Friday, November 21, 2008

How Asero helped Rhian in La Lola

Pagkatapos makilala as 'Leah' sa 'Captain Barbell' ng dalawang taon, Rhian Ramos is glad na siya ay na nare-recognize na ngayon as Lola, her first title role. "When I go to the malls, no one calls me anything else now, everyone forgot Leah from "Captain Barbell!" kwento niya sa iGMA.

Gaining confidence
Inamin ng aktres na kinabahan siya nang malaman niyang siya ang gaganap bilang Lola, pero nakatulong ang mga workshop na pinuntahan nila ng cast. "When we did our first workshop together, naging mas kampante ako. Sabi ko, ‘Okay, we all look like we have pretty good chemistry together.’ It's amazing how this cast gets along. We come from all walks of life, age groups, but we really get along together. It's nice how pretty much lahat kami binagayan yung role. It's cool [that] the characters all have a piece of us in them," she shares.

Syempre, naging mas confident si Rhian nang lumabas ang ratings ng primetime show niya. "I read the script, and then at first you think, ‘Wow it's nice, but can I pull it off?’ So when [we] finally started taping, we were so proud of the ratings that we got, and then we've been proud of how the show's been going on…We haven't been beaten, and we're very happy about the response that we got about the show."

Thanks to Claire!
Rhian shares that her character Claire in Codename: Asero helped her a lot para maka-adjust sa role niya sa La Lola. Kung matatandaan niyo, si Claire ang makulit na anak ni Apollo (Ramon Christopher) na na-in love kay Asero (Richard Gutierrez).

"I think, in a way, that was a really good warm up for La Lola, because that was my first light, funny, pang-asar na role lang. Because most of my roles have either been damsel in distress or something severe! I've never really been just prancing around, being all 'Yihee!' You know, pang-asar lang?

"I don’t think I would've been as comfortable with Lola if it weren't for Claire. Even if it was so short a time that I played Claire, it was a big help. It really eased me into it."

Ikinuwento sa kanya ng kanyang dad na naka-base sa Dubai na maraming nanonood ng La Lola doon. "My dad he has this really annoying thing that he does. He has my picture in his wallet, so every time he goes to some restaurant, he opens his wallet and then he pays, makes sure that it's facing everyone, and [since] there are so many Filipinos in Dubai, they're like, 'Sir, you like Rhian Ramos? That's so weird!' And he [says], 'She's my daughter.' [Sinasabi naman noong mga kausap niya], 'Oh my God, pa-picture!' He loves that! It's so [funny]!" Rhian exclaims with a laugh.

"His favorite stores already know [about me]. So every time he goes back, they tell him, sir, we watch La Lola! And I just wanna go see the people he's met because of that! And balita ko maraming nanonood ng La Lola doon." Ayon kay Rhian, balak niyang bumisita sa Dubai ngayong Pasko para makasama ang father niya.

- Jason John S. Lim,

Monday, November 17, 2008

Heart Evangelista, beautiful and emotional

Heart Evangelista is, of course, beautiful. This is precisely why Preview magazine chose her to grace the cover of its Beauty Special this November.

Preview describes her beauty as an "Oriental brand of elfin," characterized by chinita eyes and a flawless skin that elicit raves from no less than Bobbi Brown's regional director for artistry Sebastian Tardif, who does her makeup for the cover shoot.

"My main inspiration for her look today is her skin, it is just so flawless," Sebastian says. "She has nice open eyes and a generous lashline as well. Three coats of mascara and all of a sudden... boom!"

It almost seems unbelievable that she maintains such a simple beauty regimen. Heart tells Preview, "I just cleanse and moisturize around my eyes before going to bed."

But what makes Heart more beautiful nowadays is the candor with which she presents herself to the public. She arrives at the Preview cover shoot armed with a diary of answers to all of Preview's questions. "I really wanted to answer your questions well, to think about them," she tells the Preview team earnestly.

True enough, as the Preview team leafs through pages and pages of exclamation points, underlined and capitalized phrases all in Heart's own handwriting, it is clear just how much thought she has given to every question.

Preview lifts from that diary, which Heart has made out of the magazine's questions, to give readers a picture of just how emotional she really is. As she writes about the lowest point in her life and peppers it with much emphasis, it gives an idea of how wrung her feelings were during one period of her life.

