While shooting two movie projects, Ian Veneracion took some time out to appreciate and support emerging artist Nasser Lubay in his first solo exhibit in Arte Pintura Gallery, Mandaluyong City.
Ian, who doesn't personally know the artist, was gracious enough to share his time in helping the 2009 Celeste International runner-up unveil one of 24 works of art now open to the public from May 15-31, 2016. Ian himself is an artist and learned to love the arts thanks to his art-dealer mom and UP Fine Arts alumnus and abstractionist dad, Roy, who also helped unveil one of the works of Nasser Lubay.
Ian is working on the yet-to-be titled Antoinette Jadaone film starring himself, Richard Yap, and Jodi Sta. Maria.
He is also working on a second movie, an Artikulo Uno project helmed by Jerrold Tarog, also starring Iza Calzado and TJ Trinidad.
The ABS-CBN actor already had three to four shooting days clocked in for both films, and he's really excited for both projects to come out.
Ian shares, "it's wonderful, it's different. The genre of the one with Artikulo Uno, with Iza Calzado is dark, it's very different, like a psychological thriller type. The one with Jodi is romantic comedy, very different."
His last project with Jodi was Pangako Sa 'Yo (PSY), a reboot of the popular ‘90s teleserye that catapulted the careers of Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa back then.
When asked to share what it's like to work again with Jodi, Ian reveals, "Jodi and I are very comfortable with each other, we're very professional about our work, and we respect each other."
Explaining just how close the two stars are following their very well-received team-up as Eduardo Buenavista and Amor Powers in PSY, he adds, "We respect each other, not just as actors but on a personal level, we're very close and it's so easy working with someone who's that close to you."
Ever self-effacing, a quality that is rare in the showbiz industry indeed, Ian says he still can't believe that viewers and fans have gravitated towards his love team with Jodi.
"It's a surprise even to us, because everybody knows I'm married, everybody knows Jodi has her thing going with her kid, si Thirdy, I have my kids..."
The 41-year old actor is happily married to his wife Pam with whom he has three kids, yet the clamor for his love team with Jodi continues. It's a fact that puzzles and intrigues the actor, "Wala talaga, they know we are not together, or anything, pero they are still, you know, kinikilig, siguro, I think they appreciate the chemistry, ako, and Jodi, we appreciate each other's chemistry, because we really love working with each other and it translates to what they see on screen."
Now that he is starring in a film that also features Richard Yap, does Ian feel any pressure at all?
"Now it's the three of us, Richard Yap, me and Jodi, the dynamics... Kami ni Richard, I mean he's a really nice guy, we're okay sa storycon and stuff but I think we might try to outdo each other when it comes to Jodi's attention!"
Richard Yap who the nation embraced as Sir Chief alongside Jodi's Maya in Be Careful With My Heart, will surely prove to be good competition against Ian.
When prodded if he's prepared a strategy on how to one-up Richard to capture Jodi's attention, Ian laughs and shares, "Wala pa naman, hindi pa kami nagstart na magkasama ni Richard. Wala naman, kasi kahit minsan baka makalimutan namin na it's just work, siyempre pag magkakasama kami, masaya yun, okay si Richard, I've never worked with him, I just met him in our story conference and he's such a nice guy."
Ian reveals that during that storycon, he cracked a joke, "Nung nalate ako at nauna sila, sabi ko pagpasok ko naramdaman ko ang konting selos, pero buti na-control ko naman, but I was laughing and it was a joke, so ayun."
They started shooting May 5 and Ian says, "It's a fun movie, and it's a fun rivalry between us, as characters, of course, because in real life I do work without, I'm not stuck naman with Jodi, I do a lot of work on my own, si Richard does work on his own, Jodi does work on her own, pero this movie, there's this rivalry, it's quite interesting."
It will be interesting indeed to see the layers of their chemistry clash and interact, and Ian shares, "Definitely, it will come together!"
Ian withheld spilling the beans on more of the story, explaining, "I can't tell you the story, it's really nice, especially the ending, it's really nice."
He adds that it's definitely unlike other romantic comedies being offered in the market.
"It's a lot of funny situations, pero it's so funny because it's so true because you see a reflection of our culture, our pagka-Pinoy when it comes to certain things, and it's so funny, ang galing ni Tonette, she's really, really observant."
The 41-year-old actor says that this project will offer something real and relatable to the viewers, "Ako I can recognize that, oo nga, ganyan talaga tayong mga Pinoy, ganyan talaga na we have that ugali na ganito ganyan, and it's so funny, it turns out so funny because of that."
While he has nothing against the teeny-bopper kind of rom-coms in the market, especially as rom-coms usually feature younger actors than himself and the 48-year old Richard, Ian believes their love triangle movie has something more to offer.
"For me, it's, ako personally I find it more interesting, the love story of an older couple is more interesting, when the love story of teenagers, I like you, you like me, and that's it."
He explains, "With adults, just like in real life, it's so complicated, di ba, there are so many givens and the parameters are different. I like you, you like me, maybe you like someone else, or maybe you're stuck with someone in the past, so many may sabit, baka may anak, baka..."
He concludes, "With adults, for me ha, I find it more interesting, I don't see the need to exert extra effort to make it interesting for others as well," as the story and layers and backstory will provide the interest factor.