Michael de Mesa portrays gay character for theater comeback; says about indecent proposals: “It’s not my thing."

Michael de Mesa is cast as the gay lover of Audie Gemora for La Cage Aux Folles. This musical will be staged at the RCBC Plaza starting February 28, 2015.


After six years ay muling nagbabalik sa stage ang veteran actor na si Michael de Mesa. Isang gay couple ang gagampanan ni Michael at ni Audie Gemora sa musical play na La Cage Aux Folles.
Aminado si Michael na may kakaibang excitement na hatid ang naturang project sa kanya, dahil sa teatro niya nararamdaman talaga ang greatest fulfillment niya bilang alagad ng sining.
“Excited ako for this play, kasi my last play noong 2008, was also a very, very popular musical, yung Hairspray. And then sa six years, nagkaroon ako nang hunger na parang gusto ko ulit mag-perform.
“But there was never a time, because yun nga, pabalik-balik ako from the States. Tapos, marami akong movies saka TV shows na ginawa,” saad niya nang makapanayam ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa presscon ng naturang musical play na ginanap sa The Loft, Rockwell Center, Makati City.

Produced by 9 Works Theatrical, ang La Cage Aux Folles
musical ay mapapanood sa RCBC Plaza, Makati simula sa February 28, 2015.
Pagpapatuloy pa ni Michael, “Noong dumating ito, I really considered it, kahit na alam kong magkakaproblema sa TV schedules ko, pero it was something that I really wanted to do. Kasi, kating-kati na akong lumabas sa entablado kumbaga.”
Ang La Cage Aux Folles ay sa direksiyon ni Robbie Guevara at mapapanood mula February 28 hanggang March 29. Ang iba pang cast members dito ay sina Rafa Siguion Reyna, Missy Macuja-Elizalde (anak ng prima ballerina na si Liza Macuja), JP Basco, Mara Celine Javier, Randi de Guzman, Carlos Deriada, Chesko Rodriguez, Dindo Divinagarcia, Steven Silva, Raul Montesa, Sheila Francisco, Analin Bantug, Noel Rayos, at iba pa.
Nabanggit din ni Michael na isa ang La Cage Aux Folles sa pinakamatagumpay na musical play sa Broadway, kaya hindi na raw siya nagdalawang isip nang ialok sa kanya ito.
“This is one of the best musicals ever produced in Broadway. Masaya ako na napili akong maging part of this, kasi familiar ako sa play na ito, e. And it’s one of the most successful plays in Broadway.
“So noong ginawa dito, tapos in-offer sa akin, hindi na ako nagdalawang isip. Iyong pinakanaging worry ko lang, yung schedule,” saad pa niya.
Ano ang character niya rito?
“I play George, ako yung may ari ng club na ang mga performers ko, puro mga men in drag. I play a homosexual who’s very much in love with the character of Audie Gemora.
“Pero mayroon akong anak na lalaki [played by Steven Silva]. Pero yung anak ko, lumaki sa amin, ‘di siya lumaki sa tunay niyang ina. Kilala niya rin yung tunay niyang ina, pero ang talagang kinilala niyang ina ay yung character ni Audie.”
So, mayroon ba kayong intimate scene rito ni Direk Audie?
“We have a duet, we have a dance… Yakapan mayroon, halikan wala naman,” nakatawang saad ng aktor.
Pero kung may eksenang may halikan kayo, okay lang ba sa inyo iyon?
“If it’s really called for and if it’s necessary, why not?” nakangiting sagot pa ni Michael.
Yun bang LGBT community, sa tingin ninyo ay maa-appreciate ang play na ito?
“Of course, lahat. I mean, especially LGBT. Of course, they’ll appreciate this. Kasi it talks about acceptance, it talks about love.
“It doesn’t look at gender, it just show pure unadulterated love and acceptance for being who you are.”
Ano’ng dapat i-expect ng manonood dito sa musical play ninyo?
“People will expect a very, very fun ride. First team-up namin ni Audie ito. Music is beautiful, choreography is great, the story is funny, nakakatawa siya. At the same time, very touching.
“So, maraming mae-expect ang mga tao rito. It’s gonna be a very fun ride and hindi uuwing luhaan ang audience, uuwing malaki ang tawa at satisfied,” saad pa ng aktor na napapanood sa primetime teleserye na Once Upon A Kiss ng GMA-7.
Sinabi rin niya na isa sa rason kaya tinanggap niya ang project na ito ay dahil kay Audie.
“First time, first time naming magkatrabaho ni Audie. Ay nako, sobrang excited ako! Napakasarap na katrabaho, napakasarap ka-eksena, napakagaling na artista, sobra!
“It’s a dream come true for me, kasi gustong-gusto ko talaga siyang makatrabaho, matagal na matagal na. And it was… it’s always been a dream kumbaga. Then eto nga, yung material dumating, I guess they saw that it was perfect for the two of us. So, isa rin yun sa mga dahilan kung bakit tinanggap ko kaagad ito.”
Nabanggit din ni Direk Michael kung gaano talaga kahalaga sa kanya ang teatro.
“It’s for the love of, talaga. Sacrifice in terms of talent fee, yeah… pero, gusto ko. I mean, gusto ko talaga. So, kung gusto mo gagawan mo ng paraan, ‘di ba? Kung hindi mo gusto, gagawa ka ng dahilan.
“Eto ginawan ko ng paraan and all materials I’ve done on theater or the reason why I do theater, is for my growth as an actor. It keeps me grounded and eto talaga yung...I do it for my soul, for the love of, talaga.
“Mas nararamdaman ko ang pagiging artist ko sa teatro, e.”
Idinagdag pa niyang kung tutuusin daw, mas mahirap talagang umarte sa teatro.
“Mahirap, mahirap. Kasi, iba ang disiplina rito, e. Ang theater kasi, actor’s medium talaga iyan, e. Unlike film, it’s a director’s medium and then yung television, it’s corporate now, ‘di ba? So, network ‘yan, so you’re given materials na mayroon nang expectations sa iyo.
“Sa theater, you have that luxury of time to really work on the material, to build your character, to create your role and to experiment during rehearsals. Kumbaga, nakakaano ka talaga. And dito lang sa theater, yung greatest-greatest-greatest fulfillment ko as an actor, I find in theater,” pagbibigay diin pa ng award-winning actor.
Since lumaki ka sa mundo ng showbiz, open minded po ba kayo pagdating sa members ng third sex?
“I have a lot of gay friends, I’m not homophobic, mahal ko ang mga kaibigan kong gay. But I’m straight,” pahalakhak na sagot niya.
Pero, naligawan po ba kayo ng bading noon?
“Oo naman, lalo na noong nag-uumpisa, oo naman. Pero, it’s just a matter of telling them.”

Inamin din niyang nakaranas siya noon ng mga indecent proposals, na nararanasan ngayon ng mga sikat na aktor.
“Oo naman, of course, naranasan ko rin iyang mga ganyan noon. Okay naman iyong mga offer,” nakangiting sagot niya na hindi na binanggit ang mga naging offer sa kanya.
Dahil bata pa po kayo noon, hindi ba kayo na-tempt o naisipan ninyong i-try lang?
“No, it’s not my thing, e,” mabilis na sagot niya.
“No, no, I’m really straight. Hindi ako ano, e, yung kahit for experiment, wala, wala,” umiiling na saad pa niya.
Pahabol pa niya, “Never. I’m not that type of a person. I will accept you as a friend, I will love you as a friend regardless if you’re gay or not.
“I don’t judge. I have a lot of gay friends, like I’ve said and I love them all,” nakangiting pagtatapos na ni Michael.
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