She writes, "All of a sudden everything in my life changed. My career was just about DEAD, and my personal life was a DISASTER. I would wallow in self-pity. I lost my family. I lost my love and passion for life. I thought it was the end of the world."

Showbiz also reared its ugly head as Heart faced scrupulous scrutiny from the public that once adored her. "I toyed with the idea of leaving before it destroyed me," she says, "but I refused to leave the industry that way."

With her career back in full swing, it looks like Heart is not leaving just yet. "It's really what I love. The passion is really there," she says, "I'm just not over it yet, I feel it, that there's so much more to give."

Read more about Heart Evangelista in the November issue of Preview magazine, now available in newsstands and bookstores nationwide.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jericho Rosales makes freudian slip while describing 'heavy' role in "Baler"

Binati ni Jericho Rosales ang press na dumating sa presscon ng Baler kahapon, November 13, in Spanish. Throughout the presscon, paminsan-minsan din siyang siyang nag-i-Español.

Nabanggit kasi ng aktor noon sa isang panayam na mag-aaral siya ng Spanish bago simulan ang shooting ng Baler para maging makatotohanan ang portrayal niya sa role ni Celso Resurrecion, ang half-Spaniard, half-Filipino na mas piniling kumampi sa mga kaaway at talikuran ang kapwa Filipino.

Ang Baler, na idinirek ni Mark Meily, ang entry ng Viva Films sa 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival. Katambal dito ni Jericho si Anne Curtis.

"This is an important movie," sabi ni Jericho. "It touches Filipino history dahil based ito sa Siege of Baler noong 1898. Hindi lang history ang mapapanood, may romance din."

"Heavy" ang description ni Jericho sa kanyang role. Para raw mas ma-feel niya ang kanyang character, siya mismo ang nag-research. Dumaan din siya sa matinding preparasyon, pati kung paano kumilos at magsalita ng Tagalog noong unang panahon.

"Na-trap for one year sa loob ng simbahan si Celso at mga kasamang sundalo. Ipapakita ang hirap na dinanas ng mga sundalo that whole time na nasa simbahan sila. Makikita rin kung paano nila ipinaglaban ni Feliza [Anne] ang kanilang pagmamahalan," pagpapakilala ni Jericho sa kanyang role.

Paano naka-relate si Jericho kanyang role?

"Mahirap ang pinagdaanan namin sa loob ng simbahan at ang character ni Celso ay ibang-iba. Mapagmahal siya at romantiko, at kaya kong magmahal hanggang kamatayan," saad ng aktor.

Ano ang feeling niya habang ginagawa nila ang Baler?

"Sobrang excited ako and every scene, gusto ko nandun ako," saad ni Jericho. "Metikuloso ang pagkakagawa ni Direk Mark. Na-miss ko ang ginawa ko sa Bagong Buwan na war movie rin na ipinag-enjoy ko rin. De numero ang gumawa ng giyera, para kang nakikipaglaro sa mga bata."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yasmien's Return to Dramarama

Following the success of the primetime show "Babangon Ako't Dudurugin Kita," Yasmien Kurdi returns to the Dramarama block via the Sine Novela "Saan Darating ang Umaga." Reprising the role of Ms. Maricel Soriano, the StarStruck alumna now faces the challenge of living up to the award-winning performance of the Diamond Star.

At the photo shoot of the next Sine Novela, Saan Darating ang Umaga, Yasmien Kurdi sat down with iGMA for an exclusive interview to promote her new show and clear up some issues that recently made her emotional on national television.

Return to Dramarama

A blockbuster hit in the ‘80s, Saan Darating ang Umaga featured Ms. Nida Blanca and Ms. Maricel Soriano at their best. A tear-jerker and a values-filled story, Maricel Soriano won the Best Supporting Actress award in FAMAS for her portrayal of Shayne – the jealous daughter of Ruben (Nestor deVilla) and Lorie (Nida Blanca).

In the GMA remake, Yasmien will bring Shayne to life, a challenge indeed to the young actress. "Tita Maria, support ha, please. Hindi ko pa po siya (Maricel Soriano) natatawagan," confessed Yas who has once worked with Maricel Soriano in the film Bahay Kubo.

