces Drilon was surprised when she saw Hello Kitty, Blueís Clues and stuffed toys in my room. She can hardly believe the room belongs to a sexy star!" laughs Maui.
Maui knows better than to carry on her love for things juvenile beyond the four corners of her cozy room.
"Discarding my pa-tweetums look means overhauling my closet. Gone are clothes that exude sweetness and naivete. In its place are Ďmatureí get-ups: spaghetti straps, plunging necklines, backless t-shirts with only a string to hold them together, etc.
"Even the way I deal with men has changed. I cannot act coy and timid anymore," states Maui.
She has also decided to discard the spoiled brat ways typical of those who happen to be the youngest in the family like Maui is.
"I used to insist on getting what I want the minute I decide on it," admits Maui. "I realize Iím a big girl now."
Big enough to face showbiz intrigues, like being pitted against fellow bombshell Raven Villanueva. Word has it that Raven has upped and packed her bags abroad (to lick her wounds?) after she and Maui exchanged biting words.
Otherwise, itís friendly competition in the sexy film genre for Maui. Regal Filmsí sexy-star-in-the-making, Aubrey Miles is a friend.
"We wished each other luck in our respective launching movies," reveals Maui, smiling.
Yes, luck is something Maui could use a lot of, now that she is on the threshold of a brand-new career: that of a sexy star on whose head rests the "Hot Babe ng Bayan" crown.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
2002 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS
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