AJ Dee says that working on Mano Po 5 was a good opportunity for him to meet the stars from a rival network Photo: Noel Orsal

 

Angel James Dee III—more popularly known as AJ Dee—revealed his upcoming projects and dream roles to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) just before the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) awards night last December 29 at the Aliw Theater.

 

"Ngayon may ginagawa kaming movie sa Star Cinema. Working title pa lang e. Pero kasama sina Toni [Gonzaga], Sam [Milby] and Zanjoe [Marudo].

 

"Tapos yung soap na gagawin namin, hopefully malalabas na din early next year [referring to 2007]. Fantaserye. Isa ako dun sa villain [named Braullo]. Kalaban ko yung mga Rounin. Magandang role sa akin yun.

 

"Na-try ko naman na maging kontrabida. Kakaiba din naman dahil hindi palaging api. Kami yung nang-aapi. Yung side na pagiging villain ko, may side na naapi pa din."

 

MANO PO 5. His latest project was the MMFF entry Mano Po 5: Gua Ai Di (I Love You) from Regal Entertainment. Although this is not his first movie, this film made it possible for AJ to participate in the annual film festival. His debut film was Dreamboy (2005), starring Piolo Pascual and Bea Alonzo.

 

In Mano Po 5, AJ plays older brother to Angel Locsin. "Magkapatid kami [ni Angel] dun. Yung pagiging Kuya nandoon. Eldest nga ako sa amin. Okay naman.

 

"Kami yung Chinese family dun. Nakakatuwa kasi Mano Po yun e. Malaking bagay na para sa akin.

 

"Sa Regal, eto yung time na nakakatrabaho namin yung kabilang network. Dito kami nagkakakila-kilala. Magandang opportunity para sa akin yun."

 

He continues: "First time ko lahat silang makatrabaho and at the same time, lahat sila nakasundo namin. Kasi yung bonding namin okay dahil konti nga lang kaming mga bata. Nagkakasundo-sundo kaming lahat dun."

 

In Mano Po 5, AJ is paired up with Mossimo Bikini Grand Prix 2006 winner Joyce So. The two play a couple trying hard to have their first child.

 

AJ describes his working experience with Joyce: "Okay siya. Kung ano yung sabihin ng director [Joel Lamangan] namin, susundin niya para maayos namin yung role namin. At least makapag-contribute kami kung ano yung hinihingi ng director namin."

 

JOYCE SO. In a separate interview with PEP last December 15, AJ's Mano Po 5 co-star, Joyce So, talked about their role in the film: "Hindi po kami makakabuo ng baby, [may] pressure ng magulang which is si Lorna Tolentino and si Tirso Cruz. In the end, magkakaroon din ng baby."

 

Asked what the experience was like, Joyce said: "Flattering, kasi first time kong maka-work si Ms. LT. Sobrang bait po niya, walang star complex. Overwhelmed din ako. Yung treatment nila sa akin parang family na yung dating. Magaan yung loob nila. Lahat naman ng scenes enjoy kasi yung story nun, comedy-love story. So nakakatawa ganun. Lahat ng scenes nag-eenjoy kami."

 

AJ'S GOALS. In an earlier PEP interview (November 17), AJ said he looked forward to portraying more serious roles. He described his dream role as: "Siguro parang psycho. Parang ganun na kakainisan ng tao."

 

He also dreams of working someday with veteran actors and actresses. "Nakatrabaho ko na si Ate Marya [Maricel Soriano], siguro si Ms. Vilma Santos. Hopefully." AJ worked previously with Diamond Star Maricel Soriano in ABS-CBN's now defunct TV series Vietnam Rose.

 

AJ also said, "Gusto ko lang ipagpatuloy yung ginagawa ko ngayon dahil nag-e-enjoy ako sa work ko. At the same time, ma-prove ko na worth it naman ako."