Did you know that JC Santos was almost replaced in the indie film Sakaling Hindi Makarating?
He revealed this during the January 17 press conference of the movie, which also topbills Alessandra de Rossi and Pepe Herrera.
JC was candid about it, "Muntik na pala ako mapalitan dito sa movie. Yun po yung challenge sa akin!"
When they shot the movie in December 2015, JC was busy doing the theater play Constellations with Cris Villonco.
He explained, "Kasi po, may play ako noong ginagawa namin itong Sakaling Hindi Makarating, e, four days yung schedule.
"December namin ito shinoot, 2015. Hindi ako pwedeng magshoot ng weekend so kailangan naming mag-shoot ng Monday to Thursday. Ngayon, umuulan nung Monday at Tuesday!"
At that time, the production team decided that JC would be replaced by ABS-CBN actor Jericho Rosales, who worked with Alessandra in the 2011 series Green Rose.
However, this did not push through after JC's talk with the film's director, Ice Idanan.
He recalled, "Nagkaroon kami ng mga pag-uusap ni Direk na, 'Okay lang, Direk, ganun talaga, sanay na ako sa ganyan.'
"So, pinaglaban pa rin ako ni Direk hanggang sa two days na lang, pinush namin na, 'O, sige bukas, magshoot tayo, mag-ready ka na.
"Pumunta kami, bumabagyo. Akala ko papalitan ako."
Sakaling Hindi Makarating was an official entry to the 2016 CineFilipino Film Festival.
The movie ended up winning the following awards: 2nd Best Picture, Best Director for Ice Idanan, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Actor for Pepe Herrera.
It started its commercial release last February 1 and is still being shown in 26 cinemas nationwide.
The cast and the producers are currently working on an online campaign called #TulunganNiyoKamiMakarating, so that the film can be screened in more cinemas.
JC AS LEADING MAN. In a separate interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), JC shared how proud he is that Sakaling Hindi Makarating finally had its commercial release.
While doing the indie film, JC worked on two other projects: the online series Forever Sucks and the afternoon series Tubig at Langis.
He said of Sakaling Hindi Makarating, "My goodness, sobrang proud ako sa work ko dito. This is the best of my 2016.
"Sobrang saya ko noon. January to March, I was living the life of an actor.
"I was doing Constellations, I was doing Forever Sucks, I was doing Sakaling Hindi Makarating, I was in Tubig at Langis all at the same time.
"Tapos, I'm proud of this work dahil natrabaho ko siya in the middle of everything, tapos dream job yun, tapos iba-iba yung katrabaho ko.
"Sobrang proud ako na makikita na siya [Sakaling Hindi Makarating] ng mundo, para siyang baby. Dati, naso-soldout kami, hindi nakakapasok.
"Tapos UP [University of the Philippines], napuno ulit, so kailangan talaga nating i-commercial. Sobrang proud kami, sobrang happy kami."
What made the movie more special for him was that he got the chance to work with Alessandra, and he got a chance to be promoted to leading-man status.
The 28-year-old actor recalled, "E, kasi nung ginagawa ko ito, yung masaya dito, I was not thinking at all.
"Sobrang excited ako noon, katarabaho ko si Alex, sobra yung trust ko sa kanya.
"Sasaluhin ako ni Alex pag kailangan at nirerespeto ko siya as an actor. For me, siya yung taong hindi dapat pakawalan ng Pilipinas.
"[Tapos] leading man to, e. First time ko mag-leading man.
"So may mga scenes na kinakabahan ako, pero sige tawirin na natin ito. Baka may magwork.
"So far, yung mga hard work na inisip namin, kaya naman. Kaya ko pala kasi laging addict yung role ko. 70 percent ganun.
"Ngayon, halos di na ako magreact. Yun naman yung masarap kasi pag pinagkatiwalaan ka, marami kang pwedeng magawa."
JC became a household name when he joined the James Reid-Nadine Lustre teleserye Till I Met You that aired its pilot episode in August 2016.
The theater/movie/TV actor will soon start shooting the Star Cinema thriller Ghost Bride, under ace director Chito Roño, starring Kim Chiu and Matteo Guidicelli.