She pointed out that she’s doubling her efforts for this project to prove that she deserves the breaks that GMA has been giving her these past few years. "Pinaghihirapan ko talaga bawat eksena. Direk Mario J. de los Reyes pa ito, award winning director…After Direk Joel [Lamangan], Direk Mario naman," says the young actress who is obviously in awe of the renowned director, who also directed the original film.

New love team, old friend

Upon her return to Dramarama, Yasmien leaves her old love team behind and now concentrates on her new onscreen partner, Dion Ignacio.

"Si Dion sobrang at ease ako sa kanya. During StarStruck days, sya 'yung lagi kong katabi sa chair kapag bumabyahe kami or aalis kami. Tapos sya 'yung best friend ko sa guys noon. Hindi kami close ni Rainier talaga noon (smiles)," shared Yasmien with a smile.

After noting that she comfortable working with Dion, she said they she’s really happy that the young actor was given this break. "Deserve naman ni Dion [ang project]. Ang gwapo-gwapo nya. Sobrang proud po ako sa kanya at super support din ako sa kanya. Tapos nagtutulungan kami kasi sa [StarStruck] batch po talaga naming, walang iwanan. Mahal ko si DJ at kahit sino sa Batch 1."

Finally, she pointed out that fans will be surprised with her new partner but urged everyone to give her friend a chance. "Sana, kagatin nyo po tulad ng pag support nyo sa ibang ka-love team ko. Grabe kinakabahan din po ako," admitted Yas truthfully.

- Loretta G. Ramirez, GMANews

Saturday, August 23, 2008

John Lloyd Cruz: Getting to know Armando Solis

After various speculations and debates, John Lloyd Cruz was officially announced as Armando Solis - the love interest of Betty La Fea played by Bea Alonzo.

John Lloyd is no stranger as an actor. He has shown his natural talent in acting since he started in the industry almost a decade ago with different commercials, TV appearances, and segments. He also starred in blockbuster films and top rating teleseryes.

John Lloyd has been honored with different awards from respected award-giving bodies such as the Famas Awards, Enpress Golden Screen Awards, and PMPC Star Awards for Movies.

Because of his undeniable talent, enthralling charm and warm personality, John Lloyd is now popularly known as the Philippine's Box Office King.

And now, he is partnered once again to Bea, one of the most in-demand actresses in the industry.

They have already proven that they are one of the hottest love teams today because of their electrifying chemistry and countless supporters.

If Betty is kind-hearted, hardworking, always happy and smiling and a bit physically challenged, Armando is the complete opposite.

Growing up in a wealthy family where everything was handed to him on a silver platter, it seems that Armando has everything. Handsome, smart, and educated. He is the big boss of the advertising agency Eco Moda Manila.

A good dresser, suave and has an alluring appeal, somewhat arrogant and a certified chick boy, Armando is every girl's dream boy.

As these two completely different people come face to face, will they agree on good working terms? In matters of the heart, is the saying "opposites attract" really true?

Under the direction of Erick Salud and Don Cuaresma, "I Love Betty La Fea" will capture everyone's hearts soon on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sunshine Dizon excited over her comeback

Highly-acclaimed actress Sunshine Dizon is back after several months of being absent in the limelight.

Sunshine said this is a perfect timing for her to make a comeback as she will be working with her idol action star Robin Padilla in the movie “Sundo.”

“I’m actually very excited. I think we will start shooting this week. It’s been a long time since I did a movie so I am very excited,” she said during the launching of Rhian Ramos as the new image model of Sabella, which she also endorses.

Rhian is also part of the GMA Film’s movie as well as Katrina Halili.

Sunshine was hospitalized for a month due to severe migraine. She rested for a couple of months before she decided to return in showbiz.

“I also got to rest after I was hospitalized for a month and a half. So now, when I get migraine attacks I don’t need to be injected anymore. I should only drink a tablet to ease the pain,” she said.

Sunshine also explained that she was confined for a long-time in the hospital because she needed to get a high dosage of pain killer for her migraine.

Asked if she really suffered from depression as what earlier reports stated, she clarified in a television interview, “I don’t want to call it depression. You know everybody gets their low days. I am also a person who experiences problems in life. And I guess let’s just put it behind because it’s in the past. What is important now is that I’m back.”

Meanwhile, Sunshine refused to talk about what really happened with her relationship with Jojo Manlongat. “I have always been quiet from the very beginning about my relationship with him and I will continue on being quiet about it,” she said.

The cast of “Sundo” will start shooting the film this week. The play date of the GMA Film’s flick is in last week of October in time for the observance of All Saints Day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sarah Geronimo is reigning Box-Office Queen of ABS-CBN/Star Cinema

With the tremendous (unexpected?) box-office success of her first-starring movie, Star Cinema’s A Very Special Love (with John Lloyd Cruz), Sarah Geronimo has handily dislodged (as in "wiped out") her colleagues at ABS-CBN/Star Cinema as the twin company’s Newest Box-Office Queen. She could be the New

Millennium’s Nora Aunor, somebody the masa can identify with, not very beautiful but pretty just the same.

Even in the US, according to Funfare’s Big Apple correspondent Edmund Silvestre (of The Filipino Reporter), Sarah is hailed as the new "superstar," with dozens lining up to reserve tickets ($15 per) to the East Coast showing of the movie on Sept. 6 (at the AMC Loews Kips Bay 15 Theater at Second Ave., Manhattan) and Sept. 7 (at AMC Loews Jersey Garden 20 at 651 Kappowski Road, Elizabeth, New Jersey).

"Mabilis ang bentahan ng ticket," said Edmund. "The US-based SCAT Productions, led by Satrick Uy, Cathy Uy and Rolando Abaquin said they are overwhelmed by the response. Last year, Sarah gave SCAT a blockbuster concert, Sarah Geronimo in Motion, at the Manhattan Center." "We want to be part of Sarah’s successful crossover as a silver screen superstar," Edmund quoted Satrick as saying.

"Sarah has a big following in the US East Coast," said Rolando. "The interest and enthusiasm to see Sarah in her first major movie was amplified after they heard about the movie surpassing P130-M on its third week of showing in the Philippines."

A Very Special Love is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina who also megged the hit romance-drama One More Chance starring John Lloyd and Bea Alonzo.

There’s no word yet if any of the cast members will be present during the screenings, but Cathy Uy said they are hopeful Star Cinema will send a special guest to add excitement to the event. "We love her because she’s so down-to-earth and so simple, and she always gives her all in every performance. Like Lea Salonga, she’s a perfect role model for other young artists."

Part of the proceeds will go to SCAT Productions’ favorite charity, Children’s Chance, Inc., which has been helping numerous ailing Filipino kids get life-saving and life-changing surgery and medical care in US hospitals. It is headed by Dorita Urrata, who was responsible (along with PAL Foundation) for bringing to the US the formerly conjoined twins Carl and Clarence Aguirre of Bacolod.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Maja Salvador on posing for men’s magazines

Young actress Maja Salvador said that she has no qualms posing sexy on the cover of men’s magazines but reiterated that she has a reputation to take care of. She said that she is willing to show some skin but at the right time.

She also did not deny the fact that there have been a lot of offers for her to be a cover girl. “Kung puwede ko lang silang pagbigyan gagawin ko, kaya lang dahan-dahan na muna.” Maja revealed.

The teen star though pointed out that she has already appeared sexy and seductive on billboards for a popular clothing line in the country.

“Nung ginawa ko nga ‘yon marami ang nagulat, ‘Ikaw ba talaga yon?’ Akala ng marami di ko kayang gawin,” she shared. “Kaya kong lumabas ngayon sa (men’s) magazines, pero alisin nila yung word na sex (and other similar words).”

Being 19 years old, the actress expressed that she is not in a hurry to go “sexy.” “Tama na muna ‘yung pinapakita ko. Hindi naman ako nagmamadali eh, 19 pa lang naman ako. May reputasyon na kailangang ingatan.”

Maja is set to start taping her launching teleserye next week where she will be partnered with a new leading man, Geoff Eigenmann.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

How Marian Rivera got the deals

How did Marian Rivera along with Valerie Concepcion land their latest endorsement deals?

Valerie joins, “not replaces,” Dawn Zulueta as image model for the clothing line Meg because, a statement from the brand owner Maricar Tuason says, Valerie “courageously picked up the pieces after a fall.”

Tuason adds: “Val is a strong, independent woman who was not afraid to own up to her mistakes and then moved on to pursue her dreams.”

Marian Rivera’s matching up with the dermatological center Facial Care is based on less philosophical considerations.

She explains why she is endorsing FC’s LaserLight treatment (for unwanted hair). “Ang dami kong hair sa legs! I tried waxing, shaving... Often, I just wouldn’t have the time or, I’d have to wait for re-growth before another round of hair removal. I was always worried that my sexy costumes would show body hair... somewhere. At last, I’m free from all that.”

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Anne Curtis thrilled with 'Dyosa' and with Sam Milby

Actress Anne Curtis shared her happiness and excitement over her upcoming television series “Dyosa", as well as the attention she is getting from all three of her leading men: hunks Zanjoe Marudo, Luis Manzano, and especially Sam Milby. The fantasy series "Dyosa" will air over ABS-CBN staring August 11.

“I know August 11 na very exciting for me, and I guess for everyone; kasi we’d been working really hard, but at the same time. I'm nervous,” Curtis told in an interview held at Trinoma in Quezon City.

Curtis also talked about her working relationship with her three leading men, one of whom, as they both already admitted--she is exclusively dating: that's actor Sam Milb of course.

“Ayon makukulit lahat sila makukulit but it’s been so much fun working with them,” she said, adding that there was no shortage of funny, wacky moments on the set.

She also said that she's happy working with director Wenn Deramas again this after the two of them had a rift over shooting schedules on a past film,"Ang Cute ng Ina Mo". From what she said about the director, it's obvious that they've patched things up.

“Okay siya. It’s so much fun working with him again ang last namin kasi iyong ‘Ang Cute ng Ina Mo,’ so to work with him iyon naalala ko lahat… iyong dictation sa tagalog so iyon, narrates the actress.

Curtis has obviously lost weight, a result, she said, of the hard work she's been putting into the making of "Dyosa." Despite the toll on her body, however, she said that she actually enjoys the work.

“Hindi naman sa nahihirapan, but it has a lot of work; and it’s thrice a week na iyong tipong, para matulog gigising nang hapon na. Tapos tulog ulit tapos diretso na sa set. So it’s a lot of work hindi ko nga alam na pumayat na ako--hindi ko na-notice. But it’s a good thing for me, she said.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dingdong Dantes: Hottest male star is Belo’s newest body

A heavy early evening downpour didn’t stop the Belo Medical Group in giving Dingdong Dantes a grand welcome as its newest addition to its long (and still growing) list of celebrity endorsers. Coincidentally, Dong (as Karylle calls her boyfriend) was celebrating his birthday, so the launch was like a birthday bash hosted by Vicki Belo’s corporate family at the NBC Tent in Global City’s The Fort.

The Casino Royale-inspired party had gaming tables, slot machines, and guns on display, with sexy ladies sashaying as they welcomed the rain-drenched guests. A Martini bar featured in James Bond movies was also set up in one corner of the hall.

An AVP produced by Infinite Ideas shows the actor in his Agent 007 character, driving a shiny Audi R8, brandishing slick hand guns, sporting an Omega chronograph watch, surfing the Net on a MacBookPro l, using the latest mobile phone and getting in the thick of hard-core action.

Bayon Alcoseba, of Peppermill Catering, showed his expertise in preparing sumptuous food in stylized, buffet setting. The centerpiece at each table arrangements was a waterfall of diamonds to complement the James Bond concept.

Guests were treated to mouth-watering appetizers consisting of baked whole salmon encrusted in salt and herbs, grilled shrimp shooters with chipotle butter sauce, beef tacos parmigiana, chicken burrito wrap, mini-pancakes with smoked tanguigue and cream cheese. Grapes salad with Cervelat sausage was also on the buffet table.

Main course consisted of baked dory herbs and spices, shrimp tamales, Argentina pork loin with apricot sauce, tequila lime chicken with pineapple salsa, fettuccine cream pesto with smoked chicken and steamed rice.

For the carving station, there was roasted calf; and for desserts fresh fruits with chantilly cream, pistachio opera cake, yoghurt gazpacho shooters and hot fudge brownies.

Vicki Belo was extremely delighted to welcome Dingdong to her growing roster of celebrity endorsers. In her welcome address, she said that as Belo’s newest signature model, Dingdong will endorse Belo-Shape, a special and unique combination of treatments to tighten skin and remove fat. The non-invasive body-shaping procedure can yield faster and visible results with far less effort.

Dingdong used to have stubborn love handles which he couldn’t get rid of despite rigid workouts in the gym. But thanks to Belo-Shape, the actor became the highest paid underwear model and was voted as the no. 1 Bachelor of 2007 of Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Those who braved the rain to give Dingdong moral support as Belo’s new body included, of course, off-screen sweetheart Karylle, on-screen sweetheart Marian Rivera, GMA Films president Annette Abrogar, actors Ricky Davao, Marky Lopez, Dino Guevarra, GMA Network executives Wilma Galvante, Marivin Arayata, Redgie Magno, Joey Abacan, Lilibeth Rasonable.

Despite the inclement weather, not one of the guests were heard complaining. Some were even delighted to have won prizes in a raffle draw. Dingdong gave away a 42-inch LCD TV set, and 15 dual-SIM mobile phones. I got one for a prize, too.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Richard Gutierrez on Codename: Asero

Get ready for primetime's most heart-pounding action-packed series in Codename: Asero! It is GMA Network's grandest and first-ever sci-fi romantic movie on primetime television, which starts airing tonight on GMA Telebabad, taking over the timeslot of Joaquin Bordado, which concluded on Friday.

Topbilled by Primetime King Richard Gutierrez, Codename: Asero boasts of an enthralling story, a powerhouse cast and a remarkable creative team led by Annette Gozon-Abrogar, Don Michael Perez and RJ Nuevas.

It is also directed by two of the country's most distinguished directors: Mark Reyes and Mike Tuviera.

The all-new program, Codename: Asero not only features state-of-the-art props and grand set designs but also goes to great heights shooting its sequences in the most scenic locations here and abroad. The show also uses high quality film and equipment creating a unique and distinct texture on screen.

Codename: Asero is about a young man named Grecko Abesamis (Richard Gutierrez) who will do anything to protect his family. But unknown to his family, Grecko lives a double life as the talented Agent Phoenix of the Advocate. It is a secret agency whose mission is to get rid of lawbreakers in the world.

The Advocate's number one opponent, on the other hand, is the secret agency called The Empire whose ultimate goal is to destroy The Advocate.

The story begins when The Advocate sends Agent Phoenix on a mission. During his mission, Grecko meets the lovely Emily San Juan (Heart Evangelista) in the breathtaking country of Dubai. During this quest, The Empire finds out Grecko's true identity as Agent Phoenix and comes up with a plan to retaliate.

The Empire kidnaps Grecko's sister and only agrees to release her if he can find and deliver important software needed by the wicked The Empire agency. Grecko finally agrees and goes on the deadly mission.

The mission proved to be lethal to this talented secret agent. He was barely breathing when a Japanese scientist tries to rescue him. To be able to survive, Grecko had to undergo a delicate procedure, an operation that will cause all of his memory to disappear.

Now, he is unable to remember his life as Grecko or his life as The Advocate's star agent. The Japanese scientist turned him into a cyborg but not just any cyborg but the most powerful cyborg the world has ever known. He is named Codename: Asero.

How will the Abesamis family accept the changes in their beloved Grecko, now that he is a cyborg without feelings or any memory? How will the Advocate face their former number one agent who turns out to be their newest and strongest foe? How will he understand the women in his life? Emily, Fran and Claire? And how will Codename: Asero be able to find his way back to become human?

Joining Richard Guttierez in this grand action-adventure series are Richard Gomez as Ibsen Abesamis, Grecko's father who is a university professor; Michael V as Bodjie X, the Advocate's resident inventor; Janno Gibbs as Geron Aguilar, Grecko's agent-partner; Carmina Villaroel as Lady Q, the head of the Advocate and the newest member of the GMA-7's roster of talents, Heart Evangelista as Emily San Juan, a poor, young woman working in Dubai hiding from her fiancé‚ who accused her of theft and whose charm and beauty captures the heart of Grecko, Agent Phoenix and Codename: Asero.

Also in the cast are Paolo Contis as Dave Aviejo, Emily's fiance; Ramon Christopher as Gary Morales/Codename: Apollo of the group Empire; Ehra Madrigal as Dayze Tagimoro, daughter of the Japanese scientist that changed Grecko into cyborg; Chynna Ortaleza as Fran Guevarra, Grecko's girlfriend; Francine Prieto as Aureana, the sexy assistant of Bodjie X; Rhian Ramos as Claire Morales, and Ms. Caridad Sanchez as Lola Bertita, Emily's selfish grandmother.

Completing the cast are Marky Cielo, Bobby Andrews, Rainier Castillo, Bubbles Paraiso, Rocky Gutierrez, Elvis Gutierrez, Martin delos Santos, Chariz Solomon, Jenny Miller, Sheree, Ysa Villar, Joanne Quintas and Shyr Valdez.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

John Lloyd Cruz: “Find your niche, learn what you are good at, and develop it! ”

Philip Salvador, his co-star in Maging Sino Ka Man, called him “a brilliant actor; one of the best of his generation”. Intense and brooding, but immensely talented—that is John Lloyd Cruz. The 2007 Star Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Gabriel ‘Eli’ Roxas in Maging Sino Ka Man has trod a long and difficult path to fame, and it’s only now that his sacrifices have finally started to pay off.

Getting his first break in ABS-CBN’s youth-oriented shows like Tabing Ilog, and graduating to more demanding dramatic parts like that of hotshot young lawyer Yuri Orbida in Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay (where his love team with Bea Alonzo was born), John Lloyd’s career is a lesson in patience and a living embodiment of the saying that “The best things come to those who wait.”

Here, John Lloyd shares the words he lives by and the secrets of his success.

You have been an actor for so long, playing many different roles. What is the most difficult thing about your job?

Ang pinakamahirap is that as an actor, you deal with emotions. Sometimes those emotions are very heavy, and it’s hard to let go even after you leave the set. Kaya siguro minsan napapagkamalan akong suplado ng mga tao. What they don’t realize is imposible talagang di ka maapektuhan ng role, lalo na kapag mabigat na drama.

Do you sometimes feel that you’re misunderstood by people because of your job?

I get that a lot. Di ba nga, meron silang tinatawag na ‘John Lloyd mood’? When I’m on the set and I’m internalizing a role, there are times na hindi ako makausap. I take my work seriously.

Is that really part of your work as an actor?

I guess. It comes with the territory. It might sound like nagsusuplado na naman ako, but I don’t expect everyone to like me, or to understand the way I do things.

Where does your motivation for your work come from?

One thing’s for sure: I don’t work for the awards. The acting awards are just a bonus. If people recognize your craft, that’s the main thing. Pero hindi awards ang dahilan kung bakit ka nagtra-trabaho. It should never be the case, otherwise you lose sight of the real reason for being here.

Your meteoric rise in the last few years has people calling you a big threat to the career of many of your fellow ABS-CBN talents, notably Piolo Pascual. How do you feel about that?

I’m just big; I’m not a threat. (Laughs). In all honesty, malayo pa ako sa naabot ni Piolo. He’s done a concert at Araneta Coliseum; I haven’t. I can’t even sing or dance. And seriously, mataas ang respeto ko kay Piolo, both as an actor and as a person. I don’t see myself as being in competition with him.

You have successfully established your own identity as an actor, apart from Piolo. How did you do that? What would you say is the secret of your success?

I think that what it boils down to is realizing and accepting what you can and can’t do. Piolo can sing; I can’t. But I can act. It’s important to find your niche, learn what you’re good at, and develop that.

Who are the people who have helped you succeed in your career?

A lot. Wala naman kasing perpektong artista. There is always something to learn from every person that you work with. Like in Maging Sino Ka Man, I’m privileged to work with really great actors like Tito Ipe (Philip Salvador) and Tito Boyet (Christopher de Leon). Ang dami kong nakukuha sa kanila bilang artista at bilang tao. And I always value what I learn from them. Sometimes, I even learn just by observing them at work.

What advice would you give to those wanting to follow your footsteps in this business?

You have to have a conscious desire to keep wanting to be better. That’s why I never see myself as being in competition with other actors; I’m in competition with myself. Each day, you have to want to better yourself. That’s the only way to succeed.