John Arcilla proud to say he has never done a project solely for "pera-pera lang"

by James Patrick Anarcon
Sep 25, 2021
John Arcilla on the up and up after doing the movie Heneral Luna, way before being named First Filipino to win the Volpi Cup for best actor at the Venice Film Festival.
PHOTO/S: @johnarcilla on Instagram

John Arcilla will not accept projects he is not sold on even if the offer is good, but he will do it for a friend.

Never has he done any project for “pera-pera lang.”

Although “money” is always part of a deal, friendship and prestige are foremost in the order of importance to John when considering a proposal.

It was the advice of his Star Magic mentor Lauren Dyogi that he has taken to heart.

John recalled to select media, including (Philippine Entertainment Portal), the words of Lauren to him.

"Sabi niya, you do projects because of friendship, because of prestige, because of money.

“It is lucky for you as an actor to have those three in one project: friendship, prestige, and money,” said John at the press conference held by Star Magic on September 10, 2021, for the series OTJ: On The Job 2.


Doing it for a friend could be awkward at times, but the Coppi Volpi best actor awardee has found a way around it.

Continue reading below ↓

John told the press, “Sometimes you do it for a friend even if you don’t really like the idea, but you do it for a friend!

“You know what will I do, hahanapan ko iyon ng isang interesting na bagay doon sa character ko o sa story na iyon, which I can expand and explore.

“I’m going to embrace that and share it to that friend that maybe we can do this, maybe I can do that, and then successfully, nangyayari naman.”

All things considered, John said it makes him feel good.

“Kaya siguro lucky ako kasi mostly, ang nagagawa kong project laging ganun—kaibigan mo mga tao, maganda iyong prestige, at saka okay naman iyong fee.

“Minsan nga, iyong fee, wala pa, e. Minsan ang fee ang mas medyo nasa-sacrifice, mas lagi dumadating iyong fee at friendship.”

An actor's actor, John is not one to be lured by money into doing a mediocre project.

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He said, “Never pa yata ako nagkaroon ng ganung project na iyong parang sabi ko, ‘Sige na nga lang, para sa ano na lang ito, pera-pera na lang.’

“Luckily, wala pa naman sa aking naibigay na project na para sa ganun lang. Mostly ganun, e, iyong tatlong iyon iyong combination.”

And speaking of talent fees, John cheerfully reported that negotiations have improved since he played the lead role in the 2015 biopic Heneral Luna.

“These days, since Heneral Luna, iyong money, lumalaban na rin talaga. Hahaha!

“Hindi na puwedeng iyong lagi na lang para kang tinatawaran, so I’m so happy for that.

“I’m happy to tell you na producers din naman ay aware of that na we are not just doing something here.

“Since they think na I can actually do the requirements, so somehow sila na iyong nag-o-offer, hindi na ako namimilit or nagha-haggle.”

John, in fact, can expect bigger offers, being the first Filipino to win the coveted Volpi Cup for best actor at the 78th Venice International Film Festival for his performance in the movie OTJ: On The Job 2.

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The series OTJ: On The Job 2 is currently streaming on HBO GO.

aiming to show what filipinos can do for the world

During the press conference, which was held a day before Johh won the Volpi Cup on September 11, he was vocal about wanting to achieve more in his career.

John said, “Well, ang dami pa, gusto ko naman kasing maging global actor.

“Gusto kong makagawa ng films sa iba’t ibang bansa para makita iyong global positioning ng Filipino sa world scene.

“Kasi, whether we like it or not, malaki na rin naman ang ating role sa pag-evolve ng mundo bilang nakakalat ang Pilipino.

“Panahon pa lang ni Rizal, we are all over the globe and we are actually showing the things what Filipinos can do.

"Iyong role ng Filipinos sa global communities are also significant na.

“So kung merong mga roles sa iba’t ibang bansa with some significant characters for Filipinos, lalo na lagi naman tayong kasama as OFW [overseas Filipino workers] or hindi lang as OFW, marami na ring kilala.

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"They recognize ang laki na ng role ng Filipinos sa global communities.

“So gusto kong ma-hit iyong need na iyan or iyong niche na iyon para makagawa ng mga projects globally.

“Siyempre, iki-keep pa rin natin iyong klase ng standard na gusto nating mangyari.

"Hindi naman siguro tayo makakagawa ng project na ganun if they think I cannot submit or I cannot do the requirement.”

Out of curiosity, asked was there ever a time when John felt he was not “magaling.”

John was candid and humble at the same time: “Lagi namang ganoon.

"Laging pumapasok iyan even in all the films that I’ve done looking back, 'Sayang sana ginawa ko iyan.'

“Hindi totally sa isang pelikula na masasabi, ‘Ay, magaling ako dito. Ay, hindi ako magaling.’

“Minsan per scene, sometimes a certain part of the scene, I should have done that.

"‘Ah, sayang, parang kulang iyon, bakit hindi ko naiisip na gawin yun?’ Laging may ganun, it’s a constant thing for me.”

Continue reading below ↓


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John Arcilla on the up and up after doing the movie Heneral Luna, way before being named First Filipino to win the Volpi Cup for best actor at the Venice Film Festival.
PHOTO/S: @johnarcilla on Instagram